Japan is traditionally known for their consumption and production of Sake. While Japanese Liquors do not have much of a history, they are starting to make headway with whisky, gin and liqueurs.
Japan’s first distillery, Suntory, was opened in Yamazaki in 1924. Torii Shinjiro and Taketsuru Masataka are credited with being the forefathers of Japanese whisky. Now days Suntory is joined by Nikka, Kirin, White Oak, Chichibu and others in producing Japanese whisky.
The Japanese also produce gins. The Kyoto Distillery started crafting gin in 2016, followed by Nikka and Suntory a year later. Japanese gins are known for their own unique twists with ingredients such as yuzu, cypress, bamboo, gyokuro tea and Japanese peppercorns.
Japan’s liqueurs focus on seasonal ingredients. Some popular seasonal liqueurs include:
Umeshu- a plum liqueur
Mikanshu- a citrus liqueur, similar to tangerines
Yuzushu- a liqueur made from yuzu fruit
While Japan doesn’t have a rich spirit history, they do produce several world-acclaimed whiskies with gins soon to follow!
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