Make This Cocktail: Nippon Cooler

I saved this to be the final cocktail from the Shaker & Spoon Kanpai! box because it involves a carbonated beverage. I share the wealth of these cocktails with some friends of mine — after I make one of each drink, I box up the components and leave it on their porch at a preordained time so they can enjoy the concoctions as well. If one drink has a carbonated component, I want to be sure they still have the opportunity to feel the fizz!

This cocktail had quite a few unusual ingredients. I had to google “osmanthus,” for starters — a plant that can be used for herbal tea — and adding watermelon to whiskey was an idea that took some getting used to. But it turns out, I think this was favorite drink out of the three in the box, because it was so unusually tasty. The Thai bitters brought a hint of heat, the watermelon juice was flavorful without being overpowering, and I began searching for all of these components online shortly after I polished off my glass.

Nippon Cooler

Ingredients:
  • 1½ ounces Japanese whisky
  • ½ ounce aloe vera drink
  • 1 ounce osmanthus syrup
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Thai bitters
  • 1 pinch sea salt flakes
  • 1 ounce sparkling watermelon juice (the box included a can from Blue Monkey)
Instructions:
  1. Add first seven ingredients to a shaker, then fill with ice and shake until well chilled, 15–30 seconds.
  2. Add watermelon juice to shaker, then strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice.

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