There’s something magical about cocktails. A story to tell, new ingredients to mix, cultures to share with a wider audience. Japanese cocktail culture has an incredible amount of creativity, from the way certain drinks are made, to the passion of every bartender and mixologist who puts a new concoction in front of their guests.
It’s that kind of energy that’s inspired me to try coming up with my own cocktails. Introducing Wabi-Sabi, a cocktail that taps into the philosophy of transience as viewed through Japanese culture.
Wabi-sabi encompasses many concepts, such as temporality, imperfection, simplicity and roughness. It’s a worldview that celebrates the unrefined and the acceptance that not everything has to be perfect.
That idea plays well into the fact that this was my first real attempt at putting together an original cocktail and that it didn’t have to be perfect. It was all about experimentation and accepting that I didn’t have to match the high standards of the mixologist gods.
The simplicity of wabi-sabi also played into the ingredients that were used. Simple flavours that combined English and Japanese craftsmanship together.
3 ounces of BrewDog Inugami shochu
1 ounce of wasabi vodka from The Wasabi Company
2 ounces of Mojito mint syrup
3 ounces of Elderflower tonic water
- Pour the three ounces of Inugami shochu into a Boston shaker, followed by the two ounces of mojito mint.
- Pour in the tonic water and then cap off with the wasabi vodka.
- Shake everything together for 30 seconds and pour out into small glasses.
- Use a spoon to quickly swirl everything together and let the fizz settle.
- WabI-Sabi is intended to be served as an aperitif style cocktail for the beginning of the night or at the start of dinner.
- As a korui shochu, Inugami has gin-like qualities that make it pair well with the elderflower and mojito mint.
- The wasabi vodka adds an extra layer of spice to the cocktail.