When one hears “Japanese cocktails,” one probably imagines a super-sweet, super-weak sake drink. Who knew Japan is considered one of the “big five” whisky producing countries, along with Ireland, Scotland, Canada and the U.S. And with whisky cocktails all the rage right now, it’s a good time to expand your bar menu repertoire beyond fruity, frou frou drinks.
ISSUE: Spring 2011
STORY: Anna M. Park
Japanese Cocktails offers fascinating insight into Japanese spirits and culture, like the fact that the Kamiya Bar, opened in 1880, claims to be the first bar established in Japan; its signature cocktail, Denki Bran, is a brandy-based liqueur cocktail bottled at 30 percent alcohol (whew!). You can say Japan-born author Yuri Kato is an expert in the field — a beverage alcohol consultant, Kato has been publishing the website CocktailTimes.com, a veritable bible for the home bartender, for more than a decade.
Details Japanese Cocktails (Chronicle Books), $14.95.
Try out this Japanese version of a good old-fashioned whisky cocktail, named for your typical Japanese middle-aged man.
Muddle the orange slice, maraschino cherries and gum syrup in an old-fashioned glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour whisky into the glass, top with club soda and serve.
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