Japanese gin - but oddly not from Japan
Ask the man in the street where Japanese gin comes from and he’d look at you pityingly. "Japan, of course!" But actually this 42% ultra-premium gin comes from Cambridge, England.
It’s been made by the Cambridge Distillery from what they describe as ‘Japanese botanicals’ which include shiso leaf, sansho pepper, sesame seeds, cucumber and citrussy yuzu peel along with the mandatory juniper. All the botanicals are distilled individually in small batches under vacuum which distiller Will Lowe claims is what preserves their freshness and individuality.
I was set to scoff but it is in fact a gorgeous gin with the clean pure Japanese flavours that characterise Japanese food. I can imagine it going beautifully with sashimi or any kind of fresh seafood. (Crab would be perfect.)
The bottle which is hand-screen printed is rathe gorgeous too - as well it might be for £64.99 (at Selfridges) though you can buy a rather dinky 100ml miniature that looks like a perfume bottle for £16.99, roughly the price of a couple of cocktails. The temptation to dab it behind your ears is almost irresistible.
Is it worth twice as much as a premium gin and three times as much as an everyday brand? Not for most of us but given the given the amount of money sloshing around in London at the moment and the general buzz surrounding gin there will be plenty of takers and even at this price its considerably cheaper than many whiskies.
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