5 cocktails to taste when in Tokyo
We rounded up for you 5 recipes of cocktails made in Tokyo by some of the city’s top mixologists for the Financial Times.
The cocktails from the recipes below taste like Tokyo, with ingredients ranging from the iconic Matcha to citrusy Yuzu, and with local spirits such as Shochu.
“The traditional Japanese spirit mainly produced at Kyūshū, in the south of Japan. There are around 400 shōchū distilleries. The total production, thanks to its huge success since 1980’s, is at least five times higher than whisky’s. Shōchū is made of raw materials.
We find molasses, rice, sweet potato, barley, buckwheat, sake lees and brown sugar, in which rice kōji is added. Sometimes barley kōji, as well. Containing the necessary yeasts and enzymes to enable fermentation”, explains Alexandre Vingtier, spirits expert.
The bartenders sought to represent as much of the spirit of Tokyo through the cocktails. If you are in the Japanese city, you can taste these cocktails directly created by their respective mixologists or if you are daring enough you can recreate them at home.
Created by Shingo Miyachi of TwentyEight Bar.
Where: 1-9-1 HIGASHI-SHINBASHI, MINATO-KU, TOKYO 105-7337, JAPAN
*A cocktail that represents moments of calm in such a busy city.
40 ml Rémy Martin VSOP
15 ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
25 ml Sour Apple Cordial
15 ml Oleo Saccharum
10 ml Citrus salt foam (a mixture of fresh lime juice, coarse salt and tarragon.
Preparation: add the ingredients (minus the salt) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass. Add the citrus salt foam to the top and garnish with Japanese herbs such as yuzu and hojiso, or edible flowers.
Matcha Yuzu Martini
Created by Shinobu Ishigaki of Shinohana Bar.
Where? 150-0002 2ND YAGI BUILDING B1 3-6-2 SHIBUYA, SHIBUYA-KU, TOKYO
*For this cocktail, [these] ingredients are representative of Japan and popular throughout the country, but also in Tokyo, where you’ll see them on food and drink menus all over the city.
45 ml Sobieski Vodka
30 ml freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice
10 ml yuzu juice
10 ml of Routin 1883 Caramel Syrup
1 teaspoon matcha powder
Preparation: shake the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker until chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a yuzu shell twist.
Created by Yuya Nagamine of The SG Club bar.
Where: 1-7-8 JINNAN, SHIBUYA-KU, TOKYO 150-0041
*This variation on the classic Cuba Libre is packed with flavor, and each sip calls for the next until you return to the bar to order another round of the same.
30 ml The SG Shochu IMO
120 ml cola
1 piece of a quarter lime
Preparation: Squeeze the lemon juice into a Collins glass filled with ice. Pour the imo-shochu, then fill the glass with cola and stir gently.
Created by Atsushi Suzuki of The Bellwood
Where: 41-31 UDAGAWACHO, SHIBUYA-KU, TOKYO 150-0042
*Enjoying a timely aperitif is a top priority for the enlightened drinker, and this cocktail is ready to whet your appetite on a night out in Tokyo.
30 ml The SG Shochu KOME
30 ml fine
30 ml Perfect Vermouth (2 parts sweet vermouth and 1 part dry vermouth)
3 dash of red vinegar
Preparation: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir well until the outside of the glass feels cold. Strain into a glass and garnish with yuzu zest.
By Graham Kimura of Jeremiah Bar
Where: 5-4-1 SHINJUKU (1F Q FLAT BUILDING), SHINJUKU-KU, TOKYO 116-0022
* This cocktail is inspired by one of the things Japan is best known for: the samurai. Since Tokyo is the capital, we thought it would be the perfect drink to represent the spirit of our city.
20 ml of imo-shochu (infused with yokan, a Japanese sweet)
20 ml of Campari
20 ml of Antica Sweet Vermouth
5 ml Gran Classico
4 drops of Sakura Bitters
Preparation: Stir all ingredients (except bitters) in a mixing glass. Strain over a large ice cube in an Old Fashioned glass and add the bitters. Serve with a small piece of yokan on the side.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.
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