Cocktail Research and Development With O.C.’s Best Bartenders

When a bartender is off the clock, I once thought they would freeze behind the bar like some sort of Chuck -E-Cheese animatronic animal…Boston shaker tin frozen mid-air, rust setting in the joints as each awaits the cleaning crew to touch up tattoos and tighten up the mustache wax. Turns out, they are real people with actual lives, often spending the day exploring new drink inspirations by combining interesting flavors in hopes of nailing the next best thing. For Emily Delicce (OC Weekly’s bartender of the year 2017) and all around cocktail/spirit nerd Andrew Aoun, the two come together like R2-D2 and C3P0, searching the galaxy for moss to harvest, prodding each other hysterically. One drink at a time.


Emily’s incredibly tasty Japanese-inspired cocktail comes together beautifully:

  • In a mixing glass, start with three dashes yuzu bitters
  • 3/4 ounce yuzu juice
  • 1/2 ounce Martinique Depaz cane syrup
  • 2 ounces Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky
  • Add ice to mixing glass, stir for 15-to-20 seconds
  • Strain into festive antique panda glassware.
  • Top with chilled jasmine tea and spritz with burgamot aromatic.
  • Plate your cocktail as fancy as possible. Think bonsai tree, bamboo placemat, beautifully carved Japanese pear, a Daruma doll, etc. Have fun and serve with dry ice in warm water for a cool smoke effect!

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