Suntory to unveil cherry blossom installation in London

Suntory has teamed up with London-based Japanese restaurant group Roka to bring the country's cherry blossom or 'Sakura' season to the capital throughout the month of April.

The activity aims to re-create Japan's 'Sakura' season
The activity aims to re-create Japan's 'Sakura' season

The brand will unveil an installation within the Shochu Lounge at Roka's Charlotte Street outpost on Friday (1 April), which will offer guests the chance to experience Hanami – the Japanese tradition of flower viewing.

The bespoke creation will comprise a series of handcrafted cherry blossom trees, which have been designed by London-based floral design and event styling company Veevers Carter.

Simon Freeth, bar development manager at Roka has created three bespoke cocktails for the occasion, each of which will shine the spotlight on Suntory’s Hibiki Japanese Harmony whisky product. 

These include the Match a Rack concoction, which is to be paired with a Hokkaido snow crab dish designed by Roka's executive chef Hamish Brown, as well as the Suntory Blossom and Happo Harmony.

The beverages will also be available at Roka’s Aldwych, Canary Wharf and Mayfair restaurants. 

Keita Minari, brand manager international, Beam Suntory said: "Sakura is a hugely important season in Japanese culture, and Hanami has been practiced for centuries. In modern culture, it is celebrated with picnic parties under the canopies of cherry blossom. We wanted to recreate a ‘Suntory’ version of this in London, and Roka’s Shochu Lounge is the perfect place to experience a contemporary take on Hanami."

Freeth added: "For us, the Hibiki Japanese Harmony was the clear core ingredient for the Sakura season cocktails; the expression is reflective of the harmony between people and nature in Japan, which is the story we want to convey in this activity.

"The Hibiki Japanese Harmony has been matched with traditional Japanese flavours such as matcha tea, umami and sakura; combined with seasonal ingredients like blood orange and rhubarb – creating unique serves that are perfect for this season."

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