Our move to a new location was motivated mainly by one thing: opening a bar! The Umami Mart Bar, located inside our shop, is an intimate space where you can enjoy sakes, shochus, and beers from Japan. And cocktails too! We've put a couple of our favorite shochu cocktails on the menu – the Yuzu Chuhai and Ohayo-Hai. Stop by our bar from 12-7pm on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays to try one. We'd love to see you!
In case you can't make it to our bar, here are the recipes for the cocktails.
This is our version of the ubiquitous Oolong Hai, a refreshing combination of oolong tea and shochu. It is super refreshing, as Yoko recalled drinking it for the first time on a hot summer day in Kyoto. Our version is made with our Ohayo Tea – a blend of hojicha, chicory, and habucha (cassia seed). It is nutty and caramel-y, and one sip will surely transport you to a rowdy izakaya in Sapporo, or a riverside picnic in Kyoto.
1. Add the shochu into a highball glass.
2. Add the cold Ohayo tea. We cold steep 3 tablespoons of the tea in a jug of water overnight.
3. Add ice to the rim of the glass.
4. Stir with a barspoon.
We're up against Washi, the Chuhai King, on this one. It's our thirst-quenching, slightly sweeter version to his, with nice floral notes from the yuzu. We actually used to serve a chuhai in a can at the bar, but decided to start making our own. It's much more delicious this way (although we do love a chuhai in a can).
1. Add all the ingredients into a large pint glass.
2. Add plenty of ice to the glass. Top with soda.
3. Lightly stir with a barspoon to incorporate ingredients.
4. Have fun making it.
5. Garnish with a lemon peel. Enjoy!
This recipe was surprisingly difficult to nail down. The balance is very tricky with chuhais – you want them to be refreshing, fizzy, and bold. A very effervescent club soda is required for this – we've settled on Canada Dry.
I know we've revealed the recipes here and you think you can just get the ingredients and make them at home yourself. But don't forget that drinks taste better when someone makes them for you. Let us do it!
UMAMI MART BAR
Oakland, CA 94611
Open Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays, 12-7pm