Sometimes reaching for an unfamiliar ingredient in the kitchen is all you need to get your creative juices flowing.
In our box built around the Japanese Hot Spring experience, we introduced members to Kimino Sparkling Yuzu––an effervescent, refreshing, carbonated beverage.
Yuzu fruit is prized for its intense, floral, aromatic aroma. It’s lovely in drinks because you get wafts of it on the nose long before the glass even touches your lips. The actual fruit resembles a small, bumpy grapefruit and if you zest a bit into a salad dressing in place of a lemon, you get a much punchier, tart result.
Yuzu is prized in our fridges for cocktails, thanks to its ability to play well with gin and vodka, as well as blanco tequilas and certainly Champagne.
Here are a few creative recipes from bartenders playing with Yuzu this year.
The Kimino Bubby Highball
Courtesy of Vices & Kimino
2 oz. gin or vodka
6 oz. Kimino Sparkling Yuzu
Garnish: Slice cucumber
Add ice to a highball glass. Pour in vodka and top with Kimino Yuzu Sparkling. Give a gentle stir and garnish with cucumber slice.
THE TÉ DI MALATESTA
Courtesy of Hotel Granduca in Houston, TX
1.5 oz. House-made Green Tea Vodka**
0.5 oz. Limoncello
½ oz. Yuzu juice
3 mint leaves
Garnish: Dill sprig
Muddle mint leaves in a shaker with Limoncello. Add Yuzu juice and vodka with ice. Shake hard and strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with dill.
NOTE: You can substitute Kimino Sparkling Yuzu in this one, by adding it at the very end on top.
**For Green Tea Vodka, pour quality vodka into a wide-mouthed jar. Add four green tea bags. Let steep for 12 to 24 hours. Strain into a new container and store in fridge or freezer.
Courtesy of Rachel Sergi, Chief Bartender at Next Whisky Bar
inside The Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC
1.5 oz. Gin
0.5 oz. Mirdori
0.75 oz. yuzu-shiso cordial** *
0.25 lemon juice
Seltzer to finish
Garnish: Shiso leaf
Add all ingredients to a tall glass over ice. Stir gently to combine. Top with seltzer. Give one more quick stir and garnish.
6 cups white sugar
2 packages of Boiron Yuzu puree
8 shisho leaves
Place all items in a pot and turn the heat to high. Stir thoroughly and agitate with whisk to break up the shiso a bit. Bring to boil. Simmer until ¼ reduced. Cool. Strain out the shiso leaves.
“I love this drink,” says Sergi. “The dazzlingly vibrant color invites the eyes and beckons the palate to be excited. Refreshingly balanced between tart, sweet, and effervescent ... this is definitely an outdoor stunner.”
We could not agree more.
Tag us with your Yuzu cocktails at @Vicesluxury on Instagram this summer.