Kanade Sakura is the newest addition to Suntory’s “Japanese craft liqueur” family.

While it’s best known internationally for its beer and whisky, Suntory actually has a much more extensive lineup of alcoholic beverages. The company also has you covered if you’re looking for shochu or umeshu (plum wine), and soon it’s going to start selling a liqueur with even stronger Japanese inspirations.

Suntory’s Kanade liqueur line already has offerings that incorporate such beloved local flavors as green tea, yuzu citrus, and white peach, and now its expanding into a fourth variety: Kanade Sakura.

The new “Japanese craft liqueur,” as Suntory calls it, is a blended beverage made with both Japanese-grown cherry blossom petals and cherry tree leaves, each of which is distilled separately to bring out their optimal flavor. The makers promise a delicate flavor with the soft scent of cherry blossoms, and a 22-percent alcohol content should lend itself to both use as a cocktail mixer or straight sipping.

▼ By the way, if the use of sakura leaves seems unsettling, put your mind at ease. They’re a common, and delicious, ingredient in Japanese cherry blossom-themed desserts, like the sakura pancakes we fell in love with.

Given the Kanade Sakura’s Japanese ingredients, a Japanese label is also called for, and Suntory has created a beautiful design on traditional textured Echizen washi paper, a specialty of Fukui Prefecture. The bottle itself employs an elegant shippo motif, evocative of fine Japanese textiles and ceramics.

Kanade Sakura goes on sale January 14, priced at 2,000 yen (US$18.50) for a 700-milliliter (23.7-ounce) bottle. Oh, and if the idea of cherry blossom liqueur is just too dainty for your drinking sensibilities, don’t worry, because Suntory will also be happy to supply you with a canned cocktail specifically formulated to taste good with fried chicken.

Source: Suntory via Japaaan
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Suntory, SoraNews24
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