We may not be able to pop over to Kyoto right now to check out the cherry blossoms in full bloom, but at least we can still drink gin.
Australian distiller Four Pillars has a long-held reputation for its artisanal gin; it's clean enough to combine with intricate, fragrant cocktail ingredients, but smooth enough to sip with a squeeze of lemon and dash of soda. Thankfully for us (and for our rapidly-emptying isolation bar carts), the local brand has paired up with the renowned Kyoto Distillery to come up with a new, limited edition gin and brought forward the release date. It's called Changing Seasons, and it's here for your quarantinis.
The spirit is inspired by a road trip the Four Pillars' founders took to Japan in autumn, which was followed by the exchange of a Kyoto Distillery maker coming to Australia in spring. Finally, during a steamy Australian summer, they put the finishing touches on their gin. Throughout the crafting and distilling process, the changing of seasons, and the sense of transition that accompanies it, were front of mind.
But what does it taste like, you ask? Alongside the fresh scent of pine needle, the tang of finger limes blends together with green tea and green yuzu. The gin is layered with the fruitiness of quandong and kinmokusei, a Japanese olive flower, while its texture comes from native hinoki wood. Finished with a strong red juniper flavour, the gin captures Japanese and Australian flavours to a tee. It's $85 and you can buy it online. This way, at least your tastebuds can travel even you don't have the chance to. Kanpai!