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Yuri Kato’s Japanese Cocktails

January 20, 2010 By: Emily Hanna Mayock


It’s almost that time of year in Japan — the cherry blossoms are about to bloom, showing off their beauty and exuberance and symbolizing life for the Japanese culture. But there’s much more to this time of year than the blossoms: it’s also the debut of CocktailTimes.com founder Yuri Kato’s book, Japanese Cocktails: Mixed Drinks with Saké, Shochu, Whisky and More (Chronicle Books). In partnership with Suntory, Kato has created a book dedicated to creative cocktail recipes, Japanese liquor production and even travel tips.

Japanese Cocktails Book Cover

The book features more than 60 cocktail recipes, from classics to modern creations that feature exotic Japanese ingredients like Shichimi Togarashi spice, yuzu fruit and kabosu juice. Plus, it showcases the unique mixing methods of Japanese bartenders, from tools to ice to garnishes.

Here is just a sampling of the recipes presented in Japanese Cocktails; to buy the entire book, which features things like Sake Eggnog, the Bloody Mari-Chan and the Shiso Ume Mojito, visit www.chroniclebooks.com. The book is available for $14.95 at amazon.com on Feb. 17 and in bookstores March 20.

Yuzu Julep (p. 69)
2 ounces Yamazaki 12 Year Old
6 fresh mint leaves
1 tsp. gum syrup
½ ounce Yuzu Juice
Fresh mint spring for garnish

Muddle mint leaves with gum syrup in a mixing glass. Pour into a short glass with crushed ice. Add whisky and yuzu juice, garnish with a mint sprig, and serve.

Black Ship (p. 62)
1 ½ ounces Hibiki 12 Year Old
1 ounce pomegranate juice
¼ ounce Port
1 tsp. lemon juice
Lemon peel for garnish

Mix all ingredients except lemon peel in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled Martini glass, garnish with lemon peel and serve.

ZEN Milk Bath (p. 23)
1 ounce ZEN Green Tea Liqueur
1 ounce Nigori Zake
¼ ounce vanilla vodka
2 ounces milk
Matcha powder for garnish

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and then strain into a chilled Martini glass. Sprinkle matcha powder on top and serve.


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