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You can make your own original awamori by blending! “Chuko My Blend Shop”
post : 2015.07.29 19:00
“HAPINAHA” was opened on Kokusai-dori Street in Naha in the spring of 2015. It is a popular spot in Naha, which has sections of souvenirs unique to Okinawa in addition to “Yoshimoto Okinawa Kagetsu Theater,” “Obake Yashiki (Ghost House),” etc.
At the back of the first floor is “Chuko My Blend Shop.”
You can make your own original awamori by blending six kinds of unprocessed awamori, not commercially available, as you like at the shop!
“Chuko-gura,” an awamori distillery located in about 20-minute car ride from Naha Airport, runs the shop where you can casually enjoy awamori.
Six kinds of unique awamori are carefully selected from some hundreds of kinds of awamori in the distillery. Breadth of taste and flavor are very different from each other, so you can enjoy drinking and compareing them.
Actually this blend-and-drink style was originated from the president of Chuko-gura having enjoyed blending awamori at home. He wanted many people to know the fun of taste changing dramatically by changing the ratio of blending just a little. His love for awamori triggered him to open this shop.
“I would like not only awamori lovers but also awamori beginners to enjoy it because I would like them to know there are different flavors,” said the store manager.
His words are so persuading because I also selfishly thought every awamori was strong and has the same kind of taste due to a high content of alcohol.
However, when I visited Chuko-zo and tasted awamori with alcohol content 20%, with which you can tell the taste of awamori most clearly, mixed with water, I was really surprised by the deliciousness! I learned the fun of drinking and comparing and the depth of awamori.
When you sit at the counter, a set of sampling sake is displayed in front of you. A sake bottle with a long spout is called karakara, which is specially designed for awamori. A small sake cup is called chibuguwa. With these authentic Okinawan special sake vessels, this shop makes you more excited!
First a counter staff member will pour each of five kinds of awamori into cups. The moment it is served, you can savor the fragrance of awamori.
Awamori from freshly-produced one to 3-years-old, 5, 10, and 12-years-old ones are ready for you to taste! It is fun to taste different flavors just a little bit each. They say that it is worthy just tasting the 10-years-old one and 12.♪
The remaining one kind is koshu (the aged awamori) of as old as 30 years old! With additional payment of 1,000 yen, you can drink this super rare item.
Every awamori has completely different fragrance. Characteristically, the longer awamori is stored, the milder fragrance and more smoothness it has. Please savor the fragrance first.
Well, finally it is time for blending. Just like an experiment, you take some with a dropper, and mix it with water for comparing taste. It is a little bit amount, but just as expected of being carefully selected, each of the five awamori is distinctive.
It is so interesting to find different flavor such as melting, suave one, very sweet one, and bitter one. As you try like “I want to add more of this awamori.” “Oh, I want to blend that one as well,” you will find your flavor! This is how you make your own original awamori that cannot be found in any other shops!
I also tried blending and could decide unexpectedly easily to choose my favorite flavors. Even if you don’t know which to choose, you can ask staff members for advice. They will help you to make your awamori with flavor that you like.
And on top of that, this tasting and blending awamori experience is provided at a 2015 summer special price of 1,000 yen!
In addition, if you would like to take your own blend awamori home with you, you can bottle and buy it. The price varies according to which awamori you chose, so please ask a staff member for estimate.
After bottling your blend awamori, you will choose one label among four kinds and put the label on your bottle. Now the souvenir of original “My Blend Awamori” is ready!
The tasting and Blending Experience is available till 21:30 every day! So at night, not a few people stop by to enjoy tasting five kinds of awamori.
“Chuko My Blend Shop” can be used for different occasions such as the first awamori experience, making a souvenir which cannot be found in any other shops, and enjoying a drink after meal. You can casually enjoy awamori listening to the staff members over the counter at the shop.
Chuko My Blend Shop
Address: 1F “HAPINAHA” 2‐2‐30 Makishi, Naha City, Okimnawa
TEL: 098‐868‐6710（Reservation is accepted.）
Hours: 10:00 to 22:00（Registration finishes at 21:30.）
Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer Akiko Ono