Recap: Dinner with Kikori Whiskey

Kikori Whiskey

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!

shaking things up with Kikori

shaking things up with Kikori

 

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.

Kikori old fashioned

Kikori old fashioned

 

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.

salad

salad

 

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.

Kikori

Kikori Three Strands of Rope

 

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

surf and turf

surf and turf

 

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?

Kikori oro blanco sour

Kikori Oro Blanco Sour

 

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

dessert

dessert

 

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.

 

Kikori Whiskey

© The Minty 2015

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