May 21, 2020

iichiko, Japan's Leading Shochu, Announces "iichiko for the

Bizclik Editor
4 min

NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- iichiko, Japan's leading shochu brand, today announces the entry dates, guidelines and judging panel of its "iichiko for the Win" U.S. Bartender Cocktail Competition (#iichikoforthewin). The competition is being managed by Davos Brands, which imports iichiko Saiten to the U.S. market. It is open to professional bartenders in North America, with entries via The submission period extends from January 21 to April 15, 2020, with favorite Olympics-sanctioned sports as the inspiration for the cocktails.

The competition's 6 finalists will be announced in April and will compete at a Grand Finale event in New York City in May. The Grand Prize is an all-expenses paid trip for the winner and their guest to Tokyo and Kyushu Island, home of the iichiko distillery.

iichiko also announces the competition's distinguished judging panel, comprised of (in alphabetical order): Jacques Bezuidenhout (Liquid Productions, NYC), Kevin Diedrich (Pacific Cocktail Haven, San Francisco), Kenta Goto (Bar Goto, NYC), Julia Momose (Kumiko, Chicago) and Masahiro Urushido (Katana Kitten, NYC), together with Natasha Sophia (National Director of Education and Advocacy, Davos Brands).

"We are very proud that some of the most prominent mixologists in the U.S. will be part of our judging panel," says Daniel Mandelbaum, VP of Marketing, Davos Brands. "Each of them has worked extensively with iichiko Saiten and is excited by its limitless potential for shaking up the U.S. cocktail scene. We are looking forward to the bartenders' Olympics sanctioned submissions that will showcase iichiko Saiten's incomparable versatility and umami notes."

Competition Guidelines and Grand Prize 

  • Eligible Entrants:
    • Professional bartenders in North America, age 21+
  • Cocktail Inspiration:
    • Favorite Olympics-sanctioned sport
  • Judging Criteria:
    • Best showcasing of iichiko Saiten, with a minimum of 1.5 ounces used in the cocktail
    • Overall flavor and deliciousness
    • Reproducibility by home bartenders
    • Creativity and originality
  • Ingredients:
    • Recipes may incorporate a maximum of 5 easily accessible ingredients, plus a garnish, to ensure reproducibility by home bartenders
  • Submission Period:
    • January 21 to April 15, 2020
  • Finalists & Winner Announcements:
    • Finalists announcement in April 2020
    • Grand Finale competition in New York in May 2020
    • Grand Prize winner announcement in May 2020
  • The Grand Prize:
    • A week-long, all expenses paid trip for the winner and their guest to Tokyo and Kyushu Island

Tasting Notes on iichiko Saiten
On the nose, iichiko Saiten is redolent with aromas of honeydew melon, white grape, pickled watermelon rind and kabosu citrus. There are also hints of soy, white pepper and rich barley. On the palate, iichiko Saiten has a strong start and a long finish. It exudes rich umami notes of jasmine tea, white peach, minerals and earth with some citrus and a saline finish that beckons another sip.

A Genuinely Innovative Spirit with Umami Character
iichiko Saiten (SRP $29.99/43% ABV/750ml) was developed with insights from top U.S. bartenders. It is a pioneering higher proof shochu optimized for mixology and is comparable in proof to Western spirits, like vodka, tequila, gin and rum. Traditionally, shochu is bottled at around 25% ABV.

Produced on Kyushu, Japan's southernmost main island, iichiko Saiten is rich in flavor and umami character, captivating the vanguard of U.S. bartenders and enabling genuinely innovative cocktails. It is produced by Sanwa Shurui, Co., Ltd., one of Japan's most esteemed producers of shochu, sake and wine.

iichiko Saiten is a true honkaku shochu, which is distilled only once, and no artificial additives or sweeteners are permitted. Moreover, the single distillation better preserves the flavors created during fermentation, as opposed to multiple distillations that strip them out.

ABOUT iichiko
iichiko is Japan's leading producer of shochu, Japan's revered spirit. A global icon, it is the 23rd largest spirits brand in the world. Headquartered in Oita Prefecture on Japan's Kyushu Island, iichiko sets the gold standard for shochu. Using proprietary Koji, yeast, pristine spring water, two-row pearled barley, as well as low pressure and atmospheric distillation techniques, the company has produced a range of blended shochus, including iichiko Saiten, the first mixology-friendly shochu. Produced by Sanwa Shurui Co., Ltd., iichiko is sold throughout Japan and in 30 countries worldwide. In the U.S., iichiko is imported by Davos Brands. For more information, please visit, follow us on Facebook at, on Twitter at @iichiko_Shochu and on Instagram at @iichiko_usa.

ABOUT Davos Brands
Our mission is to build and develop the highest quality, best in class wine and spirits brands that create a meaningful and valuable connection with consumers. We do this through teamwork, passion, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and relentless perseverance. The Davos Brands team members are recognized to be amongst the best performers in the industry; the team operates in a collegiate, open-structure, and dynamic mode.  Our team thinks out of the box and finds ways to obtain outstanding results through an entrepreneurial focus. Based in New York, the Davos Brands luxury portfolio is currently composed of Aviation Gin, Balcones Distilling, Sombra Mezcal, Astral Tequila, iichiko Shochu, and TY KU Sake. Visit for more information.

Media Contacts:
Hanna Lee or Jason Greenspan
Hanna Lee Communications, Inc.
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