This playful highball was inspired by Christian Suzuki’s family vacations to Japan’s Lake Kawaguchi, where soft-serve grape ice cream is a popular snack. The flavor of United Sodas of America White Grape reminded Suzuki of this beloved childhood treat, so he built on that by combining it with shochu and pandan-vanilla syrup. The silky texture and body of the shochu combined with the flavors of the soda and syrup render what Suzuki calls, “an adult take on a childhood sensory memory.”
Christian Suzuki, Kagano [Pop Up!] | San Francisco
- 1 1/2 ounces shochu , preferably Iichiko Saiten
- 1/2 ounce pandan-vanilla syrup (see Editor’s Note)
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 2 ounces United Sodas of America White Grape
Garnish: pandan leaf
- Combine all ingredients, except the soda, in a mixing tin and shake with ice.
- Strain into a Collins glass over ice.
- Top with soda.
- Garnish with pandan leaf.
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup water
1 pandan leaf
1 vanilla bean
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Cut pandan leaf so it can be submerged in the saucepan. Split vanilla vertically and scrape seeds into saucepan. Add the bean, as well. Bring the syrup to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow syrup to come to room temperature before straining for use. Store in refrigerator in airtight container for up to two weeks.