Kira Webster is the beverage director at Indo, a Japanese-Southeast Asian restaurant in St. Louis.
I’m currently drinking Quiet Night Thought, a sparkling sake cocktail I created for the beverage program at Indo. The idea for the cocktail came after a conversation with Chef Nick Bognar discussing how to incorporate more Chinese flavors into the menu.
The cocktail features Rhiaku Wandering Poet junmai ginjo sake, house-made lemon-almond-pink peppercorn oleo syrup, and trakal, the first original Patagonian spirit distilled with native herbs and fruits. I wanted approachability with the cocktail, so making it light and easy to drink was key.
The cocktail’s inspiration came from the prolific Chinese poet Li Bai and his poem Quiet Night Thought. Bai is known for his wide repertoire of poems, his romanticism — and his love of the bottle. The Wandering Poet is part of a sake series from Rihaku Brewery aptly named after Li Bai’s poems; Wandering Poet refers to his reputation for loving to imbibe. See the poem below.
Bright moonlight before my bed,
I suppose it is frost on the ground,
I raise my head to view the bright moon,
Then lower it, thinking of home.
Quiet Night Thought
- 1 ¾ oz. Wandering Poet junmai ginjo sake
- 1 ½ oz. Lemon-almond-pink peppercorn oleo
- 1 oz. Cranberry juice
- ½ oz. Trakal
- 2 dashes Acid phosphate or lemon lime or lime juice to taste
- Sparkling wine such as cava
- Rosemary sprig garnish
- Shake all ingredients except wine with ice.
- Pour into Collins glass.
- Top with sparkling wine.
- Garnish with rosemary sprig.
Looking for more What I’m Drinking Now? Check out Jeff Rogers and the Original House Martini, Roberto Colombi and the Marche Bianco “Coccio” 2018, Matt Hungerford and the Golden Pineapple, Sophie Burton and the My Offer Is Nothing, and Natalie Tapken and Chateau Simone Rosé, among others.