IN A cool and quiet lounge, have a sip of the double shot of Masahiro Okinawa Gin RECIPE 01 chilled with an ice ball.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes and be transported to a beautiful beach with tropical sunshine and bright blue waters.
Those of us who like a strong drink, can enjoy this gin neat, and savour the brute strength of the 47% alcohol content.
The alcohol content leans on the high side for gins, more usually found in the percentage range of high 30s to low 40s.
However, the masculinity is well supported by the peppery spiciness and a slightly bitter aftertaste. You’d understand why from looking at the label that two key ingredients are the Japanese long pepper (very small, very spicy peppercorns!) and goya (a small Japanese bitter gourd).
A softer, more popular way to enjoy this Okinawa gin is to prepare it as a highball: gin, soda water and ice. The mixed drink turns slightly cloudy. As with having it on the rocks, the natural oils in the gin “freezes out” and forms a colloidal mix when ice is added.
The base of this gin comes from awamori, an Okinawa drink that is made by distilling long grain indica rice. The distilled rice contains traces of natural oils, giving it the cloudiness when mixed with iced cocktails. Bartenders love the versatility and colour that they can add to this gin.
The highball version, well chilled, with a citrusy fragrance and the strength of the alcohol content suppressed, is a refreshing drink to go with a dozen sticks of satay and the accompaniments of raw onions and pineapple peanut sauce. The sweet-spicy and char-grilled barbecued flavour of the satay pairs wonderfully with the highball.
To top it off, if you happen to be at a seafood restaurant – ideally by the beach – try enjoying the highball with a dish of deep-fried mini-squids, aka deep fried sotong.
I would recommend both the chilled versions of this Masahiro Okinawa Gin RECIPE 01 be enjoyed with a well fired Steak Fiorentina at Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse, a Bedrock Pepper Steak at Bedrock Bar & Grill, grilled iberico pork at The Gong or a Josper-grilled octopus at FOC Pim Pam.
These restaurants have the perfect pairings for this refreshingly powerful gin.