Japanese Whisky Cocktail Box (March 2021)

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Japanese Whisky

SPIRIT RECOMMENDATION

Suntory is Japan’s most well known and best-selling whisky, and for good reason. Other than the fact that Bill Murray would never put his name behind anything subpar (even while playing a character in a movie), the meticulous production of Suntory Toki makes it a special whisky, both by itself as a sipper, or in delicious cocktails like the ones in this month’s box. Suntory Toki was inspired by Scottish style whiskies, but distilled with a distinct focus on the flavours of Japan and in particular, the Yamazaki region, and the beautiful flavours and culture associated with it. Since its first distillation in 1923, Suntory Toki has become world renowned for its balance, subtlety and flavour, winning the admiration of many whisky connoisseurs, not to mention a multitude of awards. Its flavourful profile of green apple, honey, thyme grapefruit, vanilla and ginger mingle perfectly with all the ingredients included in this month’s box, making for an unforgettable cocktail experience.

Why Japanese Whisky?

The history of distilling whisky in Japan is relatively short when compared to that of more established whisky producing countries like Scotland, Ireland or the US. Regardless, its limited history is definitely not an indication of quality, as many Japanese whiskies produced today rank among some of the highest scoring in the world. This is not surprising however, as the Japanese seem to have a preternatural instinct to perfect culinary endeavours to the most minute detail.

               The story begins in Osaka, when businessman Shinjiro Torii expanded from simply selling imported wines in his small storefront, to opening Japan’s first whisky distillery, the now famous Yamazaki distillery, bottling the first true single malt Japanese whisky, Suntory White Label, in 1929. Modeled after Scottish style single malts, with their expert craftsmanship and distinct peaty flavour, Shinjiro wanted something that both emulated these time-honoured distilling practices, while also creating a distinct Japanese style, with an emphasis on local flavours and ingredients.

   Attention to detail is what set this whisky type apart, not only in Japan, but also in markets abroad, as the superb quality of the whisky was quickly recognized by experts and the general public alike, even in countries where whisky had been produced for generations. The meticulous distillation process, including the selection of only top quality, local ingredients, most importantly, Japanese peat which give it it’s distinct Scotch-like smoke flavour, was focused on creating unrivaled balanced while at the same time being extremely representative of the identity of the region in which it was produced.

  The key to Japanese whisky is indeed balance. While it still contains the peaty smoke of Scotch, it is not as distinct of a flavour as it is in its European counterpart, especially when compared to Scotch from regions such as Islay. The smoky profile lingers in the background, elevating the more light and approachable flavours, never overpowering them, creating an extremely complex whisky where every ingredient has an equally important and invaluable role to play.

   This approach fueled the inspiration for this box, ‘For Relaxing Times’, as we at Crafty’s wanted to highlight both the excellent flavour of the whisky itself, as well as introduce flavours that were uniquely Japanese. You will find ingredients such as fuji apple bitters, yuzu, shiso and sake scattered throughout the incredible recipes in this box, all working to compliment and highlight the whisky itself, without ever overpowering or masking it.

  For this box, we highly recommend Suntory Toki whisky. While not as aged or bold as some of its other, more expensive, Japanese counterparts, Toki is light and refreshing with a distinct peaty smoke background that will add depth and complexity to your cocktails. With a flavour profile that features green apple, honey, thyme, grapefruit, vanilla and ginger, it is the perfect compliment to all the amazing ingredients included in this months Crafty’s box. So have a ‘relaxing time’, but make sure to pay attention to every detail of your cocktail making with this box, because, in true Japanese style, doing so will only enhance the amazing results which can be achieved.

いずしレモネードIzushi Lemonade

You might find it strange that the small mountain town of Nelson, BC has its sister city in Izushi, Hyogo, Japan. However, there are many similarities between the two. They both are home to around 10000 people, both are relatively remote and have similar climates, being surround by low elevation mountain ranges. Izushi is filled with historic buildings from the Edo era (1603-1868). While not quiet as old, Nelson is teeming with heritage buildings and houses dating all the way back to its establishment in the 19th century. To celebrate this special connection across the world, our master bartender, who resides in Nelson, created this cocktail, a lemonade with some serious Japanese flair, to show how things which seem separate can come together in magical ways. Sake syrup, cold brew green tea, Fuji bitters, yuzu juice, Japanese whiskey and Blue Monkey Sparkling Yuzu create a drink which is both familiar and foreign at the same time. So here’s to our sister city, Izushi, and the beautiful connection we share, even if we are so very far apart.

滝 Waterfall

 

All at the same time, nature can be both extremely peaceful and abundantly dynamic. The waterfall is a singular example of this. Sit by one for a while and your thoughts are lost into the air like the mist that sprays off the rocks. But fall over or into one and you are in for a world of hurt as you thrash against the current and fight to stay afloat. This cocktail has similar qualities; light and flavourful ingredients like sake syrup and cantaloupe/shiso infused cream are approachable and easy drinking. But beneath its friendly exterior lurks the driving force of whisky, looking to carry you far downriver if you’re not careful. There is beauty in this dichotomy and if you walk the precipice of this cocktail carefully, the true nature of this drink will be revealed.  

元気梨 Spirited Pear

A strong Crafty’s drink

Stirred with pear and good whisky

Sake and Bitters

Delicate, floral

But potent, so be careful

No-Face awaits you

Missed this box? Click here to order a one-time delivery from our shop!

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