Cocktails at EN Japanese Brasserie

Last week, I spent the afternoon at EN Japanese Brasserie. It was a fun afternoon for a journalist:  essentially, I watched from the sidelines as other people did all the heavy lifting on a photo shoot; asked impertinent questions between photos (they were all relevant to the article I’m working on – sorry, can’t tell you more just yet), and finished up by sipping some lovely drinks made by mixologist Gen Yamamoto.

Two special cocktails to share:

The Daikon Cocktail. If you liked the Daikon Green-Tini, this one is for you. Gen (that’s a hard “G,” by the way) makes a refreshing version with muddled daikon, shochu and lots more grated daikon on top.

Still life with Daikon Radish and fennel

Gen in action behind the bar

Daikon Cocktail

Tomato Cocktail: So if a traditional (or non-traditiona) Bloody Mary is more your style, this is closer to that category. However, this is one of the lightest, sweetest versions of a Bloody I’ve ever had. It was also crazy addictive.

Gen makes this drink with a combination of fresh cherry tomatoes and sweetened, house-made tomato preserves, as well as Rain vodka.  He also has a fabulous technique for seasoning the drink:  he rims the glass (but only half of it!) with salt, and then sprinkles finely ground pepper on the surface of the drink. Simple, but elegant and effective.

Tomato Cocktail

Don’t you love the glassware? It’s his own, hand-blown and brought in from home for the photo shoot. I was honored to be allowed to drink from this glass — and to be honest, terrified that I might drop it and break it! I swear it made the drink taste even better, though.

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