Kokoro gin releases Japanese-flavoured liqueurs

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London-based gin company Kokoro is introducing a range of three premium gin liqueurs with flavours from Japan.

The three expressions, Kokoro Blueberry and Lemongrass, Kokoro Yuzu and Ginger and Kokoro Cherry Blossom, will be available to wholesalers and the on and off trade via Mangrove this month.

Blueberries are a relatively new flavour for Japan, with the fruit first cultivated in the 1950s. Nagano Prefecture specialises in large and sweet blueberries, and people travel to the region specifically to spend the day blueberry picking.

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that tastes like a cross between a lime and a grapefruit, whereas cherry blossom has a “uniquely floral” flavour with a soft hint of cherry.

The timing of the Kokoro launch celebrates spring in Japan and the famous cherry blossom viewing season known as Hanami.

The clear glass bottles present three different designs using Japanese images which together form a triptych of Mount Bandai in Fukushima prefecture in Japan. The illustrations have been painted by master calligrapher Koshu.

Kokoro founder James Nicol said: “We’re delighted to be adding these exciting Japanese liqueurs to the Kokoro family. We’ve spent the last two years developing the range using authentic, natural Japanese ingredients.

“We’re proud that our family business is continuing to support the preservation of the forest in Japan where the sansho berries grow and which are at the heart of our gin.

“We will be giving 10% from the sale of every bottle of Kokoro Gin and the Kokoro Liqueurs to help preserve the forest which is close to my family’s heart.”

In the on-trade, Kokoro aims to provide an authentic Japanese base for a G&T and in cocktails.

Signature cocktails include:

Afan Bramble
50ml Kokoro Gin
25ml Lemon juice
10ml Sugar syrup
15ml Kokoro Gin Blueberry & Lemongrass Liqueur
Shake first three ingredients and strain over ice. Drizzle Kokoro Blueberry & Lemongrass liqueur on top. Garnish with a lemon fan and blueberry.

Kokoro Collins
25ml Kokoro Gin
25ml Kokoro Yuzu & Ginger Liqueur
25ml Lemon juice
10ml Sugar syrup
125ml Soda water
Shake first four ingredients and strain into a hi-ball glass over ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a large sliver of fresh ginger and a lemon twist.

Sakura 75
20 ml Kokoro Gin
20 ml Kokoro Cherry Blossom Liqueur
10ml Lemon juice
125ml Prosecco or champagne
Shake first three ingredients and strain into a long flute. Top with prosecco or champagne. Garnish with a cherry.

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