During Shochu Week, bar tastemakers showcase their individual flavor and cocktail flair by incorporating shochu from different Japanese regionalities and ingredients into a special, limited-time cocktail menu—learn more and find a bar near you.
This tart and spicy mule incorporates beni shoga, a Japanese ginger pickle often served on the side of fried rice or curry, Caer Maiko explains. “It’s dyed red with red shiso leaves,” she explains. The drink’s bright red hue also evokes the bottle of Kaido, she notes, a shochu made from sweet potatoes and rice.
Garnish: lime wheel, beni shoga (Japanese red pickled ginger)
Shake first three ingredients with ice until chilled, approximately 10 seconds.
Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass or copper cup.
Top with soda water.
Garnish with a lime wheel on top of the ice. On the lime wheel, add a small pile of beni shoga pickles.
Beni Shoga Shrub 1/2 cup beni shoga (Japanese red pickled ginger)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
Blend all ingredients until smooth, then pass through a fine-mesh strainer. Keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
Citrus Juice Blend The mix of the citrus blend is flexible, Maiko says, but it should be primarily lime, supplemented by smaller amounts of sudachi and yuzu juice depending on availability. “The quality of fresh sudachi and yuzu varies a lot,” she explains. “The goal is lime juice with more tang and slightly more tartness.” Her starting point is usually a dozen limes, juiced, plus 2-3 sudachi and 2-3 yuzu, juiced. But “yuzu is the hardest to find fresh, so sometimes it’s about an ounce of the concentrate instead of the 2-3 fruit. I know that’s not the ‘exact’ thing most people like to hear, but it’s the most accurate.”