If you’re considering buying Roku gin, the read this first. I’ll give you a full review of Roku, including tasting notes, first impressions and how best to drink it. 

First impressions

2020 is the year we’re all turning Japanese. The world’s eyes will turn to the Olympics, which are being held all across the Asian archipelago this year. Everyone is suddenly into manga. Ramen is ubiquitous. If you’re not kawaii, you’re nothing, pal. Sumimasen. 

Photograph of the bottle of Roku gin, with the 6 sides clearly visible and the label on display. The glass is clear, the label is off white and texture and the Japanese font is black and gold.
The gorgeous bottle in all its hexagonal glory

So on that note, let’s focus on the bottle in front of us. Roku gin, distilled by the famous Suntory whisky distillery, is presented in a beautifully embossed hexagonal glass bottle. Each side of the bottle depicts one of the six unique Japanese botanicals that this gin contains, and the Japanese characters that describe them. The bottle is very weighty and chunky and reminds me of the weight of a good whisky glass. Funny that. 

Roku means ‘six’ in Japanese, and the Japanese symbol for roku is embellished on the label of Roku gin. The aesthetics for this gin are very carefully thought out, and reflects that craft nature of the gin. So far, so good.   

Tasting notes

Roku gin comes in at a pretty standard 43% alcohol volume in a 700ml bottle, which is distilled in Japan at the famous Suntory whiskey distillery. This is Suntory’s only gin and joins the stable of Suntory products, which includes vodka.

There are six special Japanese botanicals that make Roku gin so unique:

  • Sakura flower (cherry blossom!)
  • Yuzu peel, delish!
  • Sencha tea
  • Sansho pepper
  • Sakura leaf 
  • Gyokuro tea 

All of those sound amazing, however, I can’t taste them all. I can definitely taste the yuzu, which is a super distinctive and delicious Asian citrus fruit. Roku gin certainly smells a lot ‘cleaner’ and fresher than some of the very juniper-focused London style gins. Maybe that’s the cherry blossoms? I can certainly say that Roku gin smells and tastes delicious, with a very clean finish and a tickle on the middle of the palette from the yuzu. If you love citrus flavours the way I do, you will find Roku gin to be mouthwatering. 

Bottoms up  

I had this as a straight up double shot gin and tonic, which is how I pour in my house as standard. How do you garnish it? With ginger, six slices specifically if we’re going to be Japanese about it (we are), which is the guidance from the Roku website. Roku gin has a distinct citrus zing, which keeps the flavour super fresh and would be amazing on a summer’s day with heaps of ice. So, great drinking for the summer Olympics in Tokyo! Kanpai!

Final thoughts

Buy it. Drink it. You’ll love it. Especially in the upcoming spring and summer, this will be a great gin. Roku retails for £28.98 and you can buy some here. Please note that this blog does contain some affiliate links which will help to keep the site running.

Let me know your thoughts on Roku gin, and if you found this review helpful, please feel free to share it! You might also enjoy reading one of my other gin reviews.


Tiffany from G&J xx