Here’s an unpopular opinion: spring is terrible. It’s allergy season, and the weather can never decide if it wants to be hot or cold. But Roku Gin is making it bearable by partnering with top Singapore bars and restaurants to recreate the better parts of this unfortunate period.
The Japanese gin brand is once again teaming up with local venues – nine this year – to conjure up visions of the blossoming season, sans the pollen. Each venue has created three cocktails that are available now till the end of May 2022.
Roku, which means six in Japanese, refers to the botanicals that go into the gin. Cherry blossom, sencha and gyokuro teas offer a sweet, floral aroma. Yuzu brings a refreshing top note, and sansho pepper provides a crisp, subtly spicy finish.
According to Roku, the ingredients are only harvested, infused and distilled during their peak seasons, which sounds like a year-long waiting game. Thankfully, we get to drink these cocktails now while waiting for nature to work itself out. See below for details on some drinks and where to find them.
Bar Manager Gabriel Carlos turns to the spring festivities in his home country of the Philippines when coming up with these cocktails. Carnaval is a Gin Sour made herbaceous with thyme and fennel, while Hanami is a deconstructed G&T: a flower-stuffed teapot of Roku, peach liqueur and shiso mint syrup on one side, a bottle of bitter orange and elderflower tonic on the other. Fallas builds on the already floral White Negroni with chamomile- and lemongrass-infused vermouth, then layered with the alpine profile of Fernet Hunter.
Cocktails are S$26++ each
Last Word Bar Manager Shelley Tai taps on her memories of hiking in Hong Kong in the spring for her cocktails. Wake Up Call jolts the tastebuds with lime, basil and horseradish, while Apple is a savoury and spicy highball with pasilla pepper, salted plum and clarified green apple. Rhubarb is a tangy number softened with creamy vanilla and clarified milk.
Cocktails are S$25++ each
Cherry blossom season presents a dreamy landscape blanketed in pink, which is what Bar Supervisor Anne Princena imagined when creating up her cocktails. She came up with Scent of First Love, which seduces with a cordial of sakura, yuzu and cherry, as Mankai turns to the ever-delightful matcha and strawberry milk teas. Kazumi plays up the gin’s fruitier side with red fruits, green tea, strawberry milk and kiwi.
All cocktails are S$24++ each
Other participating venues include:
- Good Luck
- Smoke & Mirrors
- Here Kitty Kitty
- Lil’ Tiger
- Taki Izakaya Bar
Roku Gin spring cocktails are available at these nine bars and restaurants from now till 31 May 2022
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.