You can't beat a touch of chilli in a cocktail. I've suspected this for some time, but then a chance tasting at David Chang's Ma Peche cocktail bar in New York confirmed it. The bartender mixed the most beautiful yuzu juice cocktail - sharp, sweet, floral, and a slight kick at the back of the throat.
You'll know what I mean if you have ever enjoyed a hot charlotte: a fine blend of gin, St Germain (elderflower liqueur), cucumber, lemon juice, with just a touch of Tabasco hot sauce. We wouldn't leave until he gave me the recipe.
The magical drink was shichimi togarashi infused sake (2 parts), yuzu juice (1/4 part), lemon juice (3/4 part), and sugar syrup (1 part). Stunning as an alcoholic cocktail, I suspected it might well work as a yuzu juice cocktail. The warmth brings everything together and sensitises your taste buds for more.
Flavours tend to be far less complex in non-alcoholic cocktails, and in these, a hint of chilli really makes the difference. We've adapted the Ma Peche version a little to make the gloriously refreshing summer drink - the spiced yuzu juice mocktail. Serve it at your next party to great delight.
For the cocktail Serves: 4
For the shichimi togarashi sugar syrup
- 100g sugar
- 100g water
- 1/4 tsp shichimi togarashi spice mix
- Begin by making the shichimi togarashi sugar syrup. In a pan bring the sugar, water and shichimi togarashi to the boil. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate.
- Once the syrup is cool mix together the yuzu juice, lemon juice, syrup and sparkling water in a large jug.
- Fill four tumblers with ice and pour over the cocktail.