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Ukiyo launches in New Zealand

Japanese spirits brand Ukiyo is expanding its global footprint after securing a distribution deal in New Zealand.

Ukiyo’s spirits all clock in at 40% ABV

Ukiyo’s Blossom Gin and Yuzu Gin, plus its Rice Vodka, will be distributed in New Zealand by Hancocks Wine, Spirit & Beer Merchants.

John Soden, chief commercial officer of Kirker Greer Spirits, said: “There has been a huge demand for Ukiyo Spirits across the globe, and we are delighted to secure another distribution partnership in the APAC region, having launched in Australia and Singapore last year.

“Gin and vodka are exceptionally popular categories in New Zealand, with the gin market expected to grow annually by 11.09% and the vodka market expected to grow annually by 9.94% (CAGR 2022-2025), according to Statista.”

Ukiyo spirits are all bottled at 40% ABV.

The gins are made in Kagoshima, in the shadow of the Sakurajima volcano. Locally-grown grains are distilled into a traditional Japanese Shōchū spirit, which is then redistilled with key botanicals, including juniper, mandarin and spice.

Meanwhile, Ukiyo Japanese Rice Vodka is crafted on the island of Okinawa, in a distillery known for making the local rice spirit, Awamori.

The base of the vodka starts with a harvest of long-grain indica rice. This rice is inoculated with black kōji, fermented, and then distilled into the traditional Japanese Awamori spirit. That is then redistilled into Ukiyo’s pure rice vodka which has a delicately fragrant aroma and creamy mouthfeel.

Soden added: “Kiwi consumers are more adventurous and curious than ever before.

“They seek new or relatively unknown, original products, including exotic flavours, and are seriously interested in deepening their knowledge of alcoholic beverages, their history, tradition, varieties or ways of consumption. The Ukiyo Spirits range will appeal to them directly and we are excited to have Hancocks on board to build the brand in New Zealand.”

The brand recently launched in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Australia.

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