Want to try the best Japanese gin? Check out this curated list of top artisanal and craft gin that is extremely popular and flavoursome. Read further to know more about it.
Ah! the iconic spirit that is a gift to us from juniper berries. Gin was first made as a medicinal liquor in Europe but soon spread around the world as an object of commerce.
Over the years, the Japanese have found a way to infuse their rich culture into the production of this spirit.
So how is Japanese gin different from other gins? The Japanese add traditional ingredients like yellow yuzu, bamboo, sencha tea, sakura flower, and green sansho peppercorns to their gins.
This is what gives Japanese gin its unique taste. Besides their infusion of flavours, the exquisite bottles that Japanese gins come in make them stand out in the spirit market.
- Related: Best Japanese Beer Brands
- Related: Top Japanese Whiskey Brands
- Related: Best Japanese Sake Brands
Let’s check out some of the top Japanese gin below.
Best Japanese Gin: Quick Summary
|Best Japanese Gin||Ingredients||Alcohol by volume (ABV)|
|KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin||Yellow yuzu, Hinoki wood chips||45.7%|
|Roku Craft Gin||Sakura flower, Sakura leaf, Sencha tea||43%|
|Nikka Coffey Gin||Yuzu, Kabosu, Amanatsu, Shequasar||47%|
|Yaso 103||Yomogi, Turmeric, Houttuynia cordata, Lotus leaves, Ginseng||41%|
|Benizakura 9148||Kombu, Shiitake mushrooms, Dried Daikon, Horseradish||45%|
|Sakurao Original||Yuzu, Oyster shells, Cypress, Red shiso, Sakura, Coriander seeds||47%|
|KI NO TEA Kyoto Dry Gin||Tencha, Gyokuro tea, Yuzu, Lemon, Hinoki, Juniper berries||45.1%|
|Sakurao Japanese Dry Gin Limited||Japanese sakura, Japanese juniper berries, Kuromoji, Kinome, wasabi||47%|
Top Japanese Gin
KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin
First up on our list is the first Japanese gin made in Kyoto. KI NO BI is probably one of the most popular and the best Japanese gin in Japan.
It stays true to the dry style but also combines the flavours of Japanese ingredients like yuzu, gyokuro tea, Japanese cypress wood chips, bamboo, and green sansho peppercorns.
It has a slight gingery spice at the finish that gives it its unique taste. It is bottled at 45.7% and is created using pure groundwater from the sake brewing district of Fushimi and a rice spirit base.
What is unique about this gin is that the botanicals are separated into six elements- base, citrus, tea, herbal, spice, fruity and floral- and they are distilled individually.
Related: Check out Awamori Island Sake, one of the most amazing sake in Japan
Roku Craft Gin
Roku is Japanese for the number six. Roku is the best Japanese craft gin gets its name from the six Japanese botanicals that go into creating it.
They are cultivated over four different seasons and are harvested at peak season so that the best flavours may be extracted. This gin is by Suntory that is known for its world-class whiskies and is often considered the best Japanese gin.
Traditionally crafted by skilled Japanese artisans, this spirit is filtered through bamboo charcoal and this results in a smooth and slightly sweet flavour. Like Kyoto Distillery, Suntory distils their botanicals individually.
It is bottled at 47% ABV in Japan and 43% ABV outside of Japan. Another Japanese accent is the bottle. It bears impressions of the six botanicals and the label is made of washi paper. Do try out this best Japanese gin.
Nikka Coffey Gin
The Miyagikyo distillery is known for its highly sought after whiskey. Coffey Gin was introduced to the world in 2017. It is crafted with a lovely blend of eleven traditional botanicals and the silky texture of Coffey distillates.
It has a citrus flavour and a tingling finish from the sansho peppercorns. It also has a hint of apples that hold an important place in the history of Nikka. It is bottled at 47% ABV and is a great choice for a martini.
The best way to drink Japanese gin is to add some tonic water in proportion and enjoy it.
Yaso 103 is a limited edition gin limited to 2020. It is created from eighty types of natural plants and twenty-three local Japanese botanicals including cloves, ginseng berries, and Japanese carrot leaves.
It is bottled at 41% ABV. What sets this gin apart from the rest is that it doesn’t come from a lineage of sake and shochu distilleries. This is one of the best Japanese gin brands to have.
Echigo Yakuso, the parent company, is actually a herbal medicinal company that produces health products whose main ingredient is Japanese mugwort.
George Orwell has been immortalized by Benizakura, who named its first gin after his 1984 novel. This spirit is created from local Hokkaido botanicals that include kombu, shiitake mushrooms, dried daikon, and red shiso.
A unique feature of Benizakura, the best Japanese gin, is that it releases only small batches of about five hundred bottles of a recipe before changing it. This best Japanese gin’s ABV is about 45%.
Sakura gin is known to be produced in a German-made, copper hybrid still. It is made using a hybrid distillation method that incorporates the steeping method and vapour method.
