Recap: Dinner with Kikori Whiskey
Recently I attended a whiskey dinner for Kikori, a new Japanese whiskey in the Los Angeles market. I met Kikori’s Ann Soh Woods last year when we both took bartending classes with Elemental Mixology’s Andrew Willett. At the time she mentioned she would be importing a Japanese spirit and I was intrigued to discover Kikori. The rice-based whiskey is aged in oak and is named after a Japanese fable. Kikori means woodsman. Ann told us Visu the woodsman was a hard worker but didn’t have work-life balance. And eventually lost touch with his family. It’s a cautionary tale that reminds us to find our own balance.
And I agree a good life includes harmony with family, work and play– which means good food and drinks are in order!
If you want to throw a classy holiday party at home, why not get a professional bartender from a service like Cocktail Academy and get the dinner catered? Our dinner was catered by Annie Campbell Catering.
I started with the old fashioned whiskey cocktail made with Kikori. I wanted to get a true sense of the spirit. I also tasted it neat. It’s clean, not heavily oak-y and mixes very well. It’s comparable to something like Glenlivet which makes great cocktails or with just a little ice. I actually don’t think it needs much water or any at all to open it up.
We started with a very seasonal salad with market lettuces, persimmon, pomegranate seeds and a citrus vinaigrette. It was delightful. I admired the deep burgundy floral centerpieces and the dramatic black and green colors of the place settings and menu.
We were offered wine but I liked pairing the dinner with some of the cocktails including the Three Strands of Rope which you can think of as a Manhattan twist but with dry vermouth. Served with ice, it went very well with the salad.
Three Strands of Rope – Kikori whiskey, Dolin blanc vermouth, orange bitters
Then we had a surf and turf of sorts with black miso cod and grilled hanger steak flavored with ginger and soy. These were great bites with the sticky rice. I considered what else to drink. Maybe the Fall Gimlet with Kikori whiskey and persimmon?
But I decided on the Oro Blanco Sour because I just love oro blanco. It’s my favorite grapefruit and grapefruit is already my favorite citrus. It was a lovely cocktail and kudos to the Cocktail Academy team on the striking bitters design. K is for Kikori, of course.
Oro Blanco Sour – Kikori whiskey, oro blanco grapefruit, grapefruit, honey, lemon, egg white, bitters
For dessert we had a brown butter chcoolate chip cake that had a buttercream infused with Kikori. It was a fun dessert. I also really liked the sorbet terrine of green tea, coconut and kyoho grape.
If you want to get a bottle, it’s available many local shops in LA including Bar Keeper, K&L, Wally’s, Wine House, Vendome and Bar + Garden. Or grab a cocktail at your fave spot like Seven Grand, Chestnut Club, Hatchet Hall, Peking Tavern, Sonny’s Hideaway and more. There’s a drink called The Woodsman at Faith & Flower with Kikori. And it’s also featured in cocktails at Break Room 86, Cassia and Far Bar.
© The Minty 2015