, day 19! @misaodonnell
had suggested to me earlier that I should make some kind of sake cocktail, so I wanted to give that a try at least once. A few years ago, when she was graduating her culinary program at Seattle Central, she had to develop a course-meal plan for her final project. She themed her dishes around the taste of umami, including the dessert! She came up with an incredible sakekasu ice cream, using the lees left over from sake production, with a blood orange gastrique. It's indubitably among the best desserts I've ever had, period, so I thought I ought pay tribute to her dish in cocktail form!
1/4 oz orange blossom water
3/4 oz whole milk
1 oz blood orange juice
1 oz drinking mirin
3 oz nigori sake (Sho Chiku Bai)
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice, then shake and strain into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a blood orange wheel.
Mirin is a common ingredient in a lot of Japanese cooking, as a rice wine, similar to sake, but sweeter and with a higher sugar content. You want to make sure you don't use the cooking kind of mirin here, since that's gonna taste pretty awful in a drink! You'll want to find the kind of mirin specifically made for drinking, which tends to be quite a bit more expensive than the cooking variety. It's very sweet, though, so it's great to use where you might otherwise turn to a simple syrup!
This drink is a smooth, sweet, light, and creamy beverage, with both the milk and the nigori sake giving the drink body and a thick mouthfeel. Sake's natural umami helps sublty intensify the other flavors, adding a different dimension to the drink without making it taste outright savory or fungal. The presence of blood orange helps brighten up the flavors here, cutting through all the fat, while the slight amount of orange blossom water helps dry out the finish and add floral notes throughout. It'd be great paired against spicy foods, where the natural fats in the drink help cool the palate back down! Kampai!