5 Cocktails Where Wasabi Is The X Factor

By: Shireen Jamooji

wasabi cocktails

5 Cocktails Where Wasabi Is The X Factor

The world of mixology is an open playing field for those willing to take a leap into the unknown. For many mixologists, this means taking ingredients which are not necessarily seen at your everyday bar counter, and infusing them into a sippable delight. One of the bolder flavours that has made a splash on the cocktail scene in recent years is wasabi, the fiery condiment most often only seen alongside your sushi. Wasabi proves to be a distinctive ingredient, not commonly linked with cocktails, which offers an alternative route to achieve a spicy beverage without resorting to hot pepper components. 

What Is Wasabi?

Wasabi, or Japanese horseradish, is a plant in the Brassicaceae family. It's not the root but a fleshy stem underground. Grated, it's a popular condiment in Japan, often eaten with sushi and sashimi using soy sauce. Wasabi is often compared to hot mustard or horseradish for its spiciness. Its taste varies: the top part, greener and ore moist, is more flavourful than hot. The bottom, paler, is less tasty but spicier. The middle strikes a balance. In Japan, chefs mix grated top and bottom parts for a well-rounded flavour in sushi.

wasabi

5 Best Flavour Pairings With Wasabi

Citrus: Enhance the kick of wasabi with citrus zest, creating a lively and refreshing contrast.

Ginger: Merge the heat of wasabi with the warmth of ginger for a blend of spiciness and depth.

Minty: Introduce a cool contrast by pairing wasabi with the invigorating essence of fresh mint.

Honey: Balance wasabi's sharpness with the sweetness of honey, for contrasting yet complementary flavours.

Soy: Build complexity with the umami of soy, for a well-rounded taste in your wasabi cocktail.

5 Wasabi Cocktails To Try

Wasabi Martini

Wasabi Martini

Start your wasabi cocktail journey with a classic twist on the iconic Martini made with the pure notes of Gordon’s London Dry Gin. The pungent heat of wasabi harmonises with the clean, crisp taste of gin, creating a cocktail that is both invigorating and refined. Garnish with a thinly sliced cucumber for a touch of freshness.

Fiery Fizz

Fiery Fizz

For a lighter option, consider the Wasabi Citrus Fizz made with a shot of the botanical forward Tanqueray No. Ten. This effervescent blend combines the heat of wasabi with the tangy citrus notes of fresh lime and orange juice. Top it off with soda water for a bubbly finish that dances on the palate.

Soy-Wasabi Old Fashioned

Soy-Wasabi Old Fashioned

Honouring its origins, this wasabi cocktail plays off the concept of a classic old fashioned with the addition of a soy and wasabi infusion. Use a smoky Scotch whisky such as Talisker to play up the savoury elements in the cocktail and give this old favourite a radical makeover.

ginger mule

Wasabi Ginger Mule

Spice up the traditional Moscow Mule with a Wasabi Ginger twist. The fiery kick of grated ginger pairs seamlessly with the heat of wasabi, creating a cocktail that is both invigorating and satisfying. This modern take on a classic is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Demon Bloody Mary:

Demon Bloody Mary

Elevate the brunch experience by giving your already savoury sip an extra kick of wasabi. The robust flavours of tomato juice and vodka are enhanced by adding wasabi, providing a bold and zesty kick. Garnish with celery, olives, and a lemon wedge for a visually appealing and flavour-packed cocktail.