Spirit of Japan - New Spirit Range
The Wasabi Company will be unveiling their exciting new Spirit of Japan range at GLEE, showcasing the art of distillation, blending flavours rarely found outside Japan in spirits that are smooth and sumptuous. The set of four artisan spirits, made in collaboration with English Spirit Distilleries, comprises Sansho Spiced Rum, Shiso Gin, Wasabi Vodka and Yuzucello. All are excellent taken neat, served with a mixer or sublime in a cocktail; come and try them on stand 7D87 (Hall 8-20) at GLEE.
Both The Wasabi Company and English Spirit are leaders in their field. The Wasabi Company is the only grower of fresh wasabi in the UK and a recognised authority and supplier of fine Japanese products and flavours. English Spirit is one of England’s original artisan distilleries founded by biochemist, Dr John Walters. They make a range of award-winning spirits using innovative techniques, including the first British rum.
All the Spirits are distilled in small batches - in 200 litre stills. Distilling in small batches means a better spirit, because the distiller has more control over what makes it into the final spirit, and what gets left out. Most distilleries use one or two large stills as this is more efficient; whereas English Spirit have twenty small 200 litre stills as they are obsessed with quality and getting the flavours just right. They also use traditional copper stills to distil the spirits because copper helps to improve the flavour.
The Spirit of Japan range has been a fascinating opportunity for collaboration to create something genuinely different:
Sansho Spiced Rum 42% ABC 50cl RRP £38
This unique spirit is a combination of Japanese flavours on a base of the very best English rum. Top notes of smoky soy and sesame provide the light oak & tobacco flavours usually found in an aged rum; these mingle with mouth-watering peppery citrus from the sansho berries, and a rich Christmas cake sweetness from the base rum and Okinawan sugar. The rum is packed with treacly layers of zesty citrus, rich umami and tingling spice which linger on the palate for a sublime finish.
Serve Sansho Spiced Rum with a light ginger beer or enjoy it straight over ice.
Shiso Gin 40% ABC 50cl RRP £36
This is an elegant gin with a balance of traditional Japanese flavours and classic English botanicals. The purple shiso leaves are grown by The Wasabi Company on their farm in Dorset and it is this which provides the delicate shiso flavours of basil, mint and caraway, enhanced by sublime citrus and herbaceous notes. This is a gin that is smooth, refreshing and perfectly balanced.
Serve Shiso Gin with a light tonic and garnish with fresh mint, or a slice of yuzu or lemon.
Wasabi Vodka 40% ABV 50cl RRP £36
Although Wasabi Vodka from The Wasabi Company has been available for several years, this new, improved version made in collaboration with English Spirit is very different, with a far more intense flavour from the wasabi. In addition to the obvious heat imbued by the wasabi, there are delicate notes of earthy brassica with a hint of cumin and orris. Overall, it is buttery at the start, followed by heat, then earthy notes to close, and a mild bitterness on the finish. There is also a blend of sweet mustard and radish, ascending to high notes of star anise and pepper, and a complex lingering warmth to be savoured and enjoyed. The vodka is remarkably smooth, and the only heat or fieriness comes from the wasabi, not the spirit, as should be the case in good quality vodka.
Serve Wasabi Vodka over ice with soda water, or your choice of mixer.
Yuzucello 22% ABV 50cl RRP £29
Yuzucello is much more refined than Limoncello. On the mouth it produces an immediate zesty explosion of fresh mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and lime followed by a gentle citrus acidity and gland-tingling sherbet, and a final hit of sweetness and lasting zestiness. On the nose there is a sharp, almost mouth-watering citrus aroma.
Serve Yuzucello as a liqueur with soda water or your choice of mixer.
Jon Old, Founder of The Wasabi Company says: “The Spirit of Japan range brings real Japanese flavours to English palates like never before in a stunning selection of four artisan spirits.
“They reflect the current interest there is in fine crafted English spirits and the broader, consumer trend for Japanese food and flavours. We predict they will appeal to customers looking for something sophisticated and a little different.”
The Spirit of Japan range comes in individual bottles of 50cl and a beautifully packaged Gift Set of 4 x 5cl – unusually one bottle of each variety; simply perfect as a gift or a way to encourage customers to try all four spirits before choosing a favourite!
Visit stand 7D87 (Hall 8-20) or wasabicompany.co.uk to try them for yourself.
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