It’s taking place on 4 October so we asked Joseph Ellis, Whisky Specialist and all round spirits expert, to tell us more about this beautiful spirit and even give you exclusive access to the House of Suntory serve suggestions.
“With Birmingham Cocktail Weekend 2022 feeling like a distant memory now, I thought it was time to look back on the spirit behind the winning cocktail for this year’s festival.
The top drink of BCW2022 came from Luke Bensley and his amazing team at Bar Ikigai. They created a delicious combination of Haku vodka, bell pepper cordial, pear brandy and chilli liqueur all stirred down over ice and topped with a couple of dashes of chilli oil. It was a savoury style cocktail, with an unctuous texture and delightful complexity.
Now there’s a reason this combination of flavours works so well with Haku. Haku is made by the House of Suntory, founded by Shinjiro Torii in 1899. His goal was to create spirits that were uniquely inspired by Japan’s nature. With this in mind, when creating Haku Vodka in 2019, the company took direct inspiration from Japanese cuisine and used white rice as the ingredient for Haku. As part of the vodka making process, they also use an ingredient known as koji which helps break down the starch of the rice and turn it into a sugar. This process creates sweet and umami flavours. The resulting vodka has a rich creamy texture with hints of sweetness but also umami which lends itself perfectly to the other ingredients that Luke used when making the drink.
When creating drinks at home try playing into those creamy, sweet and umami flavours when you’re looking at the other ingredients to use in your cocktails. You can find more inspiration for drinks here.”
So let’s all raise our favourite vodka cocktail and toast to International Vodka Day.
Cheers and Kanpai!