Japanese dishes

How to find the right gin and tonic mix to accompany Japanese dishes

MANILA, Philippines — The beauty of drinking gin is that it can be enjoyed neat or in a highball cocktail, depending on the mood of the evening (or for alcohol connoisseurs, any time of the day).

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

But because there are so many different types of Japanese dishes, each with different flavors, they might be best enjoyed if paired with the right mix of gin and tonic.

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

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

Other mixes to try for gin and tonic-Japanese food 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 plums and even Wasabi.

Suntory’s brand new SUI gin is quintessentially Japanese as it also combines yuzu, green tea and ginger, the latter’s notes being particularly enhanced when consumed neat; it is recommended that it be placed in the freezer for a few hours first if shots are to be distributed.

But since SUI is best enjoyed with tonic water, the ideal mix is ​​one glass of gin and four glasses of tonic water, then adding flavors if you prefer.

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