For over 130 years, Masahiro Shuzo Brewery has been brewing the Okinawan traditional
distilled sake, Ryukyu Awamori. By applying their long cultivated Awamori brewing techniques and utilizing ingredients unique to Okinawa to create a brand new product, they have challenged to brew gin, one of the four top spirits in the world. The botanicals include roselle (from the hibiscus family), guava leaves, and long pepper, but the most interesting addition is goya, the green, bumpy Okinawan bitter melon. At 47% ABV, it’s bursting with Floral Flavours, tropical fruit, and green notes from the bitter melon.
In 2017, at the Masahiro distillery in the southernmost tip on Okinawa Main Island, the first Craft Gin from Okinawa was born. When the first drop fell in the distillery, they were in the middle of a very hot summer and it is said they immediately felt Okinawa’s seasonal wind “Mahae”. The factory overflowed with aroma that has never been felt before. With your first sip, feel the island breeze of Mahae distilled
with local botanicals, tropical sweetness, citris and pepper flavours it is like taking a trip to the sandy shores of this beautiful region.
Masahiro distillery has been on the tropical southern island of Naha in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan since 1883. Their expertise lies in Awamori, Okinawa’s traditional spirit, so it is only natural that Okinawa’s first craft
gin be made from an Awamori base.
The Masahiro craftsman have been making Awamori for over 130 years. Their curiosity, led them to think about Gin, like an Okinawan Champuru (a mix of different things together) spirits. When creating their own Gin recipe, six different types of botanicals were carefully selected, and they pursued the production of gin while making the most of their characteristics.
The hybrid distillation
Masahiro Gin is outsanding by a specif production method, the hybrid distillation. First, Awamori is made from long grain Thai rice which is inoculated with black koji mould, fermented and then distilled. Masahiro Awamori undergoes ‘hybrid distillation’: two Awamori are distilled – one from a horizontal pot still, the other from a vertical pot still – and blended. Using this ‘hybrid distillation’ technique and five, uniquely Okinawan botanicals (guava leaves, Shekwasha, goya fruit, long pepper, Roselle +juniper) a truly tropical & terroir-driven gin is born.