The Latch and ROKU Gin have teamed up to help you prep your palette for summer. In this series, we’re uncovering everything you need to know about how to enjoy gin this season.
If you’re a gin fanatic, you’ll know all about the myriad ways to sample your favourite beverage. With few rules to gin making, pretty much everything is on the table for distilleries to throw into the mix and see what comes out the other end. From the blueberry gins, to the elderflower infused, and the cucumber concoctions, gin is a seriously diverse spirit.
Now you’ve got even more flavours to contend with. If you haven’t heard, ROKU Gin has been created by Suntory, Japan’s oldest and most renowned distillers, famous for their Yamazaki Distillery. Their gin uses six Japanese botanicals in addition to the eight traditional gin botanicals, putting a distinct spin on the European-style that we all know and love. Cherry blossom, green tea, and yuzu citrus fruit dominate the flavour palate on top of the familiar gin feel making the drink something entirely new.
It opens up a whole new world of flavour pairings and we are going to run you through some of the less expected tastes to serve up alongside your gin.
Seafood has always been a good go-to for a gin drink pairing. Mainly people focus on the citrus notes which of course cuts through the fatty, oily flavours of the fish. But with ROKU, you can also match the saltiness of seafood to the earthy tea flavours. This gives you a much broader palate to work with.
Try sipping on your ROKU G&T with a half dozen oysters or a plate of sashimi, particularly when giving those little shnacks a soy sauce bath before consumption to up the umami saltiness.
The citrus notes of the yuzu also work well to complement the flavours in daishi broth — seaweed-based and highly salty. If you’re feeling really adventurous, order yourself a ROKU with a veggie ramen or other Japanese noodle dish and see if the flavours don’t pop.
Heavy meat flavours need a strong cut through or a like-for-like drinks pairing. We’re not saying here to go out and drink gin along with a gravy-laden Sunday roast, but lightly seasoned red meats do work particularly well. ROKU in particular has some power here too, given the depth of flavour added once again by those green tea botanicals that make it a more robust drink.
If you plan on sipping ROKU and enjoying with a meat dish, we suggest going for salty flavours, like what you get with bacon. In fact, a charcuterie board with a ROKU negroni could work extremely well. And, if you’re going down the charcuterie board route, pairing a gin with a pâté is a great choice since pâté is often seasoned with the same juniper berries that give gin its characteristic flavour.
It’s not just mains or starters that can pair beautifully with the fresh bitterness of ROKU Gin. Oh no, we’ve got the sweet stuff covered too.
ROKU Gin pairs best with matcha-flavoured treats which accentuate those green tea botanicals. For this, you could try something with a heap of cream and citrus like a matcha pavlova or a matcha cheesecake which will also sit pleasingly with the yuzu citrus notes in the gin.
If you want to really get out on the edge, try combining the freshness of ROKU and the fizz of tonic with a crunch like toffee popcorn. Not only will you get the sweet hit but you’ll also get that saltiness as well. Finally, you can even swap out your morning coffee for a G&T to go along with that buttery crunch of a croissant. Plain or almond would go well here but we don’t recommend trying this one on a weekday.