One Thousand Cranes

Kevin Diedrich | San Francisco

One Thousand Cranes

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 crushable, citrusy highball is poetically named after a Japanese children’s novel, in which 1,000 cranes are used to make a wish. “The cocktail itself is a riff off a classic Collins,” Kevin Diedrich explains, “but using fresh lemon verbena, which paired so well with the savory melon notes of the Saiten shochu.”

Ingredients
  • 2 ounces cucumber- and melon-infused iichiko Saiten shochu (see Editor’s Note)
  • 2 ounces cucumber- and melon-infused iichiko Saiten shochu (see Editor’s Note)
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce lemon verbena syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 3/4 ounce lemon verbena syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • yuzu soda to top
  • yuzu soda to top

Garnish: cucumber ribbon, lemon verbena

Directions
  1. Shake first four ingredients with ice.
  2. Double strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.
  3. Top with yuzu soda.
  4. Garnish with the cucumber ribbon and lemon verbena.
Editor's Note

Cucumber Melon Shochu
500 grams (about 2 cups) honeydew melon pieces
1 750ml bottle of shochu (preferably, iichiko Saiten)
120 grams (about 1/2 cup) cucumber, peeled and seeded

In a large container, add honeydew to shochu and let sit for 12 hours at room temperature. Add cucumber, and let sit for an additional hour. Strain through an oil filter. Transfer to a bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Lemon verbena syrup
200 grams (about 1 cup) fresh lemon verbena
1 liter simple syrup, chilled
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid

Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Place lemon verbena in boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and immediately place in the ice bath for 1 minute. Put blanched lemon verbena in a blender with the cold syrup, and pulse on low until the lemon verbena is well blended. Strain through a coffee filter and whisk in the ascorbic acid. Transfer to a quart container and store in refrigerator.

Tagged: shochu week