This is the ideal way to extract the individual flavours of each botanical. It is bottled at 47% ABV and is known for its citrus-like aroma with the distinct flavour of traditional gin.
This craft gin is created with nine botanicals that are native to Hiroshima like Japanese cypress, green tea, red perilla and ginger, and five imported botanicals that include juniper berries and coriander seeds.
KI NO TEA Kyoto Dry Gin
Created with various super-premium Uji teas, KI NO TEA is a boon to gin and tea lovers. A true reflection of the rich Japanese culture, Tencha and Gyokuro give this spirit a rich aroma and intense flavour. The flavour makes it the best Japanese gin.
This is one of the best Japanese gin that has a base of juniper berries, orris and hinoki and a long and clean finish of roasted green tea. It is bottled at 45.1% ABV.
Sakurao Japanese Dry Gin Limited
Seventeen special botanicals from Hiroshima go into creating this limited-edition gin. A combination of steeping and vapour methods is used to extract the rich flavours of each ingredient. This is the best Japanese gin for gin and tonic.
It contains Japanese sakura (cherry blossom) petals, Japanese juniper berries, kaomoji (Japanese spicebush), kinome (Japanese pepper leaves), oyster shells, wasabi (Japanese horseradish), juniper berry leaves, and ao shiso (green perilla).
It is bottled at 47% ABV. Do try out this best Japanese gin when you’re in the mood.
How we tested Japanese gins?
We tasted and went over 20 different Japanese gins and rated them on flavour, how the ingredients complement each other and the ABV. After extensive research and testing, our experts have put together a list of the best Japanese gins available.
Which is the best Japanese Gin?
Based on surveys and tests conducted by our in-house team of experts, it was found that KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin is the most popular Japanese gin based on taste, alcohol content as well as flavour.
KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin is an artisanal gin known for being based on a rice spirit and is made from pure groundwater from the sake brewing district of Fushimi. dry style but also combines the flavours of Japanese ingredients like yuzu, gyokuro tea, Japanese cypress wood chips, bamboo, and green sansho peppercorns. It’s available for sale on Amazon.
What are the health benefits of Japanese gin?
Gin can have some health benefits if taken in small servings.
- It can fight off a cough and sore throat when combined with herbs and ginger.
- Gin is made from juniper berries and these berries are known to be packed with antioxidants that promote regeneration of cells.
- Another benefit of juniper berries is that they fight infections because of their high vitamin C content and flavonoids.
- Gin has one of the lowest calorie counts among other spirits.
- The bitters used in gin are known to boost stomach acid and digestive enzymes. This aids in digestion and against heartburn.
- Juniper berries are known as a power food for a reason. Another benefit is that they are diuretic in nature and prevent bloating and urinary tract infections.
Best Japanese Gin: FAQ
What is different about Japanese gin?
Japanese gins get their distinct flavours from the Japanese ingredients that are used while making them. Some common Japanese ingredients that are used are Japanese peppercorns, cherry blossoms, yuzu, and green tea.
How do you drink Japanese gins?
Japanese gins are served with tonic water and commonly with ginger to compliment the different flavours.
Do Japanese drink gin?
Over the past few years, gin has become one of the most popular alcoholic spirits that the Japanese enjoy.
What does Japanese gin taste like?
The pine flavour of the Juniper berries is one of the prominent flavours of gin. Depending on the other herbs and botanicals used while making the gin, tastes may vary.
Can you drink Japanese gin straight?
Japanese gin can be drunk straight with a slice of lime. However, this is uncommon. Gin is usually served with tonic water.
These best Japanese gins are unlike other gins. They have distinct flavours that set them apart. Each gin is bursting with its own unique blend of Japanese flavours.
While most of them are 47% ABV, it is always best to check before you make your purchase to see what suits you best. ABV or alcohol by volume is the measure of alcohol in a given volume of the alcoholic spirit.
Another thing to check for is the ingredients used. Since Japanese gins use many natural herbs and botanicals, it is always advisable to check them in case you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
This curated list of the best Japanese gin are extremely famous and are also flavoursome. You can enjoy them with your friends, family as well as in your own time.
Hope you loved these best Japanese gin, cheers!
Hiya! I’m the main author of Japan Truly. I love everything Japan and love testing out Japanese products, be it skincare and makeup or gadgets! You’ll find reviews of some of the best selling Japanese products (tried and tested) right here!
KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin
Check out best Japanese gin, a collection of top Japanese gin that are flavoursome, have amazing ingredients with high ABV. These gin are extremely popular in Japan as well as in the world. Do try out KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin which is the best Japanese gin. Read further to know more.
Product SKU: BJG948908089084
Product Brand: KI NO BI Kyoto
Product Currency: Japanese Yen
Product Price: 4,628
Price Valid Until: 2021
Product In-Stock: InStock