Photo / Supplied.

A Stellar Event

Raise a glass to the Japanese festival of Tanabata with Haku Vodka at Auckland's Masu restaurant this July and August

A magical night of colourful decorations, twinkling lights, custom cocktails and divine cuisine awaits diners this July in the CBD — celebrated Japanese spirits company House of Suntory has paired with Masu to help celebrate the Japanese festival of Tanabata. The Federal St restaurant will be serving a special drinks menu of vibrant Tanabata-inspired cocktails, created by Masu’s award-winning mixologist, Akira Ohki, alongside an all new Fuyu (winter) menu.

Haku literally means “white,” a nod to its unique production method—the premium craft vodka is made from 100 per cent Japanese white rice. The process begins with white rice fermented with koji rice to create a mash. The mash is then distilled through pot stills to create a rice spirit. It is then distilled for a second time through two different processes in a pot still and column still to create a uniquely flavoured liquid. This liquid is then blended and filtered through bamboo charcoal in Osaka, Japan. This process, unique to Suntory, preserves and enhances the rice’s delicately sweet and subtle flavours which shine through in the finished product.

Photo / Supplied.

“For the House of Suntory, craftsmanship has always translated to sourcing the best ingredients, and elaborating on complex and innovative techniques to create unrivalled quality spirits,” said Kazuyuki Torii, Suntory Specialist for Gin and Spirits. “This unique vodka was developed from a vision to create a truly authentic Japanese product that meet the demand for a meticulously crafted vodka with a distinct and balanced taste.”

Tanabata is a festival that refers to the legend of star-crossed deities Orihime and Hikoboshi; banished to opposite sides of the Milky Way, the pair are allowed to come together only once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (Tanabata means “evening of the seventh”). Today, this translates to much banqueting, drinks and a bevy of colourful displays. Masu’s celebrations are no exception, with traditional “wishing trees” (live bamboo adorned with long, thin strips of colourful paper to be inscribed with guests’ wishes), layers of streamers known as fukinagashi, and thousands of lights emulating the night sky.

The Masu and Haku Vodka Tanabata cocktail menu is available July 1 to August 13, and diners have the chance to enter the draw to win a trip for two to Tokyo, including six nights' accommodation and a tour of a Suntory Distillery, where Haku Vodka’s philosophy of craftsmanship was born (worth $9,500).

Bookings are essential, so secure your spot at Masu now. Phone 09-363 6278 or visit Masu.co.nz. You can also be in to win a $200 voucher to spend at Masu here

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New Zealand Herald

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