The Martini is one of the highly sophisticated mixed drinks. -Not only James Bond favors sipping this elegant two-ingredient cocktail.
Besides the Dry Martini, Vesper, and other classic riffs, there are also modern Martini twists and recipes.
The Mt Fuji is also such a riff. The Shochu-based Martini classifies somewhere between a classic interpretation and the more contemporary versions. -With a tendency towards the latter.
Ingredients of the Mt Fuji cocktail
Above all, you need a quality rice-based Shochu. My recommendation for the Mt Fuji cocktail is Hakutake Shiro Shochu.
Hakutake Shiro Shochu is a premium Shochu and the best-selling Kome Shochu in Japan. It's a light and clean spirit with subtle flavors and an elegant aroma.
In a classic Martini, we would only need one more ingredient, but the list in this variation is a bit longer:
- Kome Shochu
- Simple syrup
- Fresh lemon juice
- Fresh pomegranate juice
- Basil leaves
- Slice of Fuji apple as garnish (optional)
How to make the Mt Fuji cocktail
Making this refreshing Martini twist is pretty straightforward. First, pour Shochu, syrup, lemon juice, and basil leaves into a cocktail shaker and then muddle them gently.
Then add ice cubes and shake until the drink is chilled. Typically this means 15 - 20 seconds of vigorous shaking.
After that, strain the cocktail into a chilled Martini glass and add the pomegranate juice.
Finally, garnish the cocktail if you like. You could use a basil leaf, a thin slice of Fuji apple, or go with a plain drink. After all, the Japanese are masters in minimalism.
What is Shochu, anyway?
Japan's most loved alcoholic spirit is neither Sake nor Japanese Whisky. Instead, Shochu is the most popular alcoholic drink. Mostly unknown outside of Japan, it is the star in many Japanese cocktails.
Shochu is a distilled spirit that usually contains between 25% and 35% ABV. It can be made from a variety of base ingredients and is produced either in a single-step distillation process (Honkaku) or multiple-step distillation (Korui).
Depending on its base, Shochu is classified into different types. In total, there are over 50 different base ingredients, and some Shochu is also made from a combination of those.
The most common types of Shochu are Imo (sweet potato), Mugi (barley), and Kome (rice). But there are many more.
Typically, it is consumed neat or on the rocks. But there are also many other ways to drink Shochu.
- 2 oz Kome Shochu
- 0.75 oz Simple syrup
- 1 oz Fresh lemon juice
- 4 Basil leaves
- 1 splash Pomegranate juice
- Add all ingredients except Pomegranate juice into a cocktail shaker and gently muddle them.
- Add ice and shake until the drink is well-chilled.
- Strain into a chilled Martini glass.