Sashimi and Gin, the Ultimate Love Story

If gin is not typically something you would consider the natural partner of raw fish, get ready to have your expectations turned upside down by this flavour pairing. Aussies might typically be quicker to offer up a nice Pinot Gris or a Chardonnay with seafood but sashimi and gin is an unexplored avenue we think needs to be taken a whole lot further. 

Chefs around the world have been experimenting with these flavour pairings for a few years now by using gin to infuse white fish with those earthy botanicals. The results have been promising but it hasn’t quite taken off like it should have. 

Leave it up to Japan then to find a way to perfectly blend gin and fish. Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish that makes up an integral part of any sushi plate. Match this with a cut-through citrusy hit like you get with ROKU Gin and you’re opening up a whole new world of flavours.

How to drink gin with fish

Japanese gin doesn’t really have an overall characteristic as there’s a tonne of distinction between distilleries. However, you can expect that they will use native botanicals unlike the ones we use here. ROKU Gin by Suntory uses cherry blossom, green tea, and the citrus fruit yuzu to flavour its gin which gives it a sweet and floral profile. If we have to speak generally, we would say Japanese gin is generally smoother and sweeter with more pronounced flavours as it tends to use fewer botanicals which allows each them each shine through individually. 

Sashimi is high in oil and protein and to cut through this you’re going to need citrus which you get in spades with ROKU Gin. Mixing it up as a G&T and garnishing it with ginger will help to balance out those flavours. The ginger is also going to act as a palate cleanser between bites to refresh your taste buds. 

When to choose gin with your fish

While you might expect to drink sake when you go out for sushi, the flavour profiles are actually not designed to complement each other. Sake is a rice-based beverage so drinking that with a dish that heavily features rice is only going to muddy the flavours. You want contrast, you want vibracy. That’s where gin comes in.

It works perfectly with subtle, light flavours, like you get in sashimi and white fish. Heavier, meatier fish might not be the best addition and things like teriyaki are going to throw the balance too. Think delicate and salty and you can’t go too wrong. 

So… who else is salivating?