In Japan, the first strawberries begin to appear in markets in March, which is cause for celebration. Though California- and Florida-grown berries are available year-round in America, Brushstroke’s master mixologist Gen Yamamoto tips his hat to the customs of his country with this delightful spring cocktail. Its voluptuous warmth is perfect for those early days of the season when the weather is so changeable, and I find myself feeling unaccountably cold. Yamamoto builds the cocktail by warming a shot of Dassai 50 Junmai Daiginjo sake in an ochoko, or small sake cup, adding a few drops of simple syrup, and then floating a cloud of strawberry cream (composed of soft-whipped cream, strawberry juice and strawberry confiture) on top. The contrast between the silky warm sake and its rich cap of fruited cream, garnished with mint bud and fresh strawberry, is heavenly.
Photography credit: Nicole Bartelme