Last week, I had the honor of hosting Drink.Think, “the first-ever reading series dedicated to celebrating what we drink.” (Photos here)
In addition to the general awesomeness of listening to some of my favorite writers read about booze, wine, coffee, and more, there was still more awesomeness in store after the event. Author Ramin Ganeshram, who read an amazing piece about homemade ginger beer (and shared samples too – thanks!) brought along sustainable food activist and restaurateur Bun Lai. And Bun brought….Firecracker Sake.
It’s delicious – warming, sweet and savory, and faintly fiery in a way that gently builds up to a “holy crap!!” finish. Here’s how Bun describes it on the Miya menu (his sushi restaurant in New Haven, CT): “aged hot chili pepper & citrus sake. painfully euphoric; contains over a thousand secret flavor components. the perfect sake to sake bomb. not for the meek.” Painfully euphoric. Love it.
In addition to selling it by the glass and by the bottle (!), he also uses it in cocktails such as the Immigrant Cocktail (chinese firecracker sake, club soda, and Coca-Cola), and Korean Hongkee Punchu (fresh watermelon sake, cerveza (beer), and chinese firecracker sake). As for me, I’m looking forward to trying it lightly mixed with pineapple juice, and maybe a splash of ginger ale.
I also have to flag the inspiring language in the cocktail description — clearly, this is a menu written with heaping doses of joy and humor….aged ume sake is “like a mouthful of sunstreaked ocean,” while the shinjuku shimmy cocktail is described as “a staple of japanese drag queens in kabuki theatre for centuries….england’s favorite schoolboy beverage since it was popularized in the nineteen eighties by singer boy george.”
When was the last time a cocktail menu — or any menu — made you laugh out loud?
Ramin and Bun, thank you again for sharing with me the awesomeness of Firecracker Sake.