Extract from 'All Day Cocktails' by Shaun Byrne and Nick Tesar. 

Sake doesn’t have to be one of those things that you only have when visiting a Japanese restaurant. It actually makes for a great cocktail as it offers something that is not commonly found in any other liquor: umami. This rich ‘meatiness’ can vary between different varieties, but it’s great paired with grapefruit and salt, as it contrasts well with the flavour of the sake. Believe it or not, sake is produced in countries other than Japan. It might take a bit more digging, but they are out there, so see if you can find a local one.

  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) sake (see Note) 
  • 15 ml (½ fl oz) sparkling wine
  • 4 drops of Saline solution (below) 
  • 2 tablespoons Grapefruit granita (below) 
  • Rosemary sprig, to garnish

Combine the sake, wine and saline solution in a small glass. Top with the granita and garnish with the rosemary sprig. 

Serve with a spoon and a straw (not a plastic one!).

Something dry, light and local is best here.

Saline solution

Potatoes aren’t potatoes without a little salt. Salt has a magical power to just make things taste better – in the right quantities, that is. To make a saline solution, simply dissolve one part salt in five parts water, no heat required. Flaked salt is best here, and there is a world of salt varieties to experiment with.

Grapefruit granita

A granita can be as simple as freezing fruit juice and scraping the solid mass every half an hour or so. The scraping helps to aerate the frozen juice, making it lighter to eat. In this recipe, we’ve added some egg white to help with this process. We also use a cream charger to get as much air into the granita as possible (we’ve included instructions on how to make this without one, but it will take a little longer). It is important to note that, depending on the sweetness of the grapefruit, you may need to adjust the quantity of sugar, adding more juice or more sugar to taste. Once you have added the quinquina but before adding the egg, taste the liquid and adjust, but bear in mind that the sweetness will drop off a little once the granita has frozen. You will need to start this recipe at least three hours ahead of time (seven hours if you’re not using a cream charger).

MAKES APPROX. 500 G (1 LB 2 OZ) 

  • 250 g (9 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 5 grapefruits
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) quinquina 
  • 1 egg white

Start by dissolving the sugar in 250 ml (8 fl oz/1 cup) water in a saucepan over a low heat. Once dissolved, remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Zest and juice the grapefruits.

If you have a 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cup) cream charger, put the zest and juice into the canister. Add the quinquina, then double charge the canister and shake for 5 minutes before expressing the gas. Strain the contents through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the grapefruit zest, and return the liquid to the canister with the sugar syrup and egg white. Double charge the canister again, shake for 2 minutes, then discharge onto a baking tray. 

If you don’t have a cream charger, combine the zest in a bowl with the grapefruit juice and quinquina, and leave to soak in the fridge for 4 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the grapefruit zest, then combine with the sugar syrup and egg white. Whisk for 2 minutes and transfer the mixture onto a baking tray.

Transfer the tray to the freezer and leave for 3 hours. Every 30 minutes, remove the granita from the freezer and scrape it with a fork to aerate so that it doesn’t freeze in chunks. Covered, the granita will last for 2 months in the freezer.