Are you brave enough to add wasabi to your cocktails?

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4th March 2024

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Spice-junkies and heat-seekers assemble! Now’s the time to take your cocktails to a fiery new level! If you love a classic cocktail, but you can’t help thinking it could do with an added kick, wasabi might be the hero ingredient you’re looking for.

But proceed with caution – you only need a little bit of wasabi to accentuate your cocktail flavours and add the wow-factor to your drink. Too much will over-power the taste and have you reaching for the water jug. Softly, softly is always the way.

So, which drinks does wasabi work best with?

Pina Colada

Everyone’s favourite holiday cocktail has a surprisingly tasty edge when you add a little wasabi. The best way to do this is to crush the root of the wasabi plant into a paste and add a tiny bit to your coconut milk. Blend the two ingredients together before assembling your cocktail as usual. Nobody will expect that creamy kick!

Alexander

The secret to making wasabi work in an Alexander is to infuse the gin before you create the cocktail. This does require a few days' notice, but the effort is so worth it. Simply chop up your wasabi root into thin slices and place it into your gin bottle. Leave the bottle at room temperature for a few days and your gin is ready to be Alexandered!

Some bartenders prefer to dehydrate the wasabi root first, to really make the most of the flavours, so maybe try it both ways and see what works for you.

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Margarita

The wasabi in this cocktail doesn’t actually go in the drink but is instead added to the salt that goes around the rim of the glass. You can buy wasabi salt ready-made and simply switch out your traditional table salt. Or you can mix wasabi powder with salt yourself, allowing you to get the concentration just how you like it.

Martini

Fancy upgrading your Martini to a Wasabi Martini? It’s easy enough to do – just add wasabi paste to your vodka in a cocktail shaker and stir it in until its completely dissolved. Add your other ingredients and plenty of ice and then shake and double strain into your chilled glass. Barely any extra effort required, but so much extra fire in your drink.

Moscow Mule

There’s something about the combination of ginger and wasabi that just works. Pretty much any cocktail that includes ginger can be wasabi-ed, but this is a fantastic example. Grate a little bit of wasabi root and ginger into this cocktail concoction and you’ll be able to breathe fire when you’ve finished your drink!

The possibilities of wasabi in cocktails are endless. The best results come from a little experimentation, so get creative at your bar and see what magic you can make.

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Bartender's top tip

Personalise your favourite cocktails. As you enjoy your favourite cocktails why don't you experiment with evolving it slightly aligned to your favourite tastes. You might invent a new classic!

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