Cocktails get an instant update with the addition of fresh produce. The signature Sake Sangria at Kabuki is enlivened by an infusion of fresh fruits such as apple, lime and orange, along with sake, shochu and lychee liqueur.
“Sake adds umami to the drink, and shochu extracts flavor from the fruits, since it’s a distilled alcohol,” says Yuji Matsumoto, R&D Manager and Master Sake Sommelier. “Also, shochu preserves the drink, since it has a higher alcohol content than sake.” Shochu has a 24 percent alcohol content, versus sake at 15 percent. The sangria is infused for 72 hours, served with ice in a red wine glass, garnished with fresh blueberries and raspberries.
The Sake Sangria started as an LTO happy-hour cocktail, and is now one of the most popular drinks on Kabuki’s main menu. “Our guests love how the cocktail complements delicate foods such as sushi and sashimi,” says Matsumoto. The drink also provides an inviting entry point for introducing sake. “Sake by itself can sometimes be too strong and harsh for first-time sake drinkers, but our Sake Sangria has provided an option for non-sake drinkers as an introduction to the beverage,” he says. “People are delighted by this cocktail, especially during the summer, munching sushi and enjoying a light and refreshing drink.”