Awamori is much more than just a distilled spirit. It is a living history of Okinawa and its people. Considered to be the first spirit ever to be produced in Japan and a predecessor to shochu, awamori can be traced back 600 years to the Ryukyu Kingdom. This independent monarchy ruled Okinawa from the early 15th century and was a key player in maritime trading with other Asian countries. It was through these voyages that they discovered a Thai distilled spirit made from glutinous rice called Lao Khao. The kingdom adopted this Thai spirit as well as the distillation techniques, which were later adapted for their own subtropical climate.
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