Jai Lyons

No. 92 GPR


The Shoulders of a Giant

Glassware

Highball

GARNISH

Kaffir Lime Leaves

INGREDIENTS

45ml ROKU Gin

22.5ml Kaffir lime liquor

115ml Rhubarb soda

5ml Cucumber vinegar

METHOD

Built

THE STORY BEHIND THE COCKTAIL NAME

I want to raise a toast to standing on the shoulders of giants.

My drink is dedicated to the mentors at the various stages of a bartenders career. The person that gave you a first break. The person that mentored you, nurtured or refined our palate or technical skill. I have been fortunate enough to meet a ‘giant’ in the early phase of my career. This giant who has had a profound impact on my life personally and professionally is Luke Ashton. Luke made me realise how important it is to understand tradition while being brave enough to step outside of the boundaries and challenge what is considered conventional.

He, and others like him in the industry inspire new generations of bartenders, giving them the means of discovering truth by building on previous discoveries. I want to celebrate Beam Suntory and the people within the hospitality industry that are holding this statement true.

Beam Suntory pride themselves on creating premium spirits. In particular, the Australian contingent of Beam Suntory are known around the world as innovators in their pursuit in encouraging creativity and innovation by creating the cocktail competition ‘The Perfect Blend’. Beam Suntory have a rich history in producing premium spirits and have continued to adapt and evolve over time. I have taken inspiration from this approach and I wanted to create a drink to celebrate and highlight this philosophy.

ROKU is one of the brands in the Beam Suntory portfolio that instantly stood out to me. Shinjiro Torri wanted to create original Japanese spirits the whole world could enjoy. Heremes Gin created in 1936 was the first iteration of this. Since then Shinjiro and his successors continued to refine their work, building on previous discoveries they found when creating Heremes and as a result created ROKU Gin. ROKU, for me, showcases how the concept of standing on the shoulder of giants can come to fruition through understandings of the past and evolving it for the future.

In Japanese ROKU translates as the number 6. ROKU contains 6 uniquely Japanese botanicals which perfectly showcases the flavours of Japan as they are ingrained in Japanese cuisine. Beam Suntory has shown continued progression from the past by using these botanicals in a unique way not commonly used in gin production. This approach shows the commitment and dedication of not only ROKU, but Beam Suntory as a whole.

For my drink “The Shoulders Of A Giant” I have used ROKU as the base of my drink. I chose to create a highball as it is a style of drink which is deeply ingrained in Japanese bar culture and showcases the nuances of ROKU while allowing this gin to shine. This has allowed me to build upon ideas of the past and create a drink that has been adapted for the modern climate not too dissimilar to how Beam Suntory has continued to evolve their products to fit in with the modern palate.

When selecting the ingredients that would complement the ROKU it was important for me to use produce that is easily identifiable but used in a unique way. Drawing inspiration from how ROKU have implemented the 6 main botanicals in their gin, I opted to use rhubarb as the base of my soda and play up to the acidic and tart flavour that rhubarb has when uncooked. Cucumber is used as a vinegar rather than how it is commonly seen as a garnish or syrup, with the final addition of kaffir lime that I’ve turned into a liquor. I wanted to showcase how Australian flavours and the Japanese flavours found in Roku can harmonise together. All my ingredients have followed the same path ROKU has when creating this Gin.

With the help of companies like Beam Suntory, brands like ROKU, and people willing to push the boundaries we can ensure we are learning and taking note from what has happened in the past while rewriting the future. I am inspired to constantly educate and push myself and others around me to grow. May we always strive to stand on the shoulders of giants.

NSW

Cocktail Pairing Degustation

No. 92 GPR

The drink will be listed on the menu at 92 GPR, as well as at Maybe Frank in Surry Hills.

Jai will be hosting a sit down dinner and cocktail pairing with head chef at No. 92 GPR, John Lyons. The day of this activation will be the Thursday 20th of February at 7:00pm. It will be a four course degustation pairing a mini cocktail with each dish.