Iichiko shochu has unveiled its HANA Label, a limited-edition bottle inspired by the sacred cherry blossom season. Bottled at 25% ABV, HANA is composed of iichiko’s Silhouette expression, the more traditional of the brand’s two products, and designed to evoke the image of a charming cherry blossom tree.
Shochu is the native spirit of Japan. Crafted in the Oita Prefecture, iichiko uses soft, iron-free water that is naturally filtered through 1,000 feet of volcanic rock. The release of the HANA label is intended to honor the rich history of cherry blossoms in Japan, otherwise referred to as the symbolic flower of spring, a time of renewal in Japanese culture. During the sakura season, it is common for communities to gather in celebration, oftentimes with Japanese beverages such as shochu.
“iichiko is thrilled to introduce this limited edition release, one that honors our Japanese heritage, and in celebration of a special time in our country’s culture,” says Tetsuro Miyazaki, General Manager, USA of iichiko Shochu. “Classified as a ‘honkaku shochu’ or a premium class of the spirit, iichiko is beloved in Japan, and one of the most reputable brands on the market, so we’re excited to continue developing shochu’s prominence here in the US with the release of our HANA Label.”
iichiko Silhouette pairs well with a wide range of cuisines and is traditionally enjoyed with food. Served either on the rocks or in an array of cocktails, like a chu-hi (or shochu highball), mixed with soda and fruit juice, the expression is soft and inviting on the nose with aromas of warm rice, white peach, sea breeze, and golden plum. Although viscous and rich on the palate, the spirit is delicate and pleasing with ethereal fruit flavors backed by minerals that last onto the finish.