Hi, all! This is Gab from Artful Desperado! GAH! Can you believe it? 2017 is just around the corner—how the hell did that happen?! To lessen the blow of “oh crap, I haven’t even started my list of 2017 goals,” I made a super fun and joyful cocktail: The Tokyo Sparkler!
Why did I choose Tokyo to be the inspiration for this cocktail? Well, first of all, it’s at the top of my “future travels” list and every time I think of it, I think lights, sparkles, color, and a bit of magic. This cocktail has those vibes in the shape of sake (obvi), kumquat syrup (which is sooo tasty), a dash of bitters (for grounding), and some tonic water (for sparkle and oomph). I used some of the syrupy kumquats as garnish and I added a tiny leaf of basil (if you are able to find shiso leaves, even better!)
I really think that regardless of your plans for New Years Eve, you should totes plan to have a little moment to yourself to sip a delicious drink, breathe in, say “hell yah, I made it through 2016!” pat yourself on the back and go enjoy the party, yes? Yes!
Oh and by the way, if you serve this with actual sparklers, your friends will be more than impressed and you’ll start the new year as a cocktail badass.
Let’s go make some!
The Tokyo Sparkler: Sake, Kumquat Syrup, and Tonic
For the syrup:
1 cup kumquats
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups water
For the cocktail:
1 shot sake (tip: unfiltered sake is sweeter and easier to drink. If you’re new to sake, try this kind! If not, go for filtered)
2 dashes orange bitters
Really good tonic water, cold (I say really good because you shouldn’t use a crappy generic one. The flavors in this cocktail are very delicate, so go for something artisanal or made in small batches to ensure it’s smooth)
Kumquat in syrup and a basil or shiso leaf for garnish
NOTE: The quantities for the syrup make more than 1 drink, so you can save the leftovers to do more for your friends (or for yourself, *wink wink*).
1. Place the kumquats, sugar, and water in a small pot over medium heat. Bring liquid to a boil and reduce heat to low, simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring gently in between, until liquid has reduced and it has become syrupy. Watch not to burn the kumquats. Strain the syrup, place in a small container, cool down and refrigerate. Keep kumquats for garnish (and to eat, so so good!).
2. Take a champagne coupe and place it in the freezer for 20 minutes to get it frosty.
3. Now let’s make the cocktail! Take a cocktail mixing glass (or a large glass), place some ice in it and pour in ½ shot of the kumquat syrup, the 1 shot of sake, and the 2 dashes of bitters. Swirl for 15 seconds (do not shake!).
4. Take the frosty coupe out of the freezer, strain and pour in the sake and kumquat syrup mix, top with a splash of tonic water, and add garnish (spear a kumquat with a cocktail pick and place the basil or shiso leaf on top, it’ll stick because the kumquat is syrupy).
Serve and enjoy!
Wishing you all the best for 2017 guys! Hope to see you around in the new year. YAY!