The Japanese Art of the Cocktail

Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30 (288p) ISBN 978-0-358-36202-9
In this titillating debut, Urushido, head mixologist at Manhattan’s Katana Kitten, cracks the code of Japanese craft-cocktail-making with 80 mouthwatering recipes. He lays out the precision and techniques needed for mixing the perfect drink, but, often, the work feels like a promotional piece for the Greenwich Village establishment—especially in the first 50 pages, which cover Urushido’s biography, his bar’s history, and the emergence of cocktails in Japanese culture. The recipe section begins with a sampling of highballs including melon-lime soda or a yuzu spritz and the recommendation that they be served in beer mugs so that warm fingers only touch the handle, ensuring the drinks stay icy cold. Among Urushido’s creations, the Panda Fizz exemplifies the conundrum of a drink that is popular at his watering hole, but tricky for the home bartender who doesn’t have pandan leaves or Calpico concentrate on hand. (Though a resource guide for tracking down obscure ingredients is included.) A chapter of drinks created by his friends is set apart from his own inventions, meaning, for instance, that two negroni recipes are separated by some 100 pages. This collection will be catnip for those who like their tipples with an Asian twist, though finding one’s favorites will require some clawing. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/15/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
Book - 978-0-358-36183-1
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