Kakuzo GMBH : A Young Spirit Brand from Berlin

Kakuzo GMBH - Business News Japan

Kakuzo is a young spirit brand from Berlin, which was inspired by the Japanese Okakura Kakuzo.

In his 1906 book “The Book of Tea”, he explained the secrets of Japan to the Western world and skillfully combined Zen Buddhism, Taoism and the art of preparing tea. He also pointed out that preparing and drinking tea is much more than the process of pouring hot water over the leaves and then enjoying the tea. Rather, it reveals the art of seeing the world as a whole – and repeating this view daily as a visualized ritual.

Kakuzo GMBH - Business News Japan

This train of thought was adopted by the founders of KAKUZO, because they take their time to produce their spirits. After the successful launch of KAKUZO Tea Infused Vodka in 2018, the young spirits manufacturer has two new creations in its range since 2019:  KAKUZO Cherry Bitter and KAKUZO Yuzu Gin Liqueur. The spirits are inspired by cherry and yuzu – two fruits that have a very special meaning in Japan.

In KAKUZO Cherry Bitter the cherry presents itself with its rich, deep red aromas and is accompanied by spicy-wild gentian, tart bitter orange and mild vodka. The product contains no artificial additives or colourings and is therefore a natural alternative to bitter liqueurs such as Campari. KAKUZO Cherry Bitter is best enjoyed on ice with a tonic or in classic bitter cocktails such as Negroni. Its alcohol content is 20% vol.

Kakuzo GMBH - Business News Japan

To make the Yuzu Gin Liqueur, the KAKUZO team paired a traditionally distilled gin with Yuzu, Kalamansi and Mandarin. No artificial additives or dyes are included. The result is a wonderfully sunny yellow drink, which brings a real aroma to your glass, either straight on ice or accompanied by a tonic water or ginger ale. KAKUZO Yuzu Gin Liqueur comes with 20% alcohol by volume.

The basis for Tea Infused Vodka is a multi-distilled rye vodka, infused with an Earl Grey Blend made especially for KAKUZO and refined with bergamot, grapefruit and lime oil. The result is a slightly spicy spirit with fine notes of malt, honey and Earl Grey. But KAKUZO is not only convincing on its own, but especially in drinks & cocktails, such as as a long drink with bitter lemon or as a vodka sour variant.

Very recently, Kakuzo GMBH has been recognized and awarded gold by Japan Awards 2020 and won two Gold Medal and a Silver Medal in this prestigious competition:

Kakuzo Yuzu Gin Liqueur

Awarded Gold by Business News Japan

It starts with nature:
the rare and elegant Yuzu meets mandarin. They form the basis of our uniquely fresh gin liqueur: a complex interplay of delicate acidity, gentle sweetness and a slight bitter note.

Then comes the gin:
carefully selected botanicals are carefully distilled in one of the oldest distilleries. This is how the unique taste of Kakuzo is created. His Far Eastern temperament best unfolds on ice, as a drink or accompanied by a tonic.

Kakuzo Tea Infused Vodka

Awarded Gold by Business News Japan

It starts with tea:
carefully selected varieties from Japan, China and India form the basis of our unique Earl Gray Blend: pleasantly spicy and slightly malty, harmoniously combined with notes of honey and aromatic citrus fruits.

Then comes the vodka:
carefully filtered, distilled several times and particularly soft – this is how the unique taste of Kakuzo is created.
Enjoyed warm, the rich aroma of the tea unfolds in all its depth. But of course our vodka is also very special on ice or in a cocktail.

Kakuzo Cherry Bitter

Awarded Silver by Business News Japan

It starts with nature:
delicious cherries, aromatic gentian and tart grapefruit form the basis of our special bitter: a fruity-tart overall work of art with the warm notes of cherry in perfect balance with the spicy-wild gentian.

Then comes the vodka:
carefully filtered, distilled several times and particularly soft – this is how the unique taste of Kakuzo is created. The bitter best develops its impulsive character on ice, as a negroni or as the basis for exciting cocktail creations.

Interview of Mr. Paul Meinert

Founder and Managing Director of the Spirit Brand KAKUZO

Question 1: Do you already export to JAPAN ? If yes, where ? If no, what type of importers & distributors are you looking for in JAPAN ?

We have already been able to present our Tea Infused Vodka in Japan in early 2019. Nevertheless, we are always happy to welcome importers and distributors who want to work with a young and growing brand. We are looking for a distribution in retail as well as in gastronomy.

Question 2: What is the most unique and qualitative part of your products, different from competitors ?

Especially in the selection of our raw materials we take our time. On the one hand we work together with a Hamburg Tea Office in the composition of our tea blend and use juices instead of flavours for the main ingredients for the Yuzu Gin Liqueur and the Cherry Bitter. We also pay attention to a balanced result, which reflects an authentic taste experience.

Question 3: When did you start to export your brand worldwide, and what is your development plan for the next years ?

Already at the beginning of our work we could win a partner in the UK who believes in the product and distributes it in the UK.

During the last year we have been able to win further partners in Europe and also in Taiwan with whom we work closely and look for new opportunities.

For the future we would like to expand our distribution channel abroad. It is important for us to have a close exchange with the importer and distributor.

We would very much like to set a footprint in the Asian market and establish our products.

Thank you Mr. Paul Meinert for your time and answers !

For more information please visit Kakuzo GMBH HERE: