Have you ever been to Shoryu Ramen? If not then what are you waiting for?
They’ve just unveiled a range of Autumn cocktails for 2017 and I was invited to their Denman street restaurant for an evening of cocktail tasting and food pairings. It was glorious. I love cocktails, and I love food, so this was always destined to be a great Tuesday night and it really did live up to expectations…
My friend, Jodie and I joined 8 others at the Shoryu Ramen Restaurant in Denman Street (near Piccadilly Circus) for their blogger’s cocktail event, which took place in a private room below the main restaurant area – it was a really intimate space with a horseshoe of tables facing a small trolley style table where the cocktails would be made.
On arrival, we were handed a glass of a gorgeous Chilean wine to drink whilst we took to our seats and waited for the others to arrive. In front of each chair there was a row of mini martini glasses (so cute!), each one decorated and embellished in a different way to reflect each of the four cocktails that we were about to embark on tasting.
When everyone had arrived, we were introduced to Sasha (Social Media Editor) and Victoria (expert mixologist) who would be showing us how to recreate the exciting and innovative cocktails she had created for the season! All 4 of the cocktails were inspired by Japan and used a lot of Japanese ingredients to give a really authentic nod to the culture behind Shoryu and to celebrate Sake (a Japanese rice wine, made by fermenting rice).
The first cocktail that we were introduced to was the Fuji Apple which was a spicy mix of Sambuca & Cardamom with a Shochu base and a fruity taste of apple.
Shochu is a japanese traditional hard liquor, distilled spirits made from grains and vegetables. The most common base ingredients are sweet potato, barley, rice, buckwheat and sugar cane and has a high alcohol content.
As you will know from my previous cocktail post (HERE), I’m really not a fan of Sambuca and this cocktail smelt very strongly of the stuff. This meant that in my head I had already convinced myself that I didn’t like it. However, when I actually took a sip, it actually didn’t taste that much like Sambuca. The apple added a sweet taste and almost helped to cancel out the aniseed taste without completely getting rid of the kick as the tipple slides down your throat, I actually really enjoyed it, so much I had seconds. This was the cocktail with the lowest ABV of the four and made us realise just how much we had in store for the next 3 cocktails.
Pairing: This fruity cocktail goes together perfectly with Edamame beans (I’m a big fan of these at the moment, especially salty ones. YES PLEASE), It’s quite a light drink so could be used to start off a meal with a bang!
Falling in Kyoto
Next up was Falling in Kyoto, a gin based cocktail (Jodie and I LOVE gin so this was expected to be right up our street.) It was made up of a refreshing mix of namazake, sloe gin, mandarin and shiso leaf with a dash of cinnamon syrup.
Namazake is unpasteurized sake
You could tell that this cocktail was stronger than the previous one. You could taste the gin (but we weren’t complaining). I felt that the Shiso had a vaguely cinnamon-y taste and married together well with the syrup in the cocktail, bringing together all the flavours and reminding me a little of Christmas. This was my friend’s favourite and we managed to get through a few of these bad boys.
Pairing: We were told that this cocktail tasted even better after sushi, and it was so right. I was baffled that eating something in between sips could change the taste of something so drastically. After eating some of the amazing avocado sushi the cocktail seemed to taste less strong and by the end I was practically drinking it as though it was fruit juice!
We then got to try the pork bao bun and I loved it. So much flavour and the bun was super fluffy. If you’re going to Shoryu then this is one of the things you must try. I don’t think I could trust someone that didn’t like steamed buns. It’s just not normal.
The next two cocktails are usually drunk post meal rather than the previous two which were often drunk either before or during a meal. These cocktails could easily be a supplement for a pudding if you were feeling a little full after your meal as they were sweet and slightly thicker. Yet, they were still just as (if not more) flavoursome as the first two cocktails.
Whisky & Kohi
This cocktail was a creamy mix of nikka red whisky, soy milk and espresso coffee, all hard shaken with a tough of orgeat syrup. And it was fantastic. I’m not a coffee drinker but for some reason seem to love an espresso martini and this reminded me of that slightly. I struggled a little bit with the coffee that was on the rim of the glass but after this it was a dream, perfect for an after dinner treat. (plus it’ll look great on instagram).
This was my favourite of all the cocktails and apparently the strongest too (coincidence? I think not) it consists of dark chocolate liqueur and banana for a perfect sweet mix and is served with matcha powder on top. The matcha compliments the cocktail perfectly and although the colour isn’t the most appetising (someone told me it looked like pondwater), appearance can be deceiving. This would be perfect as an alternative to a dessert; it’s really light as well so you won’t leave you feeling heavy after a large meal!
I really loved testing out the new range of cocktails and the food to match them, there were so many different tastes, textures and smells – it really was a treat for all of my senses. I will definitely be returning to Shoryu to try out some more of their food and to try the full versions of the cocktails now that I know I love them!