Master the Art of the Japanese Cocktail

The cover of “The Japanese Art of the Cocktail” gives you some idea of what making cocktails the Japanese way involves. It shows one of the authors, Masahiro Urushido, using a pick to sculpt a large ball of ice. The big, clear ice cube, usually made from molds these days, is a signature that the Japanese cocktail culture has brought to cocktails in the United States and elsewhere. Mr. Urushido, an owner of Katana Kitten, a bar in the West Village, details the precise approach the Japanese take, not just to carve the ice, but to assemble drinks. He describes his career, from low-rung beginnings as a food runner to a sought-after mixologist in Japan and New York. The book explains high-end cocktail bars in Japan and more informal izakayas; his bar blends both. Many of the book’s recipes, with long drinks and Japanese riffs on classics, are demanding; some simpler examples are the Japanese highball using frozen whiskey; the Far East Side with sake, tequila and shiso leaves; and Friday in the Park combining pear cider and vermouth (though he recommends making your own vermouth). The book, released in June, has a guide to ingredients and sources.

“The Japanese Art of the Cocktail: Recipes, Tips, and Techniques from Katana Kitten in NYC and Beyond” by Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30).

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