Cherry blossoms not only signal spring but also represent renewal in Japanese culture. To pay homage to the historical significance of sakura, Minami bartender Barnaby Malong created the Saku, a cocktail that incorporates Tantakatan shochu and a sakura-salt rim. “My aim was to create a beverage that embodies the spirit of freshness,” he says.
¾ oz Tantakatan shochu
½ oz Bénédictine D.O.M. B&B
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz elderflower syrup
2 oz Cave de Lugny Crémant de Bourgogne (or sparkling rosé)
To make the sakura-salt rim, combine equal portions of ground, dried sakura blossoms and pink Himalayan salt. Rim a small wineglass with it.
In a Boston shaker, mix and shake the Tantakatan, Bénédictine, lemon juice, and elderflower syrup on ice.
Double-strain into a wineglass filled with ice. Top with Cave de Lugny (or sparkling rosé).
Garnish with lemon zest and viola flowers on the rim.