Located in Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Japan, Komasa Jyozo was founded in 1883, first as a spirit-maker for local shrines, and then a shochu producer, adding liqueurs to their repertoire in the 1950’s and, finally, gin in 2018. With over 130 years of distilling history and a local approach to ingredients, Komasa Distillery is well suited to producing a gin that speaks to Kagoshima’s verdant geography. Using rice shochu as the base, Komasa Distillery nurtures a reserved list of botanicals for its gin, including the star ingredient, Sakurajima komikan, Japan’s smallest mandarin orange, which takes its name from the active volcanic island from which it originates. These little “mikan” grow on all sides of the island, but even when cultivated in nearby greenhouses, ash from the volcano falls year-round and must be consistently brushed away from the fruit skin by hand, otherwise incurring damage to the final yield. The harvest season for these sweet oranges lasts only a month, making Komasa Gin both a labor of love and an ingenious way to enjoy this precious fruit year-round.