Here’s another one from ye olde recipe vault: the Cucumber Mint Saketini (and because sake isn’t just for sake bombs). A fresh drink for a fresh start (no matter what time of the year).

Sake is one of those underrated alcoholic beverages, in my opinion, that most people only drink when going out for sushi. Hot or cold, filtered or unfiltered, are pretty much your only options when it is offered on a drink menu. Until now.

Mixologists are featuring this rice-based alcohol in many hip new cocktails. There are numerous versions of the “Saketini”, most containing vodka and/or gin along with various liqueurs, juices, syrups, etc. So for those of you who don’t like the flavor of filtered sake, you can now enjoy it in one of these new-fangled concoctions.

If you don’t want to drop ten bucks on a “Saketini” at a fancy schmancy bar then make it yourself at home. I whipped up this fabulous and easy sake cocktail (see recipe below) for my New Year’s Eve bash as the featured drink of the evening (until, of course, we popped the champagne). Unless you’re a sake connoisseur the cheap stuff will suffice because, hey, you’re going to be mixing it with other flavors anyway, right?
A warning: Sake has about the same level of alcohol content (or more) than wine and this drink goes down easily, so sip carefully (unless you want a hangover, much like the one I experienced New Year’s Day).

Kampai!

Cucumber Mint Saketini
(makes 2 cocktails)

1 oz Ginger Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
6 cucumber slices
8-10 mint leaves
6 oz sake
2 oz vodka
1 cup ice

1. Muddle four of the cucumber slices and mint with the simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.

2. Add ice, sake and vodka; give it a good shake and strain into chilled cocktail glasses.

3. Garnish with remaining cucumber slices and mint.

Ginger Simple Syrup
(makes 1/2 cup)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ pieces

1. Put all ingredients into a small sauce pan and heat on medium-high. Stir until sugar is dissolved and liquid is clear.

2. Remove from heat, let cool, remove ginger and transfer to storage container of choice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

(Use leftover syrup to sweeten hot or cold tea, or shake it up with some vodka or gin and ice and serve in a martini glass.)

Check out SakéOne for more saketini recipes and ideas.

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