Japan Eats

Japan Booze Blind: Awamori

John Bailey and Rachael White join host Christopher Pellegrini in blind tasting awamori, Okinawan firewater.

Awamori is a beverage native to Okinawa, the island chain to the south of Japan. It is made from long grain indica rice (usually imported from Thailand) which is washed and soaked before being treated with a black koji mold. Yeast and water are then added to bring about fermentation. Finally, the moromi is heated and distilled. The result is a drink not unlike shochu, with a alcohol content of anywhere between 20 and 40 per cent.

On this episode of Japan Booze Blind, guests Rachael White (producer of the blogs tokyoterrace.com, rachaelwhite.me) and John Bailey (arts journalist, noted Japanophile) blind-taste three very different types of awamori: Donan, Nanko and Sashiba. The show was recorded at Dynamo, a skate themed bar in Koenji.

Thanks to Julien Arnaud for allowing us to film at Dynamo.

About Marcus
Itinerant photographer and food pornographer.


4 Responses to “Japan Booze Blind: Awamori”
  1. hardyhar says:

    And, since you were in Koenji, would it have been so hard to have had the tasting at Dachibin? Skateboarding shop more appropriate?

  2. Garrett says:

    Hi hardyhar,

    We shoot where we’re invited to shoot – it’s a symbiotic relationship, in which the bar that hosts us gets a little bit of promotion and usually gets a signature drink or a drink that’s popular with its patrons on the show and we get a place to shoot. We also try to match drinks and topics with guests and make sure we vary the types of drinks featured on the show.

    Dynamo is a friendly, casual bar with good drinks, good food, and a kind and generous owner, Julien. And, yes, it has a skateboarding theme, which is quite popular with its clientele. None of us here have any objection at all to enjoying our drinks to Long Hot Summer on the TV or some good, old punk rock on the stereo.

    Koenji is home to over 300 bars and we’d be happy to shoot in almost all of them, provided they’d be as happy to have us there. This includes Dachibin. If you think we’ve overlooked it, fair enough. If you want to set it up, we’d be chuffed. We love Koenji as much as any neighborhood in Tokyo and are always pleased to build relationships with new places and to get to know places we’ve been even better.


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