Japanese cuisine and alcohol has become amongst the most sought after around the world. Even non-Japanese chefs have adopted trends in Japanese food and drink and with Japanese whisky considered the best in the world, it’s no surprise other spirits are becoming popular. Japanese gin is the latest drink becoming popular and extremely on trend.
In 2014 Cambridge Distillery came out and proclaimed they had created the world’s first ever umami Japanese gin, using botanicals from Japan and distilling them in the UK. Watenshi Gin was created and considered the most expensive gin in the world.
The first dedicated Japanese gin distillery was opened last year. The Kyoto Distillery began by producing rice-based gin Ki No Bi Gin. Bringing together Japanese botanicals such as yellow yuzu and gyokuru tea, it has a completely unique and original gin flavour which doesn’t compare to any others on the market. The Kyoto Distillery continues to innovate with new product launches and blends which give their gin its distinctive and ultimately Japanese flavour.
Other Japanese spirits producers have been looking into the gin market too. Famous brand Nikka have expanded into both gin and vodka and they bring a combination of classic gin botanicals such as juniper and angelica with Japanese botanicals, once again creating a new flavour unlikely any other.
Watch out for “Japanese Gin”
As genuine Japanese gins become more popular, industry experts believe there will be growth in the sector of products labelled “Japanese gin” simply because they incorporate Japanese ingredients. Drinks may find themselves looking for authenticity markers, regulation and other ways of being sure they are enjoying a genuine Japanese gin and not simply a product labelled as such. As the Japanese spirits industry sees more and more gins launched, there will be the need for further clarification for the benefit of consumers.