The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2016

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december 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  1 17 toasted almonds and tart apple. Smith describes it this way: "With the rising global demand for brown spirits, guests are looking further afield for new options to explore. Accordingly, we've seen an increased interest in Japanese whiskey not only on its own, but also as a base for cocktails. Kikori's vanilla and lighter, floral notes make it a highly versatile base which merges seamlessly with a wide variety of components, creating the synergy that defines a good cocktail." While restrained enough to be sipped neat and paired with delicate food such as sashimi, at 84 proof, Kikori can hold its own in a mixed drink. Willard explains, "Kikori has been more approachable than most brown spirits [in cocktails]. It is a clean spirit and can take on so many personalities. It's easy and fun to work with, but still provides so much character once you give it an identity." Kikori is made in Japan, but the company is based in California. The product is available in a handful of states and expanding. With regard to its future, Smith says, "We're excited about the potential that this unique product represents." And perhaps Willard sums it up best when she affirms, "The wave of Japanese whiskey is here to stay. We have a Kikori drink on the menu and it is by far our most popular cocktail. In my experience, if someone is open to trying something different, it is a game changer for their palate." Trevor Roseman, Head Bartender at the Montage Laguna Beach. Last Ca created by Trevor Roseman ◗ 1½ oz. Kikori Japanese Whiskey ◗ 1 oz. espresso-infused Carpano Antica ◗ ½ oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur PHOTO: MARGARET SOSS

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