Suntory Expands Beyond Japanese Whisky With New Vodka And Gin Releases

Photo: Beam Suntory

Even if you aren’t acquainted with Japanese whisky, you’ve probably seen the 2003 Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson film Lost In Translation. In the movie, Murray’s character Bob Harris travels to Tokyo to star in commercials for Suntory whisky. There’s a memorable scene where he recites the line, “for relaxing times, make it Suntory time.” Suntory is a major name in the world of Japanese whisky (and world whisky) with brands like Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Hibiki. The company is one of the biggest whisky (and whiskey) producers in the world; now it’s expanding to vodka and gin.

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This month, Suntory announced the launch of Haku Vodka and Roku Gin. The vodka, made from 100 percent Japanese white rice that is distilled before being filtered through bamboo charcoal, is exclusively available in the U.S.

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Having a great way to wind down my Monday at the launch party of @suntory_rokugin and Suntory Haku Vodka Lovely sunset views and a white negroni 😍 Cheers! #rokugin #hakuvodka

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Suntory is also releasing Roku Gin in the U.S., but it’s available in other countries as well. It’s made using six traditional Japanese botanicals. That’s why it’s called Roku (Japanese for “six”). The botanicals are sakura flower, sakura leaf, yuzu peel, sencha tea, gyokuro tea, and sansho pepper. On top of that, this truly unique gin also contains eight traditional botanicals that are infused, distilled, and finally blended.

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Engraved on each face of the hexagonal bottle of ROKU are the 6 botanicals. They are Sakura flower, Sakura leaf, Sencha tea, Gyokuro tea, Sansho pepper and Yuzu. The unique ROKU bottle expresses each flavor and aroma that are all included in this product. While enjoying ROKU, have a look at each design on the bottle. ROKUの六角形のボトルには、日本の自然が育んだ六つのボタニカルが彫刻されています。 桜花、桜葉、煎茶、玉露、山椒、柚子が1面ずつに描かれ、これら六つのボタニカルがROKUの香味を生みだしていることを表現しています。 ROKUを楽しむ時は、ぜひボトルを眺めながらそれぞれの香味を探してみてください。 #roku #gin #rokugin #japanesegin #craftgin #Japanesecraftgin #gintonic #newgin #botanical #sakura #sakuraleaf #sencha #gyokuro #sanshou #yuzu #Japanesebartending #rokucocktail #cocktailrecipe #rokusignature #cocktail #sake #japan #beamsuntory #六 #ジン #ジャパニーズクラフトジン #日本

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“We are thrilled to release Roku Gin and Haku Vodka in the U.S. as part of the House of Suntory,” said Claire Richards, senior director of the House of Suntory at Beam Suntory, in a press release. “The launch of these two brands creates a great opportunity for craft spirits enthusiasts to discover new tastes and experiences that further embody Shinjiro Torii’s vision of a challenge and quest for excellence.”

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Now fans of Japanese whisky can take a break from their traditional whisky highballs to try a gin and tonic with an Asian flare or a vodka soda with a taste of Tokyo. Or don’t even worry about the cocktail and just give them the respect they deserve by sipping them neat.