Cheers! to Roku Gin

9 December 2022
By Fashion Quarterly

Raise a toast and your at-home cocktail game with Roku gin recipes to get you into the spirit.

From left: Artedomus ‘Light Travertine Tumbled and Unfilled’ tiles, POA. Corey Ashford cocktail coasters, $195/set of two, from Superette. Roku gin, from $60. Maison Balzac ‘Pomponette Gobelet’ tumbler, $159/set of two, from Superette. Fazeek ‘Wave’ highball glass, $129/set of two, and ‘Wave’ coupe glass, $149/ set of two, from Superette. Maison Balzac ‘Pomponette’ champagne coupe, $139/set of two, from Maman. A&C Homestore ‘Soho’ wine glass, $25. Maison Balzac ‘Classic Gobelet’ tumbler, $109/set of four. Mixologist’s own spoon. Image: Belinda Merrie.

Once upon a time, if you craved an amazing cocktail, heading to a bar was your best bet. Those days are all but over now. Call it the silver lining of unfortunate Covid closures, but at-home cocktail culture seems to have taken off, and one of the most versatile spirits to experiment with is gin. We’re not talking your classic London dry style, though — we’ve become fast fans of premium Japanese craft gin Roku. 

Created by the House of Suntory in Osaka, Roku has a delicate and refreshing flavour. Its name means ‘six’, and this number is embodied in the six botanicals blended into every bottle: sakura flower, sakura leaf, yuzu peel, sencha tea (green tea), gyokuro tea (refined green tea) and sanshō pepper. They’re cultivated over four seasons for the perfect balance and in accordance with the concept of ‘shun’, which sees each harvested at the peak of its season to extract the best flavour and maximise the gifts of nature.

For the New Zealand summer, we asked Roku to curate a quartet of cocktails for you to emulate and enjoy at home. Each reflects the story of shun and requires classic Kiwi-summer ingredients. 

Roku summer highball. Image: Belinda Merrie.

Roku summer highball

Ingredients:

  • 35ml Roku gin
  • 20ml Italicus liqueur
  • 90ml floral tonic
 

Method:

Add all of the ingredients to a glass filled with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Garnish with a fresh strawberry and a sprig of basil.

Kyoto club. Image: Belinda Merrie.

Kyoto club

Ingredients:

  • 50ml Roku gin
  • 25ml chilled green tea
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 15ml raspberry syrup
 

Method: 

Add all of the ingredients to a glass filled with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Garnish with a sprig of lavender or fresh berries.

Stonefruit shines. Image: Belinda Merrie.

Stonefruit shines

Ingredients:

  • 40ml Roku gin
  • 10ml Lillet Blanc wine
  • 10ml umeshu (plum wine)
  • 10ml apricot liqueur
 

Method: 

Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 30 seconds, then pour into a glass and garnish with lemon.

Natsu spritz. Image: Belinda Merrie.

Natsu spritz

Ingredients:

  • 50ml Roku gin
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Sliced fresh peach
  • Fresh blueberries
  • 100ml tonic
 

Method: 

Add the gin and honey to a glass and stir to dissolve. Add ice and the fruit, stir for 15 seconds, then top with the tonic. Garnish with an orange wedge.

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