A drink to sip slowly on a cold winter night. ROKU × White Coffee Special Cocktail|Suntory ROKU × Mifune New York

For New Yorkers, winters are typically long and harsh, but also a season to spend more time with friends and family enjoying delicious food and drinks. A beautiful cocktail can enhance this precious mealtime. In recent years, bars and restaurants in New York have been riding the wave of a craft spirits boom in popularity and appreciation of fine gin and whisky cocktails. Local gourmets are especially noticing "ROKU," Japan's premium craft gin.

At Manhattan's innovative Japanese restaurant, "Mifune New York,'' named for the famous actor Toshiro Mifune, a special cocktail using "ROKU '' paired with a seasonal winter menu has become popular.

Born from the soul of a Japanese craftsperson. Premium Craft Gin ROKU

The beautifully etched flowers on each side of the bottle represent the six Japanese botanicals used to create ROKU.

New York's top mixologists drive the latest trends in spirits. What catches their taste buds are crafts that stand out. Gourmets in this city are interested in not just high quality, but also ingredients and the process by which excellent food and drinks are created. The craft gin ROKU, created in a joint venture with Chicago-based Beam Suntory, is a unique premium gin with Japanese charm and seasonal elements. 

In addition to the eight kinds of traditional gin botanicals, ROKU features six others unique to Japan: cherry blossoms, sencha green tea, gyokuro green tea, sansho pepper and yuzu citrus. These produce a refined and delicate taste, honoring Japan's proud manufacturing spirit. This unique gem is a wonderful addition to New York's bar scene.

ROKU specialty cocktail infused with coffee beans

"ROKU x White Coffee": Coffee and milk, with lemon accents blends perfectly with ROKU.

You can enjoy a special winter cocktail, "ROKU x White Coffee,"  at the innovative Japanese restaurant, "Mifune New York." This luxurious cocktail was created by Shingo Gokan, the restaurant's mixologist advisor.  He is the winner of the 2012 Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition, and a leader in the mixology industry, designing a wide variety of cocktails at home in Japan and abroad. 

First, what is "white coffee" and how is it made? Coffee beans and sugar are mixed with ROKU, milk and lemon juice which then separate out into a beautifully clear white coffee mix. A splash of soda is added to complete this special cocktail. The light carbonation creates a form as light as powdery snow. Moderate sweetness, the milk's mildness, the bitterness of the coffee, and the fresh tartness of the lemon perfectly blend with ROKU's delicate botanicals, creating a wintery feeling of cold, harsh and glamorous New York.

"ROKU x White Coffee" Recipe

white coffee mix (pre-batch) 60ml
・lemon juice
・coffee beans
60ml of soda

"ROKU x White Coffee" x Duck Pie Wrap A harmony of flavor woven from Japanese and Western influences

An exquisite, savory dish, perfect for the cold weather.

Executive Chef Yuu Shimano created a special dish to pair with "ROKU x White Coffee" - baked duck and truffle flavored foie gras in a pie wrap. "Mifune New York" is well-known for its original and highly creative cuisine, and this special offering combines Western and Japanese elements. It is a variation on a similar "turkey pie" served at the restaurant during the Thanksgiving holiday as part of a Japanese special course menu that was very popular. 

"Duck thighs are minced and rubbed by hand with a piece of liver and foie gras. Without cutting, the duck breast and foie gras are layered in a mosaic pattern, then wrapped with the minced thigh and liver, " explained Chef Shimano. 

It is a unique creation from Chef Shimano who previously served as Chef de Partie at Paris's famed 3-star restaurant, "Guy Savory," where he was in charge of sauced meat entrees.  

The moment the knife slices into the baked pie wrap, the delicious aroma trapped inside arises and entices.

The key element in the dish is the French style broth, Fond de Vaux. For three days and nights, grilled duck muscles, bones and herbs are boiled together. Browned black pepper and duck broth are gradually added, pulling out maximum flavor. "ROKU x White Coffee" features the spicy taste of pepper, the freshness of citron along with the fragrance of coffee. The mellowness of the foie gras also pairs well with the cherry blossom aroma of ROKU. The combination of balanced flavors lingers on your tongue. 

"ROKU has very delicate and complex elements," said Shimano. "When pairing with this cocktail, wild ingredients work well. As a result, I arrived at this dish." 

"Rather than trying to match the ingredients, I tried to keep the finished dish and cocktail from being in conflict with each other," said the chef.

This is Shimano magic -  creating precise harmony and balance grown from the cultivation of French training.

Executive Chef Shimano has an exquisite sense of balance between Japanese and Western influences.

Enjoying cuisine and cocktails in the world

The young samurai chefs of "Mifune New York". It is their teamwork that creates the restaurant's exceptional, top-level dining experience.

"This dish includes a variety of flavors that can be enjoyed during a long meal," says Chef Shimano.  "With this cocktail, you can spend a chilly New York night happily and calmly."

Chef Shimano's words overlap with the wishes of Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii who passionately advocated "creating Western-style liquor made by the hands of Japanese." ROKU has fulfilled those dreams a step further, crossing the sea to become popular in New York. As we get deeper into winter here in this city, ROKU x White Coffee and pie-wrapped duck with truffle flavored foie gras are something to savor slowly with friends and loved ones on cold nights.

Mifune New York

245 East 44th Street. New York 10017
+1(212) 986-2800
Lunch:Mon~Fri 11:30-14:30(L.O 14:00) Dinner:Mon~Fri 18:00-23:30、Sun 18:00-23:30(L.O 22:30)

Photographs & Text by Kayoko Ogawa

更新: 2020年1月29日