The Nanban is one of the most unusual flavor profiles we’ve experienced in a cocktail – and we love it! Savory, fresh, and barely-sweet, this creation of Raul Faria was his entry into the 2013 Bols Around the World cocktail competition. The name and the flavors are inspired by the Nanban Trade, the first contact between the Portuguese and Japanese people, which led the way for Dutch trade later on.
Your cucumber slices should be fairly thick – about an inch (2.5 cm) thick, and then quartered to make them easier to muddle.
Faria calls for a Honjozo sake, which is a type of sake made with a bit of brewer’s alcohol added at the end for a dryer finish. You can use any sake style you like, as long as it isn’t too sweet (we’d leave the nigori on the shelf for this one).
Muddle the basil, cucumber, bitters, and blood orange liqueur in a shaker. Add the genever and sake, and some ice, and shake well. Double-strain through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail or coupe glass, and garnish with a fresh basil leaf and a wheel or expressed twist of orange (blood orange would be even better, if you’ve got it).
- The Nanban Cocktail at Mixology Made Simple