Unlike wine, always buy saké that is no more than one-year old and preferably closer to six months old.
Food and drink are a lot like art—the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and the definition of good food and drink is if you like it. One thing I like for sure is a Sakétini cocktail with Asian pear and almond.
Saké is a Japanese drink that is made from rice, water, and yeast. It is brewed similar to beer, but enjoyed like wine, and served warm or cold. Asian pears have a light fresh taste similar to both apples and pears. A touch of Amaretto adds an enticing almond flavor that marries well with the Asian pear, while the vodka ups the kick-factor. The fresh mint adds a fragrant end-note that is sure to delight your senses.
Sakétini with Asian Pear & Almond Recipe
Juice from 1 large Asian pear (see note)
For the simple syrup:
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
1/2 (113 g) sugar
For the cocktail:
4 ounces (120 ml) saké
1 ounce (30 ml) vodka
3/4 ounce (23 ml) Amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur)
2 ounces (60 ml) Asian pear juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup (or more to taste)
To prepare the Asian pear:
Peel and core the pear. Purée it in a food processor or blender, and strain it, reserving the juice.
To prepare the simple syrup:
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the sugar. Stir until it’s dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. It will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
To prepare the Sakétini:
Add ice cubes to a cocktail shaker. Add all the cocktail ingredients, except the mint. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Pour into a two cocktail glasses. Garnish with mint and serve.
Note: Asian pears have a light flavor and a high water content. If you cannot find Asian pears, you can substitute another type of pear or use pear juice. Be sure to taste the final cocktail for sweetness before you add the simple syrup.
Enjoy it with Ahi Tuna Tartare with Sesame, Ginger, & Avocado.
As seen in JNSQ style magazine for iPad.
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