Waitrose goes East for new Oriental craft gin

Waitrose has become the first UK supermarket to introduce a gin made in Japan.

With sales of gin at Waitrose up 30%, the retailer said it is constantly searching for new styles to meet shoppers’ thirst for the popular spirit. Roku, a craft gin from Japanese distillery The House of Suntory, launches into shops this month.

Waitrose spirits buyer John Vine commented: “We are proud of our range of British gin but there is still room to experiment with drinks from further afield. Japanese whisky once raised eyebrows but now wins awards and sits happily alongside established Scottish brands in the UK. We are confident that Roku will be popular with gin fans and it’s just the tonic for showing off to guests.”

Roku means six in Japanese and the new craft gin boasts six Japanese botanicals including two styles of green tea (Sencha and Gyokuru), Yuzu, Sanshō pepper, and Sakura (cherry blossom) flower and leaf. The signature way to serve Roku is with ice, tonic and six slithers of fresh ginger, instead of the usual lemon.

The drink is presented in a hexagonal bottle with a label printed on ‘washi’ (traditional Japanese paper). It is available in Waitrose branches nationwide and on WaitroseCellar.com, priced at £30 (70cl).




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