Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Okakura Kakuzo (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a very complex non-alcoholic cocktail, both in its preparation and its flavor profile. The idea came to me when I had to make a cocktail pairing for a chef's table. After running through the few non-alcoholic drinks I've made for this blog, I had to start innovating on the spot.

I ran up to the restaurant's kitchen and scoured the shelves for interesting ingredients. I came away with matcha powder and orange blossom water. I've seen matcha used in citrus drinks, but you need sugar to make a suspension. I used pear puree for that, and lime juice for the citrus. The restaurant makes a nice lemongrass and ginger simple syrup, so I used that for sweetener.

The trick was stirring the drink without ice, like doing a dry shake but it was a dry stir. This made sure the matcha didn't clump and get muddy. Once everything was mixed evenly, I could shake. A lemon twist and orange blossom water drizzled on a large-format ice cube topped off the whole thing.

The drink is very Asian tasting. Pear puree and lime sweetened with lemongrass and ginger will do that, but the tea flavor was very noticeable. It was bitter and grassy with sweet and sour and floral notes. And it should be, there's a whole tea cup worth of matcha in there! It's a fitting homage to the namesake Japanese tea master.
  • 2 oz. pear puree
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemongrass ginger simple syrup (sugar dissolved in boiling water and flavored with ginger and lemongrass.)
  • 1 tsp. matcha powder
  • lemon twist
  • dash orange blossom water
Combine pear puree, lime juice, simple syrup and matcha in a shaker and stir until evenly suspended. Add ice and shake. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with fresh ice (large format) and garnish with lemon twist. add drops of orange blossom water to ice.

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