Shochu, a traditional Japanese distilled beverage, is great for making refreshing, not-too-alcoholic cocktails. When making this at his San Francisco restaurant Izakaya Rintaro, chef Sylvan Mishima Brackett likes to use Iichiko brand shochu. At the restaurant they make their own umeshu (plum wine), a sweet-tart Japanese liqueur made with the ume fruit. You can find it at Japanese markets and well-stocked liquor stores.
- 2 oz. (60 ml) 40-proof shochu
- 1 oz. (30 ml) umeshu (Japanese plum wine)
- 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- Lemon twist for serving
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the shochu, umeshu, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters and shake until well chilled. Strain into an ice-filled tumbler or highball glass, garnish with the lemon twist and serve. Makes 1 drink.
Sylvan Mishima Brackett, chef/owner, Izakaya Rintaro, San Francisco, CA