As the city of Los Angeles locked down to slow the spread of Covid-19, we reluctantly cancelled our scheduled meeting with legendary Tokyo mixologist Shuzo Nagumo. Described as part-scientist and part-bartender, he is famous for his innovative approach to cocktails as well as embodying the precision and attention to detail of Japanese bartenders. Any quick Google search will bring up his many unique accomplishments, but his most famous sip might be his foie gras-infused vodka.
While we were no doubt disappointed by the meeting’s cancellation (it may have lead to some day-drinking unconnected to the self-quarantine), we were honored by some good news. Mr. Nagumo had conceived a series of cocktails designed to highlight Amami kokuto shochu, including our very own Nankai Shochu. And they had filmed it as his iconic bar, Mixology Spirits Bang(k) in Tokyo, Japan.
His creation, “Yu-Wan,” is described by Mr. Nagumo thus, “This savory cocktail has lasting flavors from the rich aroma of port wine, the fruity flavor of Ratafia, the sweetness of Island Banana, and the scent of brown sugar. Try pairing it with cheesecake for a heavenly experience.” While it is a complex cocktail recipe, you can marvel at his technique and precision in the video below:
Yu-Wan by Shuzo Nagumo Shochu Cocktail Recipe Video
Yu-Wan by Shuzo Nagamo
- 30 ml Island Banana and Coffee-infused Nankai Shochu
- 10 ml Ratafia Henry Giraud
- 10 ml Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
- 10 ml Niepoort 20 yrs
- Dry island banana at 57 degrees Celsius.
- Add dried banana and mild coffee beans to Nankai Shochu; infuse for 4-24 hours.
- Strain and pour into mixing glass.
- Add ratafia, vermouth, and port wine.
- Add ice and stir well.
- Strain into glass with single large cube.
If you’d like to learn more about Shuzo Nagumo, here are some excellent articles about him: