‘Awamori’, an Alcohol Produced in Okinawa for 500 Years

Like wine, this alcohol can be left to age, and Awamori 1979 from the Seifuku Distillery was only bottled two decades later.


© Seifuku Distillery. Co.,Ltd.

‘1979’ is the name of a song (a melancholic one, of course) by The Smashing Pumpkins, but it’s also the year of the birth of this awamori. This alcoholic beverage, distilled from indica rice, was only bottled—by the famous Seifuku distillery—in 2000. The Awamori 1979 has a light, refreshing taste, and is sold at the staggering price of 239,484 Japanese Yen (roughly 2,200 euros).

A variant of the more classic shochu (a Japanese alcoholic drink made from rice or barley), awamori has been produced on the tropical archipelago of Okinawa since the 15th century. The first time you take a sip of this beverage that dates back more than 500 years, it’s quite possible that your lips will twist into an expression like that produced by drinking a very strong liquor: awamori contains 30% alcohol, and the percentage increases with age.

There are three types of awamori: ippanshu, non-aged; kusu, aged for at least three years; and hanasake, which contains 60% alcohol and is produced only on the island of Yonaguni.


More information on Awamori 1979 can be found on the Seifuku distillery’s website (only in Japanese).

© Seifuku Distillery. Co., Ltd.

© Seifuku Distillery. Co., Ltd.

© Seifuku Distillery. Co., Ltd.