Further North, A Bitter Melon-Infused Cocktail

Photo by Kryssia Campos / Getty

Courtesy Andrew Call, Bacchus Bar, Portland, OR

Bitter Melons
Bitter Melons / Getty

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.

Bitter Melon-Infused Saké
  • 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.

Published on January 26, 2017