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Honeydew Melon Saketini: an Sake Martini with Honeydew and Cucumber.
By: Maren Swanson • July 26th, 2016
This week was supposed to be post-heat wave week in Los Angeles, but it honestly feels like the temperature is still in the high nineties right now…blah. I have to leave my apartment (on the second floor) in order to write, otherwise it get sluggish and unmotivated in my hotbox of a home. When the sun starts to go down and the clock hits 5 o’clock, I’m definitely ready to take a happy hour beverage break to cool down and re-group.
I’m a huge fan of fruit-based cocktails, and I usually gravitate towards purchasing what’s seasonal and abundant (and usually on sale, too). This week I bought some ripe, big honeydew melons and created a a light and refreshing sake cocktail: the Honeydew Melon Saketini! I have a special place in my heart for sake. I worked in high volume sushi and robata restaurant for years and developed a huge appreciation for good, cold sake.
Sake is very versatile and it works well with other spirits or on its own in cocktails. The alcohol content (AVB) of sake usually ranges from about 14 -16% on average, so sipping on it won’t get you drunk – despite what some people think. However, if you happen to regress to “sake bomb” action reminiscent of your college days, then I guarantee all that can change!
The slight sweetness of the honeydew melon, lavender simple syrup and muddled cucumber make this summer cocktail especially delicious. I recommend a slightly fruity, yet dry sake for this particular drink. I used Sho Chiku Bai Premium Gingo Sake, but a Daigingo (slightly more expensive, yet fruitier) or a good quality gingo should work just fine. Kanpai to a happy summer and stay cool!
2 ½ oz Gingo or Daigingo Sake (I used Sho Chiku Bai Premium Gingoi Sake)
1 oz good quality gin (I used Junipero Gin)
5 cubes of Honeydew melon
4 slices of Persian cucumber
1 basil leaf
½ oz of *lavender simple syrup
honeydew melon cube or ball
culinary lavendar buds (optional)
*lavender simple syrup:
Bring a 3/4 cup of water, 1 tablespooon culinary lavender, and a 3/4 cup of sugar to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and strain out lavendar buds. Refrigerate for up to a week in an airtight container.
Muddle honeydew, cucumber and basil in a cocktail shaker, then add sake, gin, lavendar simple syrup and ice. Secure shaker top and shake until tin turns frosty cold. Strain cocktail into a coupe or martini glass and garnish.