Fans of small-batch, lovingly crafted spirits will want to pick up a bottle of Ki No Bi (“Beauty of the Seasons”) on their next visit to Kyoto. Produced here by Japan’s first dedicated gin distillery, the new rice spirit–based dry gin uses distinctly local botanicals such as yellow yuzu, sansho peppercorn berries, and gokuro tea for a uniquely Japanese accent. And this being Kyoto, the bottles themselves are a keepsake, crafted by a 110-year-old, family-run glassmaking workshop and featuring designs by Kira Karacho, a locally based karakami atelier that dates back to 1624. We’ll drink to that (retailers include sake-and-spirits shop Tsunoki Shoten in Kyoto’s Nishiki Market).
This article originally appeared in the October/November print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Spirited Away”).