Create an original shochu cocktail, win a trip to Japan!


(***Contest only open to people who have worked in the past 12 months serving spirits in a restaurant or bar.***)

Competition Terms, Conditions and Rules

Shake, stir, or perhaps even swizzle away from the ordinary. Follow your imagination to the Far East, and mix things up with Japan's traditional craft spirit. We invite you to discover the depth, complexity, and versatility of Japanese shochu (焼酎), and compete with an original, inspiring cocktail for a trip to the southern island of Kyushu. We will send the makers of the top two cocktails on a journey to Kyushu, Japan for an immersion into local culture, cuisine, and the harvest-to-bottle heritage of shochu making and enjoyment.


In Japan, shochu is ubiquitous - even more popular in recent years than sake - and widely enjoyed in a variety of formats; people drink it neat, on the rocks, with cold or hot water, as a highball with soda, or as a "chu-hai" (essentially a simple, long drink, mixing shochu, citrus juice and soda, or shochu with iced teas). A younger generation of Japanese bartenders have embraced the national spirit as a base for craft cocktails, ranging from twists on the classics to unexpectedly original tipples. In recent years, this trend has tiptoed overseas, and has spread to a number of top bars around the globe. But for many bar-goers in the West, this centuries-old spirit is still relatively unknown.


'Spirited Away' is a cocktail competition initiated by seven famed shochu producers from Kyushu, who would love to spread their passion and craft with the global cocktail community. Your challenge is to create a shochu cocktail that best expresses the character and complexity of their spirit; provide a reflection of your creativity and passion for the spirit and its origins; and inspire others to discover shochu (and generate buzz) through a cocktail that captivates, and delights their senses.


More information available here in early 2020. 

Cocktail Competition Finals
Monday, June 1st 2020
Location TBD