As the world’s best athletes gather in Tokyo for the belated 2021 Olympic Games, we’re taking a look at some of the gins vying for gold, both from Japan and around the world.
We raided the Liquor Loot cellars to pick out five stellar gins, one for each of the Olympic rings, and paired them to an Olympic event to watch as you sip your medal-winning gins.
We had to start with the hosts, didn’t we? This is a delightful Japanese gin – combining the historic dry gin style with native Japanese botanicals and some of the purest water in the world. Ki No Bi serves up flavours of elegant citrus, green tea and spicy woody notes.
At 45.7% ABV, this gin combines power and poise, perfectly corresponding to the Japanese martial art of Judo. Enjoy this gin with Strangelove’s Light Tonic as you watch the Japanese medal-favourite Ōno Shōhei fighting for Olympic glory.
You won’t have to wait too long either, with both the men’s and women’s gold medal bouts beginning at 6pm AEST on Day 2 (Sunday, 25th July) of the games.
Coming a little closer to home, we’ve picked out a cracking Aussie gin that captures the nation’s tropical vibes.
Wolf Lane is a microdistillery found in Cairns that uses local ingredients to add a distinctively Queensland-twist to their gins. This bottling perhaps best encapsulates the distillery’s approach, made locally gathered ruby grapefruit, finger lime, lavender, mint and – that iconic QLD fruit – mango. The result is a gin that delivers seriously juicy, summery flavours.
Queensland is of course where swimming superstar Ariarne Titmus cut her teeth, becoming one of the world's best in the pool! Celebrate the by pairing this Sunshine state gin with Barker and Quin Marula Tonic.
Congratulations to Ariarne on her two golds at these games so far!
Football might not be coming home, but could Olympic gold?
Jensen’s is the perfect British gin for these Olympics. Distiller Christian Jensen was first inspired to create this gin when he encountered an out-of-production bottle of London Dry Gin during a trip to Japan!
Christian decided to recreate this ancient bottling in his Bermondsey Distillery, found in its namesake area of South London. The result was a pure, juniper-driven gin that takes the spirit back to its classic style, in its spiritual home. Slightly floral, bittersweet and bursting with juniper flavours, this gin works wonders in classic cocktails. It’s also delicious when paired with Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water.
What sport to watch it with? Well, another star from South London, Dina Asher-Smith, will be hoping to go for gold in the 100m and 200m. She is already Britain’s fastest woman in history, a bronze medallist from the Rio Olympics and a World Champion in the 200m.
The Women’s 100m Final is due to start between 8pm – 10:55pm AEST on Day 8 (Saturday, 31st July), whilst the Women’s 200m Final is due to start between 8pm – 10:55pm AEST on Day 11 (Tuesday, 3rd August)
Although this gin is actually distilled in Germany, it’s packed with African botanicals, and features a map of South Africa on its label. The gin also supports African Elephant conservation, with 15% of all profits going to two Elephant charities.
Elephant Gin contains rare African botanicals including Baobab fruit, Buchu plant, African Wormwood, Lion’s Tail and Devil’s Claw. The spirit offers flavours of piney juniper, earthy angelica root, some light floral notes and a little citrus peel.
South Africans love their rugby, and they could be set for more Olympic glory, with their Men’s “Blitzboks” tipped as one of the favourites for the Rugby Sevens event. Rugby Sevens made its Olympic debut at Rio in 2016, where the South Africans won bronze. In Tokyo, they’ll be looking to go a couple of steps further.
Pair Elephant Gin with Tonic No. 8 by Strangelove, and sit back to watch the Men’s Bronze and Gold Medal matches from 5:30pm AEST on Day 5 (Wednesday 28th July)
A marvellous bottling from an unlikely source. Milk & Honey is a modern urban distillery located in Tel Aviv. Produced using locally sourced botanicals, this gin has been aged for a few months in red wine barrels. The climate of Israel means that even a short period of maturation imparts plentiful flavour to the spirit.
The only barrel aged gin in this line-up, Milk & Honey Oak Aged brings flavours of oaky wine tannins, vanilla, juniper, citrus and sliced herbs. Works wonderfully with a Dry Ginger Ale from Strangelove.
Enjoy this gin and ginger whilst watching Linoy Ashram, one of Israel’s great medal hopes, work her magic in rhythmic gymnastics. Already a European Champion and All-World silver medalist, 22 year old Ashram will be hoping to add Olympic gold to her tally when she takes to the mat in Japan.
The Women’s Individual Rhythmic Final begins at 4:20pm AEST on Day 15 (Saturday 7th August).
But still want to try the world’s best gins as the world’s finest athletes compete? Why not pick up Liquor Loot’s Global Explorer Tasting Pack? This pack contains three premium 60ml tasters of medal-worthy gin, including Elephant Gin, Ki No Bi Dry and Gin Mare – a delicious Mediterranean offering. Compare and contrast, and see which one takes home gold in your personal Olympiad.
The Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics begins at 9pm AEST on Friday 23rd July.