For this recipe, you'll simply infuse your favorite vodka with a dollop of wasabi. The spiciness of the green horseradish paste is then offset with lemon juice and simple syrup, providing an interesting taste experience that is unlike any other cocktail.
The key to a great wasabi martini is to find the perfect balance between the sweet, sour, and spicy elements. This will be a matter of personal preference, so adjust the three flavoring ingredients as needed to find your ideal flavor.
Pour the vodka into a cocktail shaker.
Place a dollop of wasabi onto a bar spoon and stir it around in the vodka until dissolved.
Add the other ingredients and fill the shaker with ice.
Mixing With Wasabi
Wasabi does not mix very well when simply shaken with the other ingredients. There's a strong possibility that you'll be left with a chunk or two of the paste, which is why dissolving it into vodka is recommended.
The consistency and texture of wasabi vary a bit as well. You might find that with some prepackaged wasabis, double straining through a fine mesh strainer is not necessary. Then again, if you choose a chunkier, freshly prepared wasabi—the truest flavor option—it may need to be strained a few time to get a clean cocktail.
For a garnish, give your cocktail a green highlight with a simple lime peel. Hanging a spiral on the rim is a beautiful touch that really adds to the drink's allure. A thin ribbon of cucumber gently folded inside the glass is nice as well. With this, you'll find that the cool flavor is a great contrast to the spicy cocktail.
The simplicity of this cocktail is a great foundation for experimentation. Switching out the vodka is a perfect way to play with the flavor.
If you want to add another background flavor, pour a cucumber- or ginger-infused vodka. Either infusion can be made at home very easily and there are a few commercial versions available, too. With the ginger, you'll be adding to the drink's spice while the cucumber cools down the palate just enough to make a drink anyone will enjoy.
Another option is to replace the vodka with sake. It's a natural pairing for wasabi, given the ingredients' origins in the culinary world and brings in a subtle but intriguing twist.
More Wasabi Martinis
If you find that you cannot get enough of wasabi-infused cocktails, don't stop at this recipe. There are other fun ways to explore the flavor in drinks and it can be quite the adventure.
For instance, the cape samurai recipe builds on the vodka, wasabi, and citrus mix by adding rose syrup and pickled ginger. In contrast, the cucumber wasabi martini plays up that fascinating combination. The recipe is very similar to this one, but it opts for gin and muddles a few cucumber slices with the wasabi and syrup.