The Ignite site reports on a marriage of local elements - mixing sake from the Kinoshita and Yosamusume breweries in Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture with locally grown fruit.
The area makes use of its different soil types to grow different crops, with juicy melons in sand dunes by the coast and super-sweet peaches on land swept by the sea breeze.
The area is also the setting for some myths about the sacred origins of sake, and has many breweries dating from the Edo and Meiji periods. All the more reason for the Kyoto Hotel Okura to choose it as the source for a set of cocktail ingredients.
The first cocktail, Sand Dune (JPY 2,138 including tax and service charge) is available in the hotel's 17th floor lounge "Orrizonte". Kyotango melons, grown in fast-draining sand dunes, have beautifully watery flesh and refreshing sweetness. Frozen melon is added to Tamagawa's naturally fermented (自然仕込, shizen shikomi) yamahai blend to produce a frozen cocktail with fresh sweetness from the melon and depth of flavour from the sake merging to produce a rare harmony. Tamagawa's British tōji, Philip Harper, uses ambient yeast in the brewery and Edo-period methods for his brewing. Kimoto and yamahai starters result in sake with strong flavour that pairs well with food.
The second cocktail, Ibuki (息吹, a feeling/sign/indication) (JPY 1,900 including tax and service charge) is served in the hotel's second floor bar "Chippendale". Peaches from the coast of the Sea of Japan are thought to be made sweeter by the sea breeze. Sparkling sake is used to draw out their fruity sweetness, in this case Rocca from the Yosamusume brewery. The sake is relatively dry, with sweetness restrained by classic junmai flavours and its clear, fresh mouthfeel contrasts with the richness of the peach. The brewery takes water from Mt Ōe to make a range of rich, deep and smooth sake including a famous daiginjō.