Klaus invented a new cocktail! This is not just any cocktail, mind you- but one that speaks clearly of the season. But what season is that? The dull time, just before the burst of spring. The ground coming out of its slumber, mud all around, a few crocus flowers straining to move through the soft soil. It’s going to snow in the next few days though…
A cruel joke perhaps?
The past few days, Klaus has seemed full of wanderlust. He spent the time wandering through the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show in NYC. He met the kind folks at Total Food Service Magazine and many others along the way. Klaus admired the commercial ice machines, the electronic technology laden kitchen equipment and high-speed dishwashers. He was so impressed!
Then, as if by magic, he tasted raw fish for the first time, cut deftly by a Japanese sashimi master. This artisan of all things sashimi was flown in directly from Japan with his plethora of hand-made carbon steel knifes glistening in the light. (Just like the knives in Kill Bill) Just around the corner from the sashimi master, his student sits on an ancient stool and hand-sharpens sushi knives as if his life’s work was to sharpen those knifes. (And it was!)
Klaus commented that the stones appeared so wet as the sharpening student lay the blades down, nearly perpendicular to the stone, lying in a pool of water, the sharpening surface itself pure, as if in an excited state of altered reality. Klaus was mesmerized by the motion of the sharpening master, one push against the stone, then the other side and so on and so on and…
But if there is one thing that Klaus knows how to do and that is drink.
Many top end Sake producers appeared in the Japan Pavilion at the show and Klaus started pulling me towards the broad tables, laden with sake from all over Japan. Klaus didn’t want to extol over the immense pleasures of both jasmine and green tea, what he wanted was to get soused! He was actually being quite insistent! Klaus was leading me towards a veritable Holy Grail of sake. Smiling men and women were holding out little plastic cups of liquid history to Klaus. He threw back his little ceramic head and drained a whole series of sake. Some were fruity and light, the pinot grigio sake- served ice cold and meant to be enjoyed quickly. Others were more introspective, like Burgundy, thick with sediment and possibilities. Still others in the nearly unknown, creamy style of sake pleased Klaus to no end and I actually saw him stashing a few bottles worth in his little flask on his chest for the car-ride home.
Ah Klaus, you work in strange little ways.
The season for drinking sake is year round in Japan and Klaus suddenly realized the meaning of his own desire. That is the absolutely freshest fish that money can buy, washed down with glass after glass of distinctive and crystalline sake from micro producers around Japan- as pure as the melted snow on Mt. Fuji.
Klaus told me that he wants to do a story on Japan. Maybe he will be in the right place at the right time to attain a story of this merit?
Klaus? Klaus? Ah, he wandered off again. Looking for another little glass of sake? He’s so predictable.
Twisted Cherry Blossom Cocktail
Ingredients (for two friends or one thirsty gnome)
3 oz. Hiro Sake (well chilled)
1 oz. Bluewater Vodka (also well chilled)
3 oz. Blood Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
1 oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Tamarind
Crushed filtered water ice (Klaus uses the Mavea “Inspired Water” pitcher)
4 drops in each cocktail- Bitter End Thai Bitters
Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water- Lemon essence
Freeze filtered water ice overnight and crush, pack into tall Collins glasses
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with filtered water ice, add the liquors and the blood orange juice
Add the simple syrup
Shake for 15 seconds
Taste for sweet/tart quality
Pour over filtered crushed ice and finally add a few drops of the Bitter End Thai Bitters over the top… finish with a splash of the Perrier Sparkling Water and drink!