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Drink DuJour: The Nara House Cocktail

In honor of World Sake Day, chef Ming Tsai gives the Hoffman House Cocktail a fresh update

“Sake has a flavor unlike any other and must be treated with care to truly shine,” says American chef Ming Tsai. “The ‘—tini’ years of cocktails are thankfully behind us, but guests still insist on a ‘saketini’ of sorts.”

When the Boston-based restaurateur was tasked to come up with just that sort of recipe, he turned to his favorite martini for inspiration. “The Hoffman House cocktail was first written about in The Savoy Cocktail Book and, in my opinion, is the truest and best martini,” he says. “It pairs two parts of London Dry Gin with one part of Dry French Vermouth and two dashes of orange bitters.”

For an update on this classic recipe, Ming scaled in premium sake by TY KU and named his recipe after Japan’s Nara Prefecture, the south-central region where it is delicately brewed. The result? A refreshingly dry and floral aperitif best enjoyed before food or with a light snack. We like it with edamame.



2 oz. sake
1 oz. Oxley London Dry Gin
0.5 oz. Carpano Bianco Vermouth
1 dash orange bitters and an orange twist

Combine ingredients in a mixing pitcher or pint, stir it gently to chill and dilute the spirits. Using a julep strainer, gently strain mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish with a beautiful orange peel.



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