New book helps create cool Japanese cocktails

The home of some unique spirits and other drinks, it is inevitable that Japan's mixologists have created some inventive cocktails.

And with a renewed interest in cocktails around the world, a new book that details a selection of Japanese creations might very well help to make them better known outside of this country.

Written by Yuri Kato, an expert on the drinks industry and the creator of the CocktailTimes.com site, Japanese Cocktails: Mixed drinks with sake, shochu, whisky and more brims with more than unexpected combinations.

The book, published by Chronicle Books, includes an exploration of Japan's cocktail heritage and brings together more than 60 recipes that range from long-standing classics to some of Kato's signature creations, many with a modern twist.

They are also distinctive in being a departure from American or European cocktails.

Kato's own concoctions include the Yuzu Bath, which makes the most of the tangy citrus yuzu fruit, and a Melon Cream Soda that is based on premium Midori melon liqueur.

Others include a nod to other drinks - the Bloody Mari-chan, for example - while theRed Eye uses Japanese beer.

Elsewhere, recipes include such exotic ingredients as Shichimi Togarashi Spice, "umeboshi" pickled plums - which, dropped in the middle of a glass of cloudy sake, bears a close resemblance to the Japanese flag - and "kabosu" juice.

Several chapters are dedicated to sake, shochu or whisky produced by Suntory, one of the most famous distillers in Japan, which cooperated in the publishing of the book.

"It is a privilege to share my love of Japanese culture and spirits with others," Kato said in a statement. " Japanese Cocktails has been a wonderful experience and I hope that all connoisseurs of fine food and drink will find much to enjoy between its covers."

As well as detailing the drinks, the book also gives tips on how to found some of the more obscure ingredients and explains how Japanese bartenders use age-old methods to mix the perfect cocktail.

Japanese Cocktails: Mixed drinks with sake, shochu, whisky and more is published by Chronicle Books and sells for $14.95 in the United States, Y1,396 in Japan

JR

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