What are the Japanese Style Gin-based Cocktails Popular Among Londoners? |Suntory ROKU × Yashin Ocean House

New and dynamic craft-gin distilleries have been opening one after another these few years in UK. Above all, London, a trend-setting place for bars in the world, is undergoing an unprecedented gin boom. It’s a hot topic now that Japan’s craft gin ROKU by Suntory has landed last year at this active gin market of UK. Yashin Ocean House, a fancy Japanese restaurant which is very popular among the locals, has recently put new cocktails using ROKU on their menu and has gained a high reputation for it.

Attention! ROKU, a craft gin from Japan which botanicals are uniquely Japanese

Gin is an alcohol that juniper berries, herbs, spices, and other botanicals are infused into spirits. These botanicals are the very essential elements to form a complex character of premium craft gin. ROKU, as its name suggests, uses “six” kinds of botanicals unique to Japan: cherry blossoms, cherry leaves, sencha tea (regular green tea), gyokuro tea (high-quality green tea), sansho Japanese pepper, and yuzu (small citrus fruit). Each botanical has been carefully harvested at the peak of its season and has been soaked in a way that matches each material and then distilled. In the end, these six kinds of distilled spirits are skillfully blended by a Japanese expert. The elegant and fresh aroma of cherries and yuzu that lightly hit the nose, deep deliciousness of tea, and spicy flavor of sansho Japanese pepper that comes as aftertaste are all perfectly harmonized in ROKU. Four seasons and culture of Japan are indeed condensed into this gin.

Maccha Cocktail, using Subtle and Tasteful ROKU

The bar Yashin Ocean House, elegantly stands in South Kensington, a high-class residential area of London. Natural light gently comes in from a skylight, and the stylish counter boldly arranged in emerald green which represents the color of the sea unique to Europe, is impressive. It’s said that 80 – 90% of its customers are the locals. A variety of sashimi using fresh local seafood  served with dramatic presentation using dry ice are popular among regulars. “We had six kinds of gin and tonic using Japanese gin listed on our menu, but no other gin-based cocktail was on the menu. Having been inspired by ROKU, we started serving gin cocktails at our restaurant from this spring,” says Raku Oda, the head sommelier at Yashin.  “Juniper berries are not too strong in ROKU. Fine and clean tastes stand out, and ROKU has a very good balance. In a new cocktail, I wanted to feature Japanese tea, the botanical used in ROKU.  Yuzu juice and egg white are arranged with maccha powders to give the finishing essense to the drink.”

Maccha cocktail recipe

Gin      50ml
Yuzu juice   20ml
Syrup     2 teaspoons
Sliced ginger    3 slices
Mint        5 leaves
Maccha powder  5g
Egg white    1 egg
Lemon zest for garnish

Great Paring of a Gin Cocktail and Carpaccio of Young Yellow Tail

“A gin cocktail is widely known as an aperitif, but ROKU goes quite well with Japanese cuisine because it has a robust flavor of the Japan’s specific botanicals. Especially the aroma of green tea and sansho Japanese peppers matches good with raw fish. I recommend ROKU to enjoy throughout the meal,” Mr. Oda continues. “Young yellow tail carpaccio with orange soy sauce” was pairing dish with the drink. Maccha green which reminds of fresh breath of spring through summer, yellow of lemon, orange sauce…… “I would like you to feel the season from the colors, too. Yuzu is used for the cocktail, so I adjusted the scent of the dish to the citrus flavor by applying the orange sauce.”  The carpaccio is stylishly decorated with fried mackerel bones and chips of beets and carrots poked into a slate. Having the dish with the maccha ROKU cocktail will absolutely win the hearts and minds of Londoners, Japanese cuisine foodies.

Yashin Ocean House

Yashin Ocean House

117 – 119 Old Brompton Rd. South Kensington,
London SW7 3RN
+44 020 7373 3990
12:00-15:00 (LO -14:00) 18:00-23:00 (LO -22:00) Sunday: 12:00-16:30, 18:00-22:00 (LO -21:00)

Photographs by Shu Tomioka, Text by Yuka Hasegawa

更新: 2019年4月23日