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 mocktail.
Nicola is co-founder and CEO at Sous Chef. She has worked in food for over ten years.
Nicola first explored cooking as a career when training at Leiths, before spending the next decade in Finance. However... after a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant, Nicola saw the incredible ingredients available only to chefs. And wanted access to them herself. So Sous Chef was born.
Today, Nicola is ingredients buyer and a recipe writer at Sous Chef. She frequently travels internationally to food fairs, and to meet producers. Her cookbook library is vast, and her knowledge of the storecupboard is unrivalled. She tastes thousands of ingredients every year, to select only the best to stock at Sous Chef.
Nicola shares her knowledge of ingredients and writes recipes to showcase those products. Learning from Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola writes many of the recipes on the Sous Chef website. Nicola's recipes are big on flavour, where the ingredients truly shine (although that's from someone who cooks for hours each day - so they're rarely tray-bakes!).