This is my first Shochu cocktail, and my knowledge of the spirit is still quite little. I have tried Shochu that is distilled from a combination of barley and rice, which also works in this cocktail, but I ended up going with one distilled from 100% rice, making this cocktail free of gluten. This Shochu is similar to Sake, however it is distilled rather than brewed, and in this case has more than twice the alcohol content, weighing in at 25% or 50 proof. When developing this cocktail, we tried gin which overpowered the Sake before trying with the Shochu, which was an excellent suggestion from someone whom I work with at Surf Sushi Bar in Portsmouth, NH, where this drink is known as our "Saketini". I believe if you ask the cocktail it prefers to be known as "The Shogun".
1.5 oz. Tozai Plum Sake
1 oz. Shochu (8,000 Generations, 100% rice spirit)
.25 oz. Aperol
Stir w/ ice, strain into a chilled coupe or v-stem
Float garnish of fresh sage leaf- smacked for aromatics