Drink of the Week: Awayuki Strawberry-Flavored Gin - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Drink of the Week: Awayuki Strawberry-Flavored Gin

Just as it awakens the earth from winter, springtime exhibits a powerful and immediate force on my own life, influencing how I spend my time (wandering aimless in the sunshine) and what I want to eat and drink (only fresh, seasonal flavors, please). The new Awayuki Strawberry Flavored Gin is essentially springtime for the senses, carrying both the unmistakable aroma, and delicate, juicy flavor of ripe strawberries. But these aren’t just any strawberries—they are the rare, meticulously grown, (and almost laughably expensive) Awayuki strawberries from the Nara Strawberry Lab in Japan. Vertically grown and hand-harvested, the surreal-looking berries come in three varieties that range from pearl white to blush pink to deep red.

Entrepreneurs Julious Grant (a decades-long spirits industry vet) and Taichi Seki (a former MMA fighter and Asahi beer rep) joined forces to launch ICONIC Spirits, releasing a line of single-grain Japanese whiskies (dubbed Teitessa) and the Awayuki strawberry-flavored gin, also distilled in Japan. To craft the gin, upwards of 300 pounds of the fancy berries are used. How on earth, you ask, could anyone afford that? Grant and Seki tapped industry contacts to utilize the strawberries that didn’t quite meet the high aesthetic standard for market—but they make a uniquely delicious gin.

The resulting spirit opens with the heady aromatics of fresh strawberry, underpinned with bright juniper and complementary coriander. The juicy berry flavor carries through, but with less sweetness than you’d expect, balanced by the gin’s spicier notes. It’s an easy one to sip straight, but the bottle’s surprisingly modest price tag encourages experimentation. Try an extra aromatic Gin & Tonic or a springy Gin Fizz. $35.99, totalwine.com

Enjoy This Article?

Sign up for our newsletter and get biweekly recipes and articles delivered to your inbox.

Send this to a friend