For some people, one of the pleasures of any trip is tasting jizake (local sake).
Most people think of Japanese sake, shochu (clear liquor distilled from sweet potatoes, rice, buckwheat, etc.) or craft beer when you say jizake.
However, did you know that “craft gin” is also becoming pretty popular now?
We now introduce “The Inland Sea,” a gin made with ingredients from the Setouchi region.
What is gin in the first place?
Gin is a distilled liquor which is made with barley or rye, and aromatized with some plants such as needle juniper.
Gin had been originally conceived as a medicinal liquor.
The entire region of Setouchi is a very rich environment with the calm and beautiful Setouchi Inland Sea and fertile land.
This means that plants and fruits of high quality can grow in this area.
“The Inland Sea” was created using the best botanical ingredients from Setouchi to make a special gin.
The origin of the name of this gin is from what a western person called “the inland sea” when he saw Setouchi Inland Sea in Meiji era (1868-1912).
▲”The Inland Sea” 4,600 yen (excluding tax)
The father of “The Inland Sea”
“WH JAPAN” is the company which makes this gin, and it is full of love for the Setouchi area.
They handle an event called “Natural Camp,” where people can release their minds and bodies in a great natural setting, and also manage “Oh!Ashi Forest Camp,” a camp site in the Oashi Highlands.
And one purpose in making this gin is attracting more people to Setouchi.
In other words, it is used as a PR tool for the Setouchi area.
▲”Natural Camp” in Ushimado（Setouchi-shi, Okayama）
”The Inland Sea,” a gin full of botanical ingredients from Setouchi
▲More than 9 kinds of botanical are used as ingredients for the gin.
The fruits used for this gin are grapes (from Okayama), lemons (from Ehime), and Yuzu (from Tokushima and Ehime).
These ingredients make the taste very fruity and give it a light, refreshing flavor.
Tea, Kuromoji (Lindera), and coriander from Okayama are also added to accent the flavor.
Moreover, a kelp called kombu in Japanese (from Tokushima), ginger (from Ehime), and sansho, a Japanese pepper (from Hiroshima) are blended to give the flavor an aroma of the “sea.”
▲A distillation tank made in Germany in the Okayama Distillery
The water used for this gin is underground water from the “Asahi River,” a Class A river in Okayama.
The “Okayama Distillery of Miyashita Shuzo (brewery/distillery),” with a 100-year- history in Okayama, is now helping with the distillation, the most important part of making this gin.
Therefore, a collaboration between a company full of fun ideas and an old distillery has given birth to this special gin.
This gin was released in November 2018, and you can have it at bars all over Japan.
The first production run was limited to only 450 bottles, and released on November 16th, 2018.
The easiest way to buy one of them is to visit the “SHINANOYA NET SHOP”←https://www.shinanoya-tokyo.jp※リンク挿入）
▲Women can enjoy ”The Inland Sea.”
▲Having the gin at the bar while enjoying conversation with a barkeeper is also recommended.
A special bar in Okayama City, “FOLK STAND,” is a cozy place even for one
▲The most highly recommended way for enjoying this gin is mixing it with soda. Adding rosemary will make the flavor nicer.
The alcohol content of “The Inland Sea” is 46%.
Yes, it is pretty strong, but it can still be recommended for women because it is easy to drink with its fruity flavor.
Let’s try this gin full of love for Setouchi, and order a simple gin and tonic for the first time. .
“The Inland Sea”
Price／4,600 yen（excluding tax）
Company address／1-6-15-301,Kyutaro-machi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka（the person in charge: Iwata/phone:06-6121-2330 ）
Branch office address／3-1-35, Hokan-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama（the person in charge: Kitajima/phone: 086-254-1611）
Shops／Shinanoya Shokuhin (in Tokyo）etc.
Online shop (Shinanoya)／https://www.shinanoya-tokyo.jp
Photographs and text by Saki Ikuta/Kokohore Japan
Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/
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