Creating The Perfect Lunar New Year Cocktails

The Lunar New Year on January 22nd marks the start of a year of the Rabbit, an auspicious time to celebrate the return of Spring and the new cycle of Growth and Renewal. 

This special occasion has been celebrated in traditional societies for centuries, with some communities keeping their traditions going all the way back to antiquity.

It’s a time for family reunions and social events that may or may not include fireworks, dinners, parades, dancing, and giving money as gifts. 

The festivities also involve ritual cleaning of homes and businesses in order to purify them from bad luck spirits and welcome good luck.

So, to help you celebrate, the team at Kikori Whiskey have rounded up two exceptional cocktails to toast the Lunar New Year.

Bunny Money

Creating The Perfect Lunar New Year Cocktails

The Bunny Money cocktail is an exotic and sophisticated libation designed to tantalize your taste buds and tantalize your senses. A play on the classic whiskey sour, it features a complex blend of flavours from Kikori Japanese Whiskey, apple juice, lemon juice, carrot juice, amaro averna, and orange bitters.

All of these ingredients are perfectly balanced to create an unforgettable drink with hints of sweetness and bitterness that linger on the tongue. The vibrant colours of this cocktail make it almost too beautiful to drink – almost! From the subtle smokiness of the Kikori whiskey to the unique herbal notes in the Averna Amaro, each sip is sure to delight. With its delicate flavours and impressive presentation, the Bunny Money is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.

Method:

2 oz Kikori
½ oz apple juice
½ oz  lemon juice 
¼ oz carrot juice
¼ oz amaro averna
1 dash of orange bitters 

Fill a whiskey glass with ice cubes. Combine all of the ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously; strain into the glass and garnish with an orange zest twist. 

Rice Rabbit

Creating The Perfect Lunar New Year Cocktails

The Rice Rabbit cocktail is a refreshingly sweet and tart blend of Japanese ingredients. It is created by combining Japanese whiskey, liqueur, and umeshu with a special ingredient: glutinous rice-washed Kikori Whiskey. This unique whiskey has been prepared by pulsing the uncooked rice in a food processor until broken up into small pieces and combining it with the Kikori in a container for three days before straining it through a coffee filter or nut milk bag.

The result is an incredibly smooth, mellow flavour that balances out the sweetness of the other ingredients perfectly. This drink is ideal for those looking to enjoy something unique and flavorful – it’s perfect for sipping slowly during an evening out or simply enjoying at home on a lazy day. The final touch? A pickled umeboshi garnish for an extra layer of umami!

Method:

1.5 oz glutinous rice-washed Kikori Whiskey (see method below)

0.5 oz Yuzuri liqueur
1 oz umeshu (Choya is readily available)
3 dashes of Miracle Mile yuzu bitters

Rice-washed Kikori Whiskey:

  • 1 cup uncooked sweet glutinous rice (Koda Farms brand is readily available)
  • 1 bottle Kikori Whiskey

Pulse the rice in a food processor until it is broken up into smaller pieces, and combine it with a bottle of Kikori in a container, cover it and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for three days. Strain it through a coffee filter or nut milk bag and store it in the refrigerator. 

For the cocktail:

Put ice and all ingredients into a mixing glass and stir with fresh ice, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with pickled umeboshi.