“Hyakuyaku ni Masaru Yamakawa no Sachi-ya,Kukuru Shichi Numiba, Mumuchi Nayusa” (Ryukyuan Poetry)
(Yamakawa’s sake is better than the best of all medicines, and when enjoyed with care, one shall live to one hundred years of age)
The northern region of Okinawa Island has long been referred to as Yanbaru, a name that is not seen on maps. Yamakawa Shuzo is situated at the bank of Manna River, where the water flows through the rich nature of Yaedake in Motobu Town.
Our Awamori is distilled using this clear, pure water that flows in abundance from the mountains which gives our Awamori a deep and mellow taste and with a sweet aroma, and is referred to as “Awamori, the Art of Sake.”
In order to make high quality Kusu, the young Awamori must also be of a high quality.
“To offer our young Awamori would be conflicting in our efforts to make and age Kusu. But both are equally important. We must continue our efforts in both.”
As we continue our Awamori aging process across three generations since our founding, we are about to pass on our knowledge and experience to the next generation.
All of our Kusu in our cellar with inscriptions of the year of aging are all aged more than the number of years written.
At Yamakawa Shuzo, when we blend our Kusu, we inscribe the year of the younger Kusu. For example, if an 8-year Kusu is added to a 10-year Kusu, we inscribe it as being aged for 8 years. It is then aged for another two years, and shipped out from our cellar as a 10-year Kusu.
To whatever extent, we give attention and care in every aspect of producing our Kusu.
“At Yamakawa Shuzo, we can say that we work only to produce Kusu.”
By aging Awamori over an extended period of time, it will become rich, full-flavored and mellow, the longer you let it mature.
When those working in the cellars, who spend years caring for the Awamori, are certain that it has reached a certain level of taste that comes with maturity, it is only then that the spirit is offered to the world as an authentic, vintage Awamori, or Kusu.
We will continue to produce the Kusu that Yamakawa is known for, unwavering and true to the aspirations since our founding.
There’s a sense of romance in wondering about at what period in time, and who will be enjoying our Kusu that has been aged 30, 40, and 50 years.
“It isn’t about whether our Kusu is easy to drink, but it’s about the sense of fulfillment when drinking our Kusu. At Yamakawa Shuzo, our calling is to produce such Kusu.”
Yamakawa Shuzo is known for its tireless efforts in the production of Kusu, or aged Awamori.
In our sake cellar are Kusu aged 40 to 50 years. These Kusu quietly lay maturing, dreaming of reaching 100 years.
“Work hard, no matter what, to let the Kusu mature at any period in our changing times. The time will come when Kusu will be in the spotlight.”
-Quotes by Sodo Yamakawa, Founder
Aged 10 Years
Alcohol Content: 30%
Aged 10 Years
Alcohol Content: 43%
Aged 5 Years
Alcohol Content: 35%
Aged 5 Years
Alcohol Content: 43%
|straight||One of the most popular serving methods to enjoy the uniqueness of unprocessed and/or matured alcohol.|
|Mixed with Water||A standard method, simply mix water to your preferred amount of Awamori.|
|Mixed with Soda Water||A refreshing way to enjoy Awamori by mixing with soda water, and a twist of Okinawa’s Shikwasa citrus.|
|Mixed with Hot Water||Awamori mixed with hot water is perfect for a chilly evening. The taste is more rounded when hot water is poured into a cup first, before the Awamori.|
|On the Rocks||To thoroughly enjoy the rich bouquet and depth in taste of Awamori.|
|Cocktails||Awamori is clear and transparent, and so it’s perfect as a base for cocktails. Mix with fresh juice or liqueurs for a simple and delicious cocktail.|
１.Genryo- Mai Rice
The genryo-mai, or the rice used to distill Awamori, is long-grain Indica rice imported from Thailand.
２.Washing & Steaming of Rice
The raw rice is washed, immersed in water, drained, and then steamed.
３.Koji Malted Rice
The steamed rice is left for approximately 40 hours for the Kuro Koji or black rice malt to propagate.
Water and Awamori yeast is added to the finished Koji malted rice and the mixture is put in tanks for fermentation.
Once fermentation is complete, the Moromi is placed in distillation containers, heated, and distilled.
Distilled Awamori is transferred to tanks and Kame earthenware pots and long-term storage heightens the quality.
The Awamori is bottled or transferred to Tsubo pots and other containers.
After being stored in the warehouse, the merchandise is ready to be delivered to our customers.
With water, on the rocks, with soda, or with hot water. Changing flavors
depending on how you drink it is in itself a charm of awamori as a distilled
spirit. However, that charm can also be enjoyed by mixing it with other
liqueurs to create cocktails.
For example, how about taking advantage of awamori's being colorless to
make a fruit cocktail? Apart from mixing with tropical fruit liqueurs like
mango, awamori can also serve as a base for colorful cocktails. Another great
charm of awamori is that it can be enjoyed casually by simply mixing it with
drinks found at home such as sodas or cola. You will surely discover a new
taste when you mix awamori with ingredients you use every day.
Here are recipes for awamori cocktails that could not fit in the video. Enjoy the flexibility of awamori.
～ Recommended Awamori Cocktails ～
Two Goya (Bitter Melon) Slices
Ogon no Hana (Golden Flower)
3.Lemon Juice・・・・・1 splash
2.Mango Juice・・・・・Enough to fill the glass
3.One Lemon Slice
Source: Excerpts from Ryukyu Awamori published by the Okinawa Awamori Distillers Association