Liquid assets Interesting things to imbibe around town

Sake Bloody Mary

Kitchen 208 features a Bloody Mary made with sake at its Saturday-Sunday brunch. They add a bit of Clamato juice to honor Kitchen 208’s coastal location and further secure its Southern pedigree by garnishing the drink with pickled okra and candied bacon.

Kitchen 208 wanted to offer a Bloody Mary on its weekend brunch menu. Its alcohol license allows for the sale of beer and wine. Sake, a rice wine that is fermented, and has more in common with brewing beer, is a perfect base for citrus- or herb-profiled cocktails. Its versatility, combined with traditional Bloody Mary seasonings such as Old Bay, resulted in a refreshing twist on a classic brunch beverage.

Drinks made with sake as a base are gaining in popularity and frequency in bars around the country. Junmai sake has no artificial additives, no enhancers, no sulfites and no gluten. That opens up the market to a universe of drinkers who look to avoid those ingredients.

Sake also is lower in calories in general and in particular when compared with vodka in a Bloody Mary. Its alcohol by volume (ABV) comes in around 15 percent. Add to that its dryness and citrus flavor profile, and you have a perfect warm-weather spirit.

The Sake Bloody Mary at Kitchen 208 is $4. Other sake-based cocktails range in price from $8 and up.

Sake is a neutral base for a range of cocktails. It is used in Bloody Marys, screwdrivers, saketinis, mojitos, gongs (made with pomegranate liqueur) and the Black Samurai shaken with soy sauce.

Around town, you will find sake sangria at O-Ku; a sake, vodka and cucumber drink at CO; on the cocktail menu at Zen Garden; and many Asian-inspired restaurants around town will feature an infused sake or sake cocktail selection.

Deidre Schipani