What better way to kick off the holidays than with a nice festive cocktail? I began researching for cocktails at my annual Ugly Sweater Cookie Exchange and started to think about fun cocktails I could make that were Japanese inspired. I love Japanese plum wine and sake by themselves, so thought they would be easy to combine with some traditional holiday flavorings. My friend Margret and I did some taste testing and here is a sampling of the best ones! Hot Sugar Plum Sake
2 oz of hot sake, 1 tsp of plum wine, 1 dash of cinnamon and a light shaving of fresh nutmeg on top. You can buy store bought sake and heat it up over a low simmer on the stove. Ladel into shot glasses and garnish with a cranberry. Make sure to serve this warm as it doesn't taste as good at room temperature or cold.
Plum Wine Cranberry Spritzer w/ Orange Twist
1 oz of cranberry juice and 2 oz of soda water (or 3 oz of cranberry sparkling water) and 1/4 cup of plum wine. The orange twist on this really makes it special. Just take a small shaving of an orange rind and squeeze it in your hand while lighting it over the top of the drink. The oils from the orange will infuse the liquid. Then wipe the rind around the top of the glass and drop it in for more added flavor. You're friends will be impressed with this one!
Here's a video how to do the orange flame: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/02/cocktail-101-how-to-flame-an-orange-twist-garnish-drink-flaming-peel.html
Rosemary Lemon Sakitini
Put 5 oz of unfiltered sake, 1 tsp of lemon juice and one sprig of rosemary leaves inside a martini shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a glass rimmed with sugar. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Deeelish, this was our favorite!