Rethinking Homemade Vermouth
Part 2: Sake & Shochu
Made by Jena Ellenwood
Yep, I get it: sake isn’t wine and Shochu isn’t sherry so technically this isn’t a vermouth as there is nary a grape in sight. I did, however, include wormwood this time around so yay me for following a rule! If you cannot source wormwood (or do not want a hint of bitter) you may omit it or replace with sage, it’s technically the same family of plant. This recipe took quite a bit of trial and error so I hope you enjoy! It’s great as a highball (yuzu soda is fab) and I also dig it in a 2:1 Martini riff using white rum and lemon peel. Kanpai!
Let’s Get Buildin’
Makes: 23 oz
Special Tools: Measuring spoons, Measuring cup, tea ball, Lidded jars/bottles, jigger
720 ml Junmai Sake (I used Hakutsuru)
1 bottle Lemongrass Mizu Shochu
1/8 tsp dried wormwood
1/4 tsp sansho peppercorns
1/2 tsp chamomile
1 cinnamon stick
1 green cardamom pod, cracked
1/8 tsp coriander
2 dried lemon wheels
2 star anise
1 strip grapefruit zest
10 dried pandan leaves
Honey Syrup (1 part honey to 1 part water)
- In a mason jar: combine pandan, grapefruit, and 1 cup Mizu. Infuse for 3 days before removing solids.
- Place wormwood in a tea ball and combine in a mason jar with 1/4 cup sake. Infuse for 2 hours, remove tea ball. Store in fridge.
- In a third mason jar, combine the rest of the spices and 2 cups of sake. Infuse 24 hours, strain.
- Combine 1.5 TBS honey to 1.5 TBS water.
- In a measuring cup, add 1/2 cup Shochu, 2 cups spice infused sake, 1 oz wormwood sake, and 1.25 oz honey syrup. Stir to combine and pour into a jar or bottle.
- Store in fridge
But will I like it?
Cocktail flavor profile
Let me know what you discover, or if you would have rated it differently in the comments below…