Marussia Beverages, producer and international distributor of wines, sakes and spirits, is adding to its portfolio of Japanese spirits brands with the launch of 135°East Gin.

Made by master distiller and Blender, Kimio Yonezawa at his family-owned Kaikyo Distillery in the Hyogo prefecture, 135°East is described as a unique new style of artisan gin from Japan handcrafted in small batches.

By blending classic London Dry Gin ingredients with locally sourced Japanese botanicals and finishing it off with some of his distilled Junmai sake, Yonezawa claims he has created a totally new style of gin which he refers to as ‘Hydro Dry Gin’.

He said: “I wanted to make a gin with a strong personality that would surprise gin lovers with new taste sensations.

“Following extensive research into over 50 different options, I selected five new Japanese botanicals like yuzu and sansho pepper to bring a distinctive Oriental flavour to 135°East.

“I also decided to add a touch of my Junmai sake to the blend as not only is rice at the heart of Japan’s cuisine and history, but Junmai sake is made from Yamadanishki rice, known as the ‘king of rice’. Once distilled, it has a typical soft sweetness which gently envelops and complements the Japanese botanicals .”

Yonezawa has a passion for making spirits that started 30 years ago. All plants are sourced from local producers and distilled separately before blending using vacuum distillation, which preserves their botanical characteristics.

Sarah Gandy, head of marketing for Marussia Beverages UK, said: “We are really excited to launch 135°East as part of our Japanese spirits portfolio, it will sit alongside our existing artisan sake brand, Aksahi-Tai.

“135°East is a unique and unconventional style of gin, which will give the brand much needed stand out in the crowded UK gin market.”