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Food and Leisure

How to find right gin, tonic mix to pair with Japanese dishes

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
How to find right gin, tonic mix to pair with Japanese dishes
Sui, the latest gin by Suntory
Philstar.com/Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — The great thing about drinking gin is it can be enjoyed neat or as a highball cocktail, depending on one's mood for the evening (or for alcohol connoisseurs, any time of day).

Many will agree that Japanese cuisine is one of the best in the world, and naturally it would be ideal to enjoy them with gin that originates from Japan.

But because there are many kinds of Japanese dishes, each with different flavors, one could better appreciate them if paired with the right gin and tonic mix.

Since most gins are a combination of several botanicals — juniper berry, cinnamon and lemon peels, to name a few — accentuating these flavors can make them an ideal pairing for Japanese meals.

Related: Los Baños restaurateur on whisky: An interesting spirit lends itself well to different dishes

For example, mixing a tablespoon of yuzu juice (a citrus fruit prominent in East Asia) with gin and tonic water can be paired with Yakitori dishes, while mixing raw grated ginger can be complented with different broths like Ramen and Udon.

Other mixtures to try out for gin and tonic-Japanese dish pairings are pomelo juice or lemongrass for Karaage; dalandan juice for Kani Sushi, and kamias or calamansi pandan for Tempura. The possibilities are endless — frozen oranges, shiso leaves, crushed plum, and even Wasabi.

Suntory's newest gin SUI is distinctly Japanese because it also combines yuzu, green tea, and ginger, with the notes of the latter especially highlighted when taken neat; it is recommended to first place it in the freezer for a few hours if shots will be dished out.

But since SUI is best enjoyed with tonic water, the ideal mix is one shot of gin and four shots of tonic water, and then adding flavors if preferred as such.

RELATED: Hacienda Luisita rum wins silver at International Wine & Spirit Competition 2022

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