I love trying new things! Basically anything can be turned in to alcohol (that doesn’t always mean its palatable FYI) and while do to certain rules you might not be able to always classify the item as what you want (i.e. you can’t call sparkling wine, no matter how fancy it is, Champagne if its not from Champagne) but you can still make a quality product anywhere in the world with local items. This brings me back to my originals statement of trying new things. I love gin! It’s such a versatile spirit and can be made out of an array of botanicals. I just recently tried House of Suntory’s Roku Gin and I was pleasantly surprised. The bottle boasts being made with 6 Japanese botanicals: Sakura flower (cherry blossom), Sakura leaf, Yuzu peel, Sencha tea , Gyokuro tea, and Sanshō pepper. I threw mine in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill before tasting and was pleasantly surprised that you could pick up subtle hints of these special botanicals. Most significantly I picked up on the floral cherry blossom, slight bitterness of green tea, and a crisp finish of citrus. It was softer than more traditional gin styles, which I think makes it great for those who complain that gin tastes like potpourri. It tasted great in a gin and tonic, but then I wanted to see how it would hold up to other flavors. In the Pacific Breeze I amp up those key flavors I tasted with grapefruit, lemon, rosewater, citrus bitters, and a touch of sweetness from honey. So refreshing and great for this odd heat wave we are having in the middle of spring in California! Enjoy!
2oz Grapefruit Juice
1oz Lemon Juice
0.5oz Rose Water
2oz Suntory Roku Gin
2 Dashes Citrus Bitters
0.25oz Honey (about half a teaspoon)
Garnish: Lemon Slice
Using a cocktail shaker add all of your ingredients except the lemon garnish. I like to use a spoon to give it a quick stir to dissolve the honey before adding the ice. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Fill a high ball glass with crushed ice and strain cocktail in to the glass. Garnish with the lemon slice and a straw. Enjoy!
Notes: You can get rose water at a liquor store like Total wine, but if you have access to an Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store you can also get it there for much cheaper! You can also completely make it from scratch, which I’ve done before, but it can almost be more expensive to do depending on the cost of roses in your area. I happened to use Meyer Lemons and Rio Oso Grapefruit from my backyard, but you can use an standard lemon and grapefruit from the grocery store. Just note that the color might be different, but who cares! If you use ruby red grapefruit it will turn a subtle pink color which is pretty. If you feel adventurous substitute the citrus bitters for a couple dashes of Tabasco Hot Sauce and you will be in for a shocking treat!