Maiko describes her Old-Fashioned riff as “nutty, sweet and savory.” Inspired by the time of year when chestnuts ripen and birds fly away—typically in autumn—charred chestnuts and browned butter are used to fat-wash the bourbon, creating a rich backdrop for Japanese American flavors.
- 2 ounces butter chestnut–infused Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon (see Editor’s Note)
- 1/4 ounce soy-caramel syrup (see Editor’s Note)
- 3 dashes adzuki bean–Angostura bitters (see Editor’s Note)
Garnish: orange peel, cut into a coin shape
- Build all ingredients in an Old-Fashioned glass, and stir with ice.
- Flame the orange peel, then place in the glass.
Butter Chestnut–Infused Elijah Craig Bourbon
Yield: about 8 ounces
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
8 shelled chestnuts
8 ounces Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
1. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
2. Add the chestnuts, and cook until they are lightly charred and the butter is lightly browned.
3. While still warm, add the liquid butter, cooked chestnuts and bourbon to a Mason jar or other glass container.
4. Move to the freezer and let sit for 8 hours.
5. Strain using a coffee filter or other fine strainer. Keeps, refrigerated, for about 1 month.
Yield: 8 ounces
6 ounces water
3 ounces brown sugar
3 ounces turbinado sugar
1/2 ounce soy sauce
1. Combine all ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. (Stirring should not be necessary; the sugars will dissolve on their own.) Keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
Adzuki Bean–Angostura Bitters
Yield: 4 ounces
1/2 cup canned adzuki beans
4 ounces Angostura bitters
1. Remove adzuki beans from can and gently rinse off the syrup.
2. In a glass container, gently muddle the beans with the bitters. Cover the container and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
3. Pass through a mesh strainer, pressing the beans to extract the most liquid and flavor. Store at room temperature for up to 1 month.