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Cocktail Ranking

   One of my favorite publications of late has been the Saturday edition of the Nikkei Shimbun called Nikkei Plus. Every week the paper has a feature called Nandemo Rankingu (Ranking Everything) and this Saturday they rolled a ball right up my alley with their ranking of cocktails people can make at home this summer.

   Nikkei Plus first had Akihiro Sakô of the Nihon Bartenders Association select 32 popular cocktails. From these, ten bartenders working at bars in Japan, including Masashi Ôishi of Bar Marvelous in Fukuoka, were asked to choose ten they recommened.

1. Gin Tonic (580 points)

   One of my all time favorites, as well. I enjoy G&Ts with a sprig of rosemary. Gin of choice includes Bombay Sapphire or Tangeray 10.

2. Mojito (550)

   I happen to be enjoying one at this very moment. (Hic!)

3. Whiskey High Ball (400)

   A few years ago Suntory introduced the Kaku Haibôru as a cheap alternative to beer and, boy, has it ever been successful. Go into any izakaya these days and you'll surely find the Kaku High Ball on the menu. It has even got me drinking whiskey again after an unfortunate encounter with the whiskey and cokes when I was sixteen. 

4. Caipirinha (390)

   I had never heard of this before, but after reading up on this Brazilian cocktail made with Cachaça, which I have had, I'm quite eager to try it. Add cut limes to a rock glass and muddle. Add one part Pinga rum, 0.2 parts syrup, and top glass with crushed ice. Caipirinha, which means a country girl, is said to be Brazil's national drink.

 5. Frozen Daiquiri (380)

   Ho hum.

6. Sol Cubano (260)

   Here's another one I'm not familiar with, but am willing to learn. Bartender!

   Fill a tumbler with ice. Add one part rum, 1.5 parts grapefruit juice. Lastly, add tonic water. Stir lightly.

7. Shandy Gaff (250)

   One of my summer favorites, I have already written about it.

7. Moscow Mule (250)

   Tied for seventh is the perrenial favorite in Japan, Moscow Mule. It wasn't until I had come to Japan that I heard about this cocktail.  

   Fill a mug or tumbler with ice and add one part vodka, 0.3 parts lime juice, and 2 parts ginger ale. The name comes from the fact the cocktail packs such a punch that it makes you feel as if you've been kicked in the head by an ass. 

9. Watermelon Cocktail (230)

   Rub the rim of the glass with watermelon and salt (a la margarita). Add ice, and one part vodka, 4 parts juice from grated watermellon. Mix.

10. Salty Dog (220)

   Another favorite in Japan. Salt rim of glass. Add ice, one part chilled vodka and three parts grapefruit juice.

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