When Takeuchi opened Restaurant Aki, he was the first to bring authentic Japanese cuisine to Vancouver.
Winner of the People’s Choice Award at Vancouver Cocktail Week’s Fun City Gala, this cocktail is inspired by Aki’s restaurant, which opened in Vancouver in 1963 and was the first Japanese restaurant owned by Japanese Canadians in Vancouver.
Born in Steveston, Richmond, a young Aki Takeuchi and his family fled to Osaka, Japan at the start of World War II, avoiding internment camps. He returned to Canada as an adult and settled in Vancouver.
When Takeuchi opened Restaurant Aki, he was the first to bring authentic Japanese cuisine to Vancouver. At the time, the few other Japanese restaurants that existed served only ready meals and were more like a Sino-Japanese style of fusion cuisine. Takeuchi was the first to serve raw fish in his restaurant.
The restaurant couldn’t get a liquor license and therefore hid sake in teapots. This cocktail celebrates Japanese culture in Vancouver with a drink made with Japanese gin, sake and tea.
• 1.5 oz Masahiro Okinawa gin
• 1.0 oz bag of Kuramoto Secret Yuzu
• 0.75 oz lemon juice
• 2.0 oz peach oolong tea
• 0.5 oz simple syrup
• Bittered Sling Clingstone Peach Bitters
• Garnish: sliced hawthorn berry, dried rosebud and dried jasmine tea
Put all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake for 10-15 seconds until cool. Serve over 1 ice cube in a traditional Japanese teacup. Add dry ice to the teapot to simulate “hot tea” steam.