The latest batch of the world’s most expensive gin has gone on sale in time for Christmas, with an eye-watering price tag of £2,000 for a 70cl bottle. That’s £71 a shot!
There is a maximum of 36 bottles of Cambridge Distillery’s Watenshi - or ‘Japanese Angel’ - gin produced every year, with up to just six released within any one country. The current batch is available in the UK exclusively through Selfridges.
The spirit is made from only the best one per cent of the distillery's award-winning Japanese Gin, the portion known as the ‘angels’ share’ which normally simply evaporates into the atmosphere.
Watenshi is created drop by drop through a special process that uses air pressure less than half that found at the summit of Mount Everest and temperatures colder that the South Pole to stop the evaporation. It’s a long and slow process, yielding just 15ml per distillation and requiring almost 50 distillations to make a single bottle – which goes some way to explain why it’s so expensive.
Another reason may be the gin’s unique bottle, which was designed by London-based Swiss designers, Loris&Livia, and jeweller Antoine Sadoz, who has worked with the likes of Tom Ford, Chanel and De Beers.
The glass is hand-blown in Cambridgeshire, the stoppers made in Switzerland and the silver feathers that adorn each bottle engraved and plated in London. Finally, Japanese characters are hand-painted onto each bottle by a master calligrapher.
Cambridge Distillery’s master distiller, Will Lowe, said of the gin:
“The vast majority of our clients drink their gins neat, or over ice, and that requires something beyond a hit of juniper and zing of citrus.
“With Watenshi we have been able to explore the upper limits of what the gin category is capable of. We sought to make a gin of unparalleled intensity and complexity. It’s an expression of refined elegance, which has previously been the preserve of the finest single malts and significantly aged cognacs.”