Yesterday I have tasted the surprisingly different and – to my great joy – really good Jinzu Gin and have also announced plans to use it in a classic Gin & Tonic. So here we go. Though the word “classic” seems not to fit entirely in this context because not only is the gin inspired by Japanese flavors and atmosphere, no, even the tonic water, which I have used today, is inspired by the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s the Original Japanese Tonic Water from the The Original Tonic series. Like the Jinzu Gin actually this tonic water is not a true Japanese product, but – despite its name – is a product of Spain.
Gin & Tonic enjoys an extreme popularity in the Mediterranean since many years and the demand for this classic in relation is significantly higher than it is for instance in Germany. Therefore, it is no surprise that numerous brands of gin and tonic water spring up like mushrooms throughout the Mediterranean in recent times. So the Original Japanese Tonic Water is not the base product, but a special version from The Original Tonic range of. Again, the tonic water relies on the flavor of Japanese yuzu fruit, a kind of lemon with a very aromatic, slightly bitter taste. A little as if a conventional lemon would manage to transfer some of the complexity of the essential oils of its skin to its fruit pulp. In Japan I once had the opportunity to try a fresh yuzu, which is why I still remember the taste quite well. In addition to that, there are also slight tea flavors inside the tonic that promise to make the flavor profile of the Original Japanese Tonic more archetypical.
As a result, Jinzu Gin and The Original Japanese Tonic Water do harmonize really wonderfully. Immediately you can sense the enhanced citrus complexity of this variant of the classic G&T while the light and floral notes are subtly highlighted. I have also added a lime zest, whose slightly tangy freshness underlines the whole drinking experience very beautifully. The only weak point is the fact that the citrus tones of the tonic slightly superimpose the subtle sake tones of the Jinzu. Nonetheless it is a truly successful combination that definitely triggers associations of refreshing moments in a Japanes garden during summer. Fortunately, however, this year’s summer in Germany is not as humid-hot as it usually is in Japan.