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Awamori – A Traditional Spirit for the Modern Age

March 1 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm


**In Person Event**
**Attendees must be 21 or older**

Japanese sake is widely known around the world, but have you heard of Awamori?
 Come learn about this traditional Okinawan distilled spirit from Yuki Sakihara the Awamori Queen and watch Netflix Drink Masters star Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana give a live demonstration on how to incorporate Awamori into your next cocktail.

After hearing from the experts, attendees will also get the special opportunity to try a cocktail made by Suzu exclusively for this event. A gourmet Japanese dinner will also be provided.

Join us for an exciting in-person program and the rare chance to be immersed in the topic of Awamori!

▼Event Details
Date: March 1, 2023

Venue: Werqwise | 149 New Montgomery St 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105

5:30 Registration
6:00 Welcome by Gillian Barry-Smith | Program Manager, Japan Society of Northern California & Yasushi Noguchi | Consul General of Japan in San Francisco
6:05 Scene Setting Gillian Barry-Smith | Program Manager, Japan Society of Northern California
6:10 Yuki Sakihara | Awamori Queen, All About Awamori
6:15 Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana | General Manager, Wildhawk
Demonstration (2 cocktails) with Interview & Fireside Chat
6:45 Q&A
7:00 Closing Remarks Steve Pollock | President, Japan Society of Northern California
7:00 Tasting & Networking
8:00 Program Ends


  • Members: Free (Promotion code is required)
  • Non-Members: $20


Our Amazing Speakers:

Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana
Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana is from the San Francisco Bay Area but also grew up in Tokyo. Born into the restaurant industry–his grandparents owned and operated a small restaurant company that consisted of four restaurants, a cocktail bar, and a ranch that sourced all of the business’ produce–Suzu traveled to Japan twice a year starting at the age of 12 to learn about hospitality, food, and management. Whether behind the bar (most notably at 15 Romolo, Tradition, Benjamin Cooper, and Wildhawk) or at cocktail competitions, he strives to take the lessons learned from his grandparents and adapt them to his everyday work, and his creations are heavily inspired by memories, flavors, and dreams of Tokyo. Suzu’s career highlights include becoming a National Finalist for Bacardi Legacy (2018), Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender (2020), and one of Punch’s Bartenders in Residence (2021); being featured on Imbibe magazine’s Imbibe 75 list (2022) and nominated for Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Bartender of the Year (Top 10, 2022); recipient of StarChef’s Rising Star Community Award (2022); and most recently, competing in Netflix’s Drink Masters (2022).


Yuki Sakihara | Awamori Queen
Yuki Sakihara is the 36th Queen of Awamori and Ambassador of Awamori to Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. She was anointed in July 2022. She is passionate about Awamori, the pride and treasure of Okinawa, and enjoys learning about its’ history, tradition, and impact on culture. Yuki graduated from Kwansei Gakuin University in 2011. After graduating, she was involved in the production of TV programs in Tokyo. She later went on to become a reporter for a local Okinawa newspaper, a lecturer, and a real estate agent. Now, she is focused on connecting people from different cultures through Awamori. Let’s spread Awamori to the world together!




Generously sponsored by:



March 1
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm


149 New Montgomery
San Francisco, CA
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