Featured Cocktail: Sake Martini
We talk a great deal about sake cocktails in this episode, and one important thing to keep in mind is that there’s not really any sake classics floating around out there in the cocktail canon, so most sake cocktails you encounter are going to be riffs on existing classics.
In this case, we’re doing the logical thing and using sake in place of dry vermouth because they have a similar ABV and can therefore play a similar role in a cocktail.
To make a sake martini, you’ll need:
- 2 oz of Gin (If you want bonus points for being Japanese, check out Roku gin by Suntory)
- ½ – 1 oz of Junmai Sake
- And one dropper full of our Iki Japanese Bitters by Embitterment
Combine all these ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, stir for about 15-20 seconds until everything is well chilled and diluted, then strain into your favorite stemmed cocktail glass and garnish with an expressed lemon twist. Your choice to keep it in the drink or discard it.
The salinity and spice in the bitters (courtesy of the wasabi and seaweed) combine with the expressed oils from the lemon peel to make up for the mildness of the sake. Usually, dry vermouth is prized for its dryness and acidity, so if you’re going to take those out of the equation and swap in a different ingredient, you’ve gotta think about other ways you can keep people’s taste buds entertained.
One last thing to note here is the squishiness of the sake measurement. Remember the measurements allow for anywhere between ½ oz and an ounce? Usually, you don’t really want to leave that much leeway in your recipe, but we did that here because people tend to be extremely attached to their martini preferences, whether those be dry, wet, or somewhere in between. And the fact that we’re working with a different mixer with sake adds a little bit of mystery as to how your palate is going to respond.
So play around. Try it with a half ounce of sake. Then try it with ¾. Then, if you still want more, up the ante to an ounce.