Today’s cocktail really is a multi-layered bombshell of flavors, I can promise you. It combines different harmonizing flavors with each other and creates a very pleasant and velvety-fruity experience. However, a little preparation is needed since the recipe calls for an infusion.
I am aware of the fact that infusions are mostly accepted with mixed feelings when encountered outside a bar menu. Especially as a reader of a cocktail blog, you will probably hope for inspirations for your home use and I really do not want to lose sight of this aspect here. But, of course, many people from the bar branch are also reading such articles and those people usually don’t fear to make an infusion. And ultimately, many infusions are really anything but complicated. They just ask you for some patience.
At first I made this cocktail without an infusion and simply used the very beautiful Tokiwa Mugi barley shōchū. You can also do that and omit the infusing part without any problems because its subtle but herbaceous character works well in the drink. However, I missed something at the end and the answer was simple: Vanilla! But one after another. For the Velvet Blossom I decided to infuse the Tokiwa Mugi Shōchū 48 hours with a freshly cut vanilla pod (detailed instructions below) and then mixed it with Yuzu liqueur, cream violette (in this case I opted for the Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur, a very intense cream violette, so if necessary you have to experiment a little bit with the ratio if you should use another brand), lemon juice, fresh egg white and some strawberry jam. Whoever thinks I’m now completely into using jams as sweeteners because I also did in my last cocktail, the Eau d’Épices, I can reassure you: that is not the case. It is pure coincidence that these two cocktails were immediately published one after another here in the blog. Nevertheless, the strawberry jam plays its role very well in the Velvet Blossom cocktail and provides a fruity sweetness as a balance to lemon juice, the already balanced Choya Yuzu liqueur and the cream Violette. The vanilla works like some kind of frame for the overall picture while the Shōchū brings its exotic simplicity into the drink. And when you lift the cocktail to the mouth and you scent the freshly grated Tonka bean, the seduction is almost perfect.
Recipe “Velvet Blossom”:
5.5 cl Vanilla-infused Tokiwa Mugi Shōchū (see below)
2 cl Choya Yuzu liqueur
1.25 cl The Bitter Truth Violet liqueur
1 cl lemon juice
1 egg white
2 bar spoons high-quality strawberry jam (with a high fruit content)
Vanilla-infused Tokiwa Mugi Shōchū: Simply add a lengthwise cut vanilla pod to 250 ml of Tokiwa Mugi Shōchū and seal in an airtight bottle. Leave to infuse for about 48 hours, then filter through a filter cloth or a coffee filter until no particles are floating in the Shōchū.
Preparation: First, do a dry shake with all the ingredients without ice or use a milk frother to froth it up a bit. Then shake with fresh ice cubes and double-strain into your pre-chilled glass.
Garnish: freshly grated Tonka bean
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online. The Tokiwa Kome-Shōchū can be ordered here.