Japanese spring blooms with gin-based cocktails

(From left) Roku Sakura Bloom Gin withgin and tonic, Hanami Collins, Sakura Blossom Gin and Tonic, and Creaming Blossom cocktails.

Celebrating the beauty of Japanese springtime, the House of Suntory unveils a new addition to its Roku Gin family in Malaysia – the Roku Sakura Bloom Edition.

This marks a milestone in the House of Suntory’s Festival Collection – the first release in the global series of Roku Gin spirits crafted to capture the essence of the seasons.

It pays homage to the world-renowned annual Hanami festival, when the Japanese gather to savour the cherry blossom (sakura) season.

“The Roku Sakura Bloom gin provides immersion into the cultural origins of the product as well as a unique taste profile.

“This gives the brand a compelling point of difference in the premium gin market,” Beam Suntory global advocacy manager James Bowker said during the launch at Wet Deck at W Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

With soft, gentle floral notes, the smooth Roku Sakura Bloom gin gave subtle notes of saltiness and sweetness, thanks to its meticulous blend of sakura flower and leaf, yuzu peel, sencha tea (green tea), Gyokuro tea (refined green tea) and sansho pepper.

The launch at Wet Deck featured three cocktails – Hanami Collins, Sakura Blossom Gin and Tonic, and Creaming Blossom – while 19 other bars across Malaysia will also be serving their own Roku Sakura Bloom Gin cocktails crafted by talented mixologists, highlighting its versatility paired with different ingredients.

The collaborating bars are Concubine, Desire Speakeasy, Frank’s Bar, Here and Now, Ikiya 2.0, Jann, Louie’s Bar, Pahit, Penrose, Rakh, Reka:Bar, The Vault and Bar Trigona in Kuala Lumpur as well as Remedy and Terumi in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

In Penang, Roku Sakura Bloom cocktails will be served at Good Friends Club and Backdoor Bodega, while in Johor, they will feature at Cabinet 8 and Shui Bar.

Bar Trigona, ranked 36 on 50 Asia’s Best Bars List 2023, takes on the Sakura Spritzer using Roku Sakura Bloom gin, sakura wine, green vanilla soda and sakura flower, and the Sakura Punch using gin with lacto-fermented cacao, soursop, coconut milk and sour cherry.

“The gin has delicate fragrance, highlighted by hints of fresh flowers, red berries and cherries, is reminiscent of Cherry Drops candy, alongside accents of pink grapefruit citrus, sansho spice and a subtle touch of saltiness on the floral finish,” said Bar Trigona head bartender Rohan Matmary.

At Good Friends Club, the Serendipity mixes Roku Sakura Blossom Gin with vodka, Lillet, melon, grapefruit, rosemary, apple and cucumber pickle while The GF Club combines it with raspberry, sunflower seed, lemon juice and matcha.

Good Friends Club bartender Wong Kelvin said the gin has a distinct floral character.

“With its delicate floral notes and subtle sweetness, it is a smooth gin that is unmatched and difficult to replace.”

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gin , sakura , roku , beam suntory


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