Enjoy The Spirit of Japan: Best Way to Drink Japanese Gin

One of the hottest new trends in gin is to explore new types of gin from less-traditional countries. Much like its whisky, Japanese gin is now becoming more prominent. It is winning the palates and hearts of many gin drinkers today. However, what is the best way to drink Japanese gin?

Japanese gin can be enjoyed neat on ice or as a cocktail with citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, and oranges. It tastes great when combined with other complimentary alcoholic beverages such as Vermouth. This is because Japanese gin is known for its sweeter, floral aroma and dry and bitter finish.

This article explores the best way to enjoy Japanese gin. It starts by looking at Japanese gin and its taste before looking into several cocktail recipes you can try at home.

What Is Japanese Gin?

Japanese gins are gins that are made in Japan. It is different from common gin in that it uses local botanicals, such as Sakura flowers and green tea, during the distillation. This results in a unique taste that many drinks may find exciting and refreshing. Popular Japanese gins include Roku, Komasa, and Tenjaku.

Japanese gin is a general term given to gin that is distilled and made in Japan. Japanese gin uses local herbs and spices instead of traditional botanicals such as juniper berries or angelica root.

These include cherry blossom (Sakura), Yuzu, green tea, and Sansho pepper. This gives Japanese gin its own unique aroma that many drinkers enjoy. 

Many Japanese gin producers also use the Cold Compounding technique to infuse the gin with botanicals, resulting in a more nuanced and delicate flavor.

Some of the more popular Japanese gin you could buy include Roku, Komasa, Tenjaku, or Ki No Bi.

How Does Japanese Gin Taste?

Japanese gin may have a sweet, floral aroma that may later transition to citrusy and tea-like flavors. It may also taste bold, with heavier herbal notes and a slight tinge of bitterness and tanginess. It may finish dry, spicy, and warm. Some Japanese gins may have a different taste profile.

Suppose you got for yourself a neat pouring of Japanese gin. You may first detect a sweet, floral aroma. As you sniff around a little further, you may notice that the smell transitioned into a citrusy and tea-like aroma. 

Take a sip, and you may notice a bold flavor with heavy herbal notes and a slight tinge of bitterness and tanginess. This may point to the citrus fruits and teas used to make Japanese gin, such as orange peel, Yuzu, and green tea. 

Finally, once you swallow the gin, you may notice a spicy, dry, and warm finish on your throat. This may point to peppers and spices in Japanese gins, such as Sansho pepper.

However, the taste may not encompass all types of Japanese gin. Japanese gins may be made with different combinations of botanicals, herbs, and spices. As a result, you may end up drinking Japanese gin with a different taste profile than the one described here.

Best Way to Drink Japanese Gin

Some of the best ways to enjoy Japanese gin is to enjoy it neat with a splash of water or ice. You can also use it to make traditional gin cocktails such as Gin and Tonic or Gin Fizz. Japanese gins such as Roku may do very well with citrus fruits or mixed with other alcoholic beverages such as Vermouth.

If you want to keep this simple, Japanese gin could be enjoyed similarly to how you enjoy traditional London dry gin or other common gins. You can enjoy them neat, with a splash of water, or on the rocks.

However, some gin drinkers appreciate how Japanese gin tastes. They seek to create cocktail recipes that help to enhance and help the gin to showcase its unique flavor more. 

Here are some recipes you can try to enjoy your Japanese gin. We recommend you start using one of the most popular Japanese gins these days, Roku.

ABV: 43%
Country: Japan
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Sakura Spring Highball

This is a refreshing cocktail that may remind you of the spring cherry blossom in Japan. Mix one part of Roku gin with 3/4 part Briottet Rhubarb liqueur and 3 parts of Hibiscus tonic. Shake even before pouring into a highball glass. Garnish with fresh rhubarb and a small flower to finish.

Gin And Tonic With Ginger

Japanese gin is known for its peppery, warm finish, which can be enhanced with this cocktail. Mix one part of Roku gin with three parts of tonic water. Shake even before pouring into a highball glass with ice. Garnish with some ginger to finish.

Japanese Gin Negroni

The Negroni is a popular Italian cocktail drink. When you switch regular London dry gin with Japanese gin, you may get a twist in how it tastes. 

Mix 1.5 parts Roku gin with 1 part blanc Vermouth, and 1 part Campari liqueur. Shake even before pouring into a rocks glass with a large block of ice. Garnish with some orange twist. 

Japanese Gin Momiji Fizz

This cocktail helps to bring out the Japanese flavor of the Roku gin and may appeal to those who like plums.

Fill up a frozen highball glass with ice cubes, and chuck in a plum fruit. Then pour in a part Roku gin, filling the glass with sparkling plum lemonade. Stir gently before serving.

Japanese Gin Orchard Martinez

If you are tired of your classic Martinez, try this recipe with Japanese gin. Add 3 slices of pear and one part of Roku gin to the mixer. Muddle gently to release the pear flavor. 

Then add one part of sweet Vermouth, and stir for 30 seconds. Pour on a frozen Martini glass before garnishing with a lemon twist.

Final Thoughts

Japanese gin is a unique and exciting spirit that offers a refreshing twist on traditional gin. Its delicate botanicals and clean, crisp taste make it an excellent base for a variety of cocktails.

Whether you’re a gin aficionado or a newcomer to the spirit, trying out some of these Japanese gin cocktail recipes is sure to be a delightful experience.

So why not experiment with some of these recipes at home and discover the wonderful world of Japanese gin for yourself?

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