Ki No Bi, Japan

Profile: Floral, Herbal

Taste: Roses, earth, citrus

Recommended Garnish: Orange and lemon slice

The high level of attention and detail from the highly experienced makers of this gin absolutely nailed it, and set the bar very high for the first ever Japanese gin. Made in Kyoto, this gin captures a full range of exotic Japanese flavors across the floral, citrus, earthy, and herbal spectrum. I think this is one of the only times I have tried a gin and come away with a remarkable sense that the makers have captured terroir–a sense of the regional identity of this product only by tasting it. Incredibly well balanced, harmonious, elevated by the use of a high-quality local water source.

I find this gin so delicate and quite on the earthy side, possibly from the use of gyokuro tea or green sanshō (Japanese peppercorn). To highlight and bring forward the yuzu notes, i recommend garnishing with an orange and lemon slice. Yuzu is a fruit grown in parts of Asia such as China, Korea, and Japan–it is probably somewhere close to a grapefruit/orange/lemon hybrid, so this garnish may be the closest we can get on our own little volcanic island in Iceland.

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