Courtesy Andrew Call, Bacchus Bar, Portland, OR
At first glance, this is a deceptively simple maple-and-apple drink. But the key ingredient here is saké infused with bitter melon—a gourd some experts say offers beneficial health properties. Put it all together, this is a complex cocktail, as aromas and flavors meld and unfold as the crushed ice melts.
(Call uses Momokawa, an Oregon-made saké, but says any crisp, dry saké will do the trick.)
- 1½ ounces bitter melon-infused saké (see below)
- 1 ounce apple cider
- ¾ ounce Clear Creek apple brandy
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- ½ ounce maple syrup
- 1 bar spoon Aperol
- Lemon twist, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients (except garnish). Shake well. Double-strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
- 1 bottle dry, crisp saké, like Momokawa
- 1 bitter melon
Cut the melon lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pith. Slice into smaller pieces. In a mason jar, combine the saké and melon pieces. Cover and refrigerate 3–4 days. Remove from refrigerator and double strain.