Winter cocktail challenge: Sushi Samba

Clinton Cawood

Clinton Cawood

20 January 2020

During the winter months there are still plenty of occasions for inventive cocktails. In this four-part series we asked four bartenders to each create a celebratory drink. Clinton Cawood reports

The final stop of our winter cocktail tour is the new Sushisamba in Covent Garden, where Jorge Eduardo Puerta is presenting Rich Woods’ cocktail, the Saké Spritz – a lighter alternative to other heavier and more alcoholic festive serves. 



Glass: Highball Garnish: Branded grapefruit zest

Method: Stir all ingredients except Mio over ice and strain into glass over ice balls. Add Mio and stir.

50ml Mio Sparkling Saké
50ml black saké
50ml Lafage Rosé
20ml St-Germain liqueur
10ml sugar syrup

The star of the drink is Mio Sparkling Saké, giving it a champagne-like feel, and creating a drink that’s a complex and interesting take on the Spritz. ‘It’s a really versatile ingredient that not many people know about. It works really well in cocktails,’ says Puerta. ‘It has these sweet notes that make it very mixable.’

The drink also contains rosé wine, black saké and St-Germain, which all interact well with Mio’s fl avours, resulting in a really interesting yet easy to drink cocktail. There’s an exotic element to it, but still within that familiar Spritz format. ‘We get a lot of people ordering it when they arrive, but it’s defi nitely not the case that it’s only an aperitif,’ explains Puerta. ‘It’s definitely got that festive element from the sparkling saké, supported by the other ingredients.'

'The elderflower notes from the St-Germain really highlight some of the fl avours in the saké,’ says Cawood. ‘It’s very approachable, refreshing and undeniably delicious. It’s like a gateway into saké,’ adds Milliken. ‘I really like the grapefruit twist, too. It’s a bit like a G&T alternative when you want to treat yourself – I can imagine this doing the rounds on Christmas Eve.’

A welcome light, low-abv cocktail to end a day of festive drinking.

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