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Britons discover taste for awamori spirits of Okinawa

Jiji Press

A bartender tastes awamori spirits at the Imbibe Live drinks show in London on Monday.

Jiji Press LONDON (Jiji Press) — Japanese “awamori” distilled spirits attracted attention at the two-day Imbibe Live drinks show that started in London on Monday.

From Japan, 18 alcoholic drink makers showcased their products at a booth set up by the Japan External Trade Organization. The government-backed organization opened a booth at the trade show for the second straight year.

Awamori drew attention from people in the restaurant industry for its unique taste and aroma.

Sake and Japanese whiskey have been gaining popularity in Britain, but awamori and “shochu” Japanese distilled spirits are still unfamiliar to most of British people.

Melania Bellesini, head sommelier at a local restaurant, praised Ryukyu 1429, awamori made by Blueship Okinawa Co., based in Naha.

“It is a very different approach for spirits that we are not used to having here,” Bellesini said. “So there are similar flavor to sake, but it is a spirit, and it is not shochu, which is too strong. It is a good balance.”

Jun Ogawa of Blueship Okinawa said: “We see Britain as the biggest market in Europe. We hope to sell our products in the United States if things go well here.”Speech

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