I’m building a menu of seasonal cocktails to weave into the fabric of the MIRUKASHI salon sessions. I can’t wait to shake and stir and slip one (sprited or zero-proof) across the bar to you.
Just about a year ago I decided to stop drinking alcohol on the daily. The transition was far easier than I had anticipated. I really didn’t miss the buzz, and whatever small pinings I felt from time to time were easily assuaged by a growing addiction to feeling really good in the morning. The shift was almost instant. I slept better and woke earlier with more clarity and energy than ever before. But I did miss the ritual of the evening drink, that sip that elicits a deep sigh, a shoulder roll, and permission to do as I like for the remainder of the day. I acutely felt the need for something to mark crossing the threshold from professional to personal time as there is no physical divide of a commute for me. I knew I had to dive into the emerging and exciting world of zero proof (non-alcoholic) cocktails.
I have always loved the complex and surprising flavor combinations of cocktails. And they offer one of the most exciting and enjoyable ways to dialogue between Japanese and Western customs and flavors. There is a certain ceremony to sipping a cocktail served with a salty rim or adorned with a fruity or herbaceous garnish. It signals a time to relax, a time to connect and converse with family or friends. I really dove into infusing my favorite Japanese flavors into cocktails during the first year of the pandemic so I had a few original libations as a base from which to riff. While options are still quite limited in Japan, I discovered a flourishing culture of amazing non-alcoholic options on the market in the States. I became quite fond of the offerings from Monday and have used their distilled gin, whiskey, and mezcal alternatives in several combinations to much delicious delight. I’ve also dabbled with Japanese tea as an ingredient and it has opened a whole new world of possibility.
I’m building a menu of seasonal cocktails to weave into the fabric of the MIRUKASHI salon sessions. I can’t wait to shake and stir and slip one (with or without alcohol) across the bar to you. We’ll sit by the fire in the cooler months between autumn and first spring, or by an open window in early summer, and drink in a quiet moment between the flurry of an afternoon spent in the kitchen and an evening gathered around the table dining on the feast we’ve prepared.