The Kyoto Distillery can lay claim to being the first Japanese artisanal gin maker thanks to the launch of their flagship product the Kinobi Kyoto Dry Gin in 2016.
Since then, they have launched another gin, the Ki No Tea, and the two large Japanese distilling groups Suntory and Nikka have both entered the gin market with their own bottles.
Thanks to the huge success of these gins, craft distilleries are also popping up across the country, launching in major cities including Okinawa, Osaka, Sendai, Miyazaki and most recently Hiroshima, meaning consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting bottles of Japanese gin.
Starting with one of the largest distilling companies in Japan, Suntory launched their gin, the Suntory Roku Gin, as the first gin in their growing list of distilled spirits.
Made from six Japanese botanicals grown across all four seasons in Japan, and in conjunction with other botanicals commonly found in gins, the Suntory Roku Gin contrasts sublime notes of citrus with a slightly spicy finish to make for a highly refreshing and distinctly Japanese drinking experience.
Nikka, not to be outdone by others in Japan, launched their first gin, the Nikka Coffey Gin, to grow their own stable of other Coffey or column distilled spirits.
Made using eleven carefully selected botanicals, the gin contrasts strong citrus flavours with a subtle spicy finish that still manages to be unlike anything made elsewhere in the world.
Beyond these, the Japanese gin industry is constantly expanding, making it possible for consumers to find new tasting experiences every time they revisit Japanese gin.
For a greater explanation of some of the flavours found in many of the previously mentioned bottles, reach this article.
Pairing Food with Japanese Gin
Japanese bars and distilleries are famous for producing some of the most inventive and unique drinking experiences thanks to their attention to detail and access to a wide variety of natural ingredients.
Not only does this translate into some exquisitely flavoured gins, it also allows bartenders in Japan to craft cocktails that won’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Japan continues the tradition of mixing gin with tonic water in the classic Gin & Tonic, however, distillers encourage consumers to garnish their drink with ginger to complement the botanicals commonly found in many Japanese gins.
Other notable examples include the Japanese Gin Martini, which again uses ginger as the garnish, and is expertly made in bars and restaurants across the country.