[Event Report] The 1st Honkaku Shochu and Awamori Cocktail Competition was held!
On October 17, the final stage of Japan’s first nationwide cocktail competition using honkaku shochu and awamori, which are included in Japanese kokushu (Japan’s traditional alcohol drinks), took place at Asakusa View Hotel in Tokyo.
This competition aims at widely promoting the use of honkaku shochu and awamori at hotel bars, where foreign visitors to Japan often have their first experience of alcohol in Japan, in order to gain recognition of honkaku shochu and awamori in other countries. It was a memorable 1st competition!
Twenty bartenders who won the preliminaries all over Japan competed with their own cocktails!
It was exciting to watch each movement of the bartenders creating cocktails, such as shaking a shaker, the serious look on the face, smiles while pouring the cocktail into a glass. It was interesting to see that each person has their own way of shaking a shaker.
I felt happy just by looking at these colorful original cocktails. I really wanted to know how they taste! Among the 20 finalists, especially the two female bartenders caught my attention.
The winner of this commemorable 1st competition was Ms. Yumi Miyata, participating from Hotel Granvia Okayama. She also won the Technical Prize.
Ms. Miyata’s original cocktail, “Hannari,” is made with imo-shochu “Tomino-hozan” as the base, herb liquor, grapefruit juice, rose syrup, and salted cherry blossom.
At the winner’s speech, she stated as follows:
“I think there will be many foreign visitors for the Olympics in Japan. This competition gave me an opportunity to learn about kokushu, and now I have more confidence in explaining about Japanese liquors to people from other countries. I hope that shochu keeps gaining recognition all over the world.”
JSS Prize: Ms. Misaki Masuya from TONY’S BAR, with her original cocktail “Kyoji”
Runner-up Prize: Mr. Keika Shiratori from Hotel Nikko Osaka, with his original cocktail “JAPAN TENDERLY”
3rd Prize: Mr. Daisuke Sato from Hotel Metropolitan, with his original cocktail “Japanese Blossom”
At the after-party, we enjoyed the original cocktails by the 20 bartenders. All of the cocktails were very popular, and unfortunately I could only try about half of the kinds. But we all still have a chance to enjoy them!
You can try these cocktails at the hotel bars where these finalists are working! It is a great chance to enjoy Japan’s top cocktails.
(For details about the 20 bartenders and their original cocktails, please click here!)
*The information herein is as of October 2018.