Wednesday, July 6, 2011

kobayashi maru

2 1/4 oz Yamazaki 12 Year Whisky
3/4 oz Green Tea Syrup
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Apricot Liqueur
2 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
3 drops Orange Blossom Water

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

At the Appleton event last week, Russell House Tavern bar manager Aaron Butler mentioned to me that their new cocktail menu was launching the next day and that I should try to stop by sometime. So two days later on Wednesday, I paid Russell House a visit and found a seat downstairs where bartenders Miz Martinez and John McElroy were manning the bar. For a starting point, I picked the Kobayashi Maru for the combination of smokey Japanese single malt and green tea syrup seemed rather alluring; the green tea syrup was doing double duty on the menu for they were also serving Jerry Thomas' Cold Ruby Punch. While a Google search told me that the Kobayashi Maru was a Star Trek reference for a no-win situation that tests a cadet's character, I decided to ask Aaron about the drink he crafted. Aaron said, "As for creating the Kobayashi Maru, I was watching Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan, and at the beginning the Kobayahi Maru test is being performed. And I really wanted to name a cocktail that because I'm a big nerd. This also happened around the time of the Japan earthquake, so I decided to support Japan by using Yamazaki Whiskey."
The Kobayashi Maru was certainly not a no-win situation when it came to the taste. The aroma started with fruit notes from the apricot liqueur, orange flower water, and bitters. While the sip was citrussy and grassy from the lemon and green tea, the swallow was full of Scotch-like whiskey notes accented by the apricot liqueur. Over time, the smoke of the Yamazaki slowly built up over successive sips. Definitely, there was a lot going on in this drink, but it held together in a rather delicious and cohesive way.

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