New premium saké launched in HK
Tapping into the global rise of premium saké exports, the imaginatively named Four Fox Saké has been introduced to the Hong Kong market.
Speaking to the drinks business HK, co-founder Neil Hosie said he believed that premium saké is becoming “the drink of choice for savvy Hong Kongers” and is no longer the preserve of extended Japanese dinners.
“We are appealing to clientele who are looking for a new and exciting beverage to supplement their usual drink. Saké is a light alternative to other spirits available and we are working on some exciting cocktails with establishments in Hong Kong to showcase the versatility of the drink.”
Teaming up with Japanese saké expert, Tsubasa Nishitani, Hosie and his two other co-founders David Innerdale and Andrew Rizkalla, travelled to Niigata, one of the snowiest regions of Japan, where they began producing Four Fox using Niigata’s pure melted snow and the highly-milled Gohyakumangoku rice which has earned Four Fox Saké the highest official grade: Junmai Daiginjo.
Four Fox has been launched to the Hong Kong market in a bid to win over the city’s hard-partying professional crowd who pile into the likes of Boujis nightclub of a weekend.
Hosie and his team have also partnered up with popular mixologist Antonio Lai, who has created a series of ‘Fox-tails’ using Four Fox has the central ingredient.
“It’s about creating memorable cocktails that appeal to Hong Kong’s lavish-spending crowd,” said Hosie. “For example, we have ‘Shiso Lovely’ which is a simple blend of Four Fox and lime, while ‘Shōga Daddy’, with ginger and passion fruit, combines sweet and mellow flavours to pack a punch.”
Saké has traditionally been part of the Japanese dining scene in Hong Kong but is quickly becoming embedded in the high-end clubbing and bar culture in cities worldwide – most popularly, in New York and London.
“Last year, Japan made a record-breaking US$52 million on worldwide saké exports in the first half of 2014 alone,” said Hosie. “While we are still in the early stages of launching in Hong Kong, we are delighted at the response. Next year we are planning to launch in New York where the saké scene is already well developed – just not quite in the same way we are doing it – and London. We will also look at Macau/Taiwan and Shanghai as other potential markets in Asia.”