Sake Gumi

Genshu Cocktails: Rob Roy + Bamboo

When Yoko told me that this month's Sake Gumi theme was genshu sakes, I was so excited. This was a prime opportunity to develop some new cocktails! Since genshu sakes are tank strength, they have not been diluted (most sakes are diluted with water to bring down the ABV) –...

Happy Hour

Shiso Shochu Mojito

I seriously suck at gardening. I've even been known to kill succulents – that's how bad I am at keeping plants alive. Luckily, I'm surrounded by people with green thumbs, and I get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. This...

Happy Hour

Sakura Daikiri (A Hemingway Daiquiri Riff)

If we were in Japan right now, Yoko and I would shut down Umami Mart for a week and spend our days hanami-ing – picnicking under sakura (cherry blossom) trees with bentos and sake with friends, joyful that spring is here while blossoms flutter all around. Just look at...

Happy Hour

Happy Hour: The Mother-In-Law Cocktail

I found this cocktail inside Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails book that we carry at Umami Mart. Aptly named the Mother-In-Law cocktail, it is indeed a stiff enough drink to prepare you for a visit with the in-laws. There's nothing...

Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Gin(jo) Rickey

With the opening of our bottle shop, I have been exploring the world of sake. Daiginjos, Junmais, Yamahais, Namas, I'm trying them all. While tasting all of the different sakes, there is one particular trait I'm always looking for: would this be good in a cocktail? Tis a...

Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Yuzu Liqueur

The Food Republic recently declared yuzu as America's next big THING. Well, duhhhh! Umami Mart readers, writers and shoppers have been privy to this whimsical citrus for a long while now so we're not lifting any eyebrows at these sort of dramatic announcements. That...

Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Tokyo Mule

Heyyyy, Happy Hour is BACK! I spent all weekend trying to come up with a clever column name for this post, which would also be used for future articles about cocktails that I make at home (Bar Umami Mart? Kayoko Bar? Bar Kayo?). But...

Happy Hour

Happy Hour: The Saigon Correspondent

Fact: A gin and tonic is the quintessential summer cocktail. My grandmother Margaret knew this and would serve the iconic drink from a gallon handle of Gordon’s gin topping it off with a lime and Schweppes tonic water. She made the switch...