A taste of Japan

Photo courtesy of The Japanese Bitters

Just when you thought bitters companies had created every flavour imaginable for your cocktail-drinking enjoyment, The Japanese Bitters comes along to wake up your palate with something completely new.

For instance, their Umami Bitters, which just won a bronze medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, has all sorts of funky, astringent, savoury notes, thanks to thoughtfully sourced, high-quality ingredients of kelp, shiitake, dried bonito and yuzu. It would be great in a Bloody Mary or Dirty Martini.

Or how about the Shiso Bitters? You probably know the Asian culinary herb from sushi platters—it’s that leaf under the wasabi—but its fresh, minty, spicy, tangy flavour would be delicious in a G&T or Martini. Meanwhile Sakura (cherry blossom) adds a delicate floral note to light, citrusy cocktails, while Hinoki (rattan) adds a woodsy depth to richly flavoured whisky drinks like the Manhattan or Old Fashioned.

In Canada, The Japanese Bitters are imported by Shin Group Corporation, which also brings in an exciting selection of craft whiskies. They are available retail for $38 at cocktailemporium.com.

Make the Umami Martini. 

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