Iichiko Announces Iichiko for the Win Cocktail Competition

iichiko cocktail competitionThis summer, Japan will capture the world’s attention for weeks. iichiko, Japan’s leading barley shochu brand, is hosting a sports-inspired cocktail competition in August. Managed by Davos Brands, the competition is open to legal residents of the contiguous
48 U.S. states (and Washington, DC) ages 21 and up, with all entries submitted on

The competition’s six finalists will be announced in July and will compete at the Grand Finale event in New York City in August. The grand prize is a trip for the winner and a guest to Tokyo and Kyushu Island, home of the iichiko distillery.

The all-star lineup of judges* for the competition are:
● Kenta Goto, New York
● Masahiro Urushido, New York
● Julia Momose, Chicago
● Jacques Bezuidenhout, New York
● Kevin Diedrich, San Francisco
● Natasha Sofia, Chicago

“We are very proud that some of the most prominent bartenders 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 are excited by its limitless potential for shaking up the U.S. cocktail scene. We are looking forward to the sports-inspired submissions that will showcase iichiko Saiten’s incomparable versatility and umami notes.”

Competition Guidelines and Grand Prize

Eligible Entrants:
Legal residents of the contiguous 48 U.S. states (and Washington, DC), age 21+

Cocktail Inspiration:
Favorite sport such as Gymnastics, Volleyball and Swimming

Judging Criteria:

    • Best showcasing of iichiko Saiten or a non-alcoholic alternative, with a minimum of 1.5 ounces used in the cocktail
    • Extent to which cocktail reflects inspiration of a summer sport
    • Name of the cocktail
    • Overall flavor and deliciousness
    • Creativity and originality

Recipes must incorporate 1.5 ounces of iichiko shochu or a non-alcoholic alternative and a maximum of five additional and readily accessible ingredients, plus a garnish, to ensure reproducibility.

Submission Period: May – July 15, 2021

Finalists & Winner Announcements:

    • Finalists will be announced July 2021
    • The Grand Finale competition will be held in New York in August 2021
    • The Grand Prize winner will be announced in August 2021

The Grand Prize:

A week-long trip for the winner and their guest (21+ years old) 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.