The eagerly anticipated season of Sakura (the Japanese word for cherry blossom) blooms between March and May every year in Japan and is celebrated with the time-honoured tradition of Hanami – the enjoyment and viewing of the transient beauty of flowers. In honour of this custom, Suntory Japanese Whisky is bringing Sakura season to London at the Shochu Lounge at ROKA Charlotte Street this Spring, with a spectacular, fully-immersive cherry blossom installation and a Sakura-inspired cocktail menu.
London's award winning Shochu Lounge is located in the basement of ROKA Charlotte Street in the heart of London. The bar offers a striking yet informal setting to enjoy modern Japanese cocktail creations, distilled shochu infusions and the full ROKA menu from the restaurant upstairs.
In modern-day Japan, Hanami is celebrated with outdoor parties beneath the layers and layers of cherry blossom. Guests will be able to experience a unique and contemporary version of Hanami or rather yozakura - Hanami at night – where the entire bar at the award-winning Japanese restaurant’s Charlotte Street location will be adorned with cherry blossom reminiscent of this ephemeral season.
Guests can enjoy a bespoke Sakura season cocktail menu created exclusively with Hibiki Japanese Harmony whilst sitting underneath the canopies of blossom:
- Match a Rack – an elegant fusion of matcha-infused Arrack and Hibiki Japanese Harmony, umami spirit and mango cordial, served straight up in a nick-and-nora martini glass
- Suntory Blossom – a short concoction of Hibiki Japanese Harmony, ume sake, blood orange and Sakura tincture. Served in a rock glass with carved ice, garnished with a dry blood orange wheel and Sakura blossom
- Happo Harmony - a sweet and spicy, refreshing amalgamation of oriental flavours, combining Hibiki Japanese Harmony, rhubarb and ginger syrup, soda water and sprayed lemon flower essence. Served in a highball glass with carved ice, garnished with a rhubarb twist.
Hamish Brown, ROKA Group Executive Chef, has also created especially for the occasion the small plate, Hokkaido snow crab with tapioca crisp and nori, to pair with the Match a Rack cocktail.
For those who cannot visit the Charlotte Street location, a Sakura-inspired cocktail will also be on the menus at ROKA’s three other locations: Aldwych, Canary Wharf and Mayfair.
A delicate and harmonious blend, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is the natural choice for the cocktails. Launched just last summer in the UK, it is inspired by the riches and subtleties of the 24 Japanese seasons and reflective of the harmony between people and nature in Japan the essence of Sakura season and the practice of Hanami.
Address: Shochu Lounge (ROKA), 37 Charlotte St, London W1T 1RR
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 5:30pm – 11:30pm, Sunday 5:30pm – 10:30pm