We recently received a sample of a spirit that I am quite frankly not very familiar with. Iichiko Kurobin is a type of shochu – which is kind of like the less known little brother of Soju. (Easily confused, similarly spelled, but not quite the same thing.) The spirit itself has a very mild flavor – which had its own challenges in incorporating it into a cocktail.
Chris wanted to “hold up” the shochu – to find a way to feature it in a drink so its subtle flavor would shine through, without being overpowered by other ingredients. Strangely, after quite a bit of trial and error, it seemed like the best combination of ingredients included one of the strongest flavors I can think of: Wasabi!
Using mainly iichiko Kurobin, this cocktail adds Grand Marnier to add a smooth creamy sweetness, and just five drops of a wasabi tincture. It’s not a spicy cocktail by any means – but the wasabi adds just a hint of a kick that adds the perfect amount of complexity.
Don’t be deterred if you don’t already have Wasabi tincture lying around (who doesn’t?) – it’s extremely easy to make.
Give this one a try – you won’t be disappointed!
- 2 oz Iichiko Kurobin (Shochu)
- 3/4 oz Grand Marnier
- 5 drops Wasabi Tincture
- 3 oz High Proof Spirit
- 1/10 oz Powdered Wasabi
- Build over ice in a rocks glass.
- Stir to chill and dilute.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
- Mix wasabi powder and spirit well.
- Leave for a couple of weeks, filtering out the wasabi with a coffee filter when the flavor reaches your desired strength.