Since a recent trip to the Takara tasting room in Berkeley, my days have consisted of finding another high-quality sake to complement my sushi addiction. I found success after stumbling upon a bottle of TY KU sake at one of OC Weekly's own parties.
TY KU sake is made by traditional Japanese methods, but is packaged to be sleek and modern. It also piqued my interest to learn that the founder, Trent Ulicny, is from Orange County, and you can find the stuff all over (try BevMo, Ralphs and Whole Foods). Thus, the taste testing began.
Besides just making smooth, tasty sake, TY KU also makes soju and a liqueur--this is where my mixology "skills" came in. I decided the sake should be left alone (unless of course you're creating a sake bomb), but with bottles of soju and liqueur, I could have some fun making up cocktails.
TY KU offers some holiday, under 100 calories cocktail recipes, including the Christmas Infusion--two parts soju, one part cranberry juice, squeeze of lemon, and infuse with candy canes--but I prefer to experiment for this blog.
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First was an attempt to make a skinny margarita, but without agave nectar on hand, I mixed TY KU liqueur with Patron Silver tequila, a bit of lemon juice, and a splash of sweetened lime juice.The second batch included a splash of grenadine for extra sweetness.
My second cocktail experiment was an almost equal mixture of TY KU liqueur and soju, with just an addition of lemon juice. Considering the liqueur is 40 proof and the soju is 48 proof, this cocktail should definitely be called The Sleeper.
The best part was that everything managed to taste great, no matter the ratio of alcohol because it all goes down smoothly. So when you're tried of drinking egg nog and the other typical holiday drinks, pick up a bottle of TY KU and try your own experiments or just follow a recipe from the little booklet attached to each bottle.