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Recommended liquor: So that you can start mixing your cocktails as soon as your box arrives, why not go get your bottle of sake now? Each of this month's featured bartenders has a recommendation for you! Any of them will work well for all three recipes found in this box, depending on your preference:
SeongHa Lee suggests Gekkeikan Horin Ultra Premium Sake (Junmai Daiginjo), an exceptionally smooth sake with a delicately fruity nose; subtle, well-balanced flavors; and a long, clean finish, with a hint of pear. Round and smooth on the palate, with a medium, creamy body, this impressive example of a classic Fushimi style Junmai Daiginjo showcases just about every aspect you hope to find in such a sake. And at 31 proof, it stands up to amazing modifiers in all kinds of cocktails while managing to remain the star of the show—plus, it's readily available.
Blaze Montana recommends Momokawa Silver, a dry, crisp sake that's got some bright fruit and melon notes to it without being sweet. Made in Oregon with local water and west coast rice, it's a terrific sake for sipping while being priced for cocktails. Plus they're one of the very few renowned sake makers outside of Japan, so the product is easily accessible.
Daren Swisher's recommendation is Dassai 50 "Otter Fest" Junmai Daiginjo, the boldest of the Dassai Daiginjos, with unapologetic notes of melon and cotton candy, balanced by undertones of anise and cotton. Aromatic and lush, Dassai 50 boasts off-dry characteristics, which are balanced by its full-bodied figure with expansive elements on the palette—all of it holding up well in cocktails.
Bonus: If you're planning to purchase 3 different sakes, one for each cocktail, try Daren's original recommendation, Dassai 50 Nigori. It won't work for the other 2 cocktails, but will give Daren's Yamaguchi Sling an amazingly creamy texture.
Recommended amount: To make all 12 drinks, you'll need 25 oz of sake; a medium (750 ml) bottle will be your best bet.
Recommended barware: A few different jiggers that measure 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/2, and 2 oz, as well as a strainer, muddler, bar spoon, mixing glass, and citrus reamer or juicer. These are not all strictly necessary, but will improve your mixology experience.
Recommended glassware: Rocks glass and a collins or highball glass
Recommended ice: To make all 12 cocktails in one go, you'll need about 5 pounds of ice (5 ice trays’ worth).