• ’Tis the season to be jolly and when #WineWednesday fell on my doorstep this week, I decided to shake things up and serve Roku gin instead.

    Having never heard of a Japanese gin, it was quite a pleasant surprise to my guest when they arrived for wine, but found a drinks trolley with gin – it’s the festive season after all!

    About Roku gin:

    “In Japanese, Roku translates as the number six. Inside every bottle of Roku Gin, you will find six very special botanicals that are sourced in Japan.

    These represent Suntory’s commitment to only use the best ingredients harvested from the best growing areas in Japan.

    Every aspect of Roku Gin is crafted by Japanese artisans with a centuries-old tradition of meticulous attention to detail.

    Not only are Roku Gin’s ingredients of the highest quality, many are also uniquely Japanese and, therefore, best understood by Japanese artisans.

    Suntory’s mastery of this process is the result of extensive experience gained over decades making gin. Suntory developed its own multiple distillation process as a result of the special features each botanical brings to Roku Gin’s perfectly balanced mix.”

    Our verdict:

    We started off the night by tasting Roku gin neat – no trimmings. It’s a beautiful, sweet botanical gin with strong notes of cherry blossom and green tea. While is still tasted like gin as we know it, Roku gin set itself apart with hints pepper –  a lovely, easy gin to drink neat. Some of us found that adding just a small block of ice enhanced the flavour of the gin and brought the green tea flavour to life even more.

    Next, we ventured into the world of mixology and add a splash of tonic water to the gin. The tonic water definitely added a bit of bitterness to the gin, making the gin taste almost completely different. It’s as if the tonic water overpowered the gin itself.

    Roku gin is a Japanese gin, so I served traditionally Asian trimmings like thinly sliced fresh ginger, citrus peel, cinnamon, coriander seeds and juniper berries.

    Final thoughts:

    Adding tonic water and trimmings to the gin masked the original flavour of the gin itself. All of us agreed that Roku gin is best enjoyed neat with a few blocks of ice. If you’re a gin lover, definitely add Roku gin to your collection. I know what I will be sipping on this summer.

    Roku Gin is available at Yuppiechef and Takealot.

    Written by Imka Webb

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com