Holiday Gift Guide

IMG_1651 Around this time every year, Yoko's Aunt Judy starts bringing around bags of passion fruit for us. She has a very healthy and giving tree in her backyard, which produces plenty of fruit.



Photo by Judy Hayama


Aunt Judy has been talking about the cocktail she makes with these passion fruit for some time now. Before we said goodbye last weekend, she handed us a bag full of fruit and said, "Remember: gin and passion fruit. And don't forget honey!"


I've been enjoying shochu lately – mostly because of its lower ABV than other distilled spirits (around 25% on average), and its low sugar content – fewer calories! When I thought of what to do with Aunt Judy's passion fruit, I decided to substitute shochu for gin. I thought a sweet potato shochu would overpower the drink, so I went with Iichiko, a shochu made with barley.


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Aunt Judy's Passion Fruit Cocktail


INGREDIENTS Serves one drink


3 oz barley shochu


1/2 of a ripe passion fruit (or a barspoon of Passion Fruit Syrup by Small Hand Foods)


1 barspoon honey


10 dashes of Ume Bitters by Miracle Mile


GLASS Old Fashioned glass


METHOD 1.  Take all the fruit out of half a passion fruit and place into an Old Fashioned glass.


IMG_1613 IMG_1614 2. Add the shochu and barspoon of honey into the glass. IMG_1617 3. Stir until the honey is dissolved. IMG_1619


Honey can be hard to work with in a cocktail – often it has hardened or crystalized. Dilute one part honey to one part warm water to make a honey syrup. This will be easier to incorporate into a cocktail.


4. Fill the glass with ice. IMG_1625


5. I summoned my inner Tiki Goddess and I added a dark rum float to this drink at first. It was way too boozy so I tried something else. I had a bottle of Miracle Mile's Ume Bitters and dashed it into my cocktail until it created a nicely darkened hue on my drink.


IMG_1631 This was exactly the flavor profile I was looking for in a "float." The Ume bitters have a nice tartness, while grounding the drink with its earthiness.


IMG_1633 IMG_1656 I consider this a collaborative cocktail recipe with Aunt Judy. Kanpai!