Cocktail of the Week: The ‘Fine Line’ Suppai

In Japanese, ‘sour' translates loosely and libatiously to ‘suppai’. This new serve from Sexy Fish puts a minty, melon-y spin on the classic cocktail…

From ‘flips’ to ‘cobblers’, there are six families of ‘old cocktails’. And the most pungent, piquant of these broods is surely the ‘sour’. Syrupy and cheek-clenching in equal bitter, biting measure, the ‘sour’ typically features a frothy thick top, a sharp fruity taste and a strong spirited base of any alcohol from whiskey to pisco. And, in Japanese, ‘sour’ translates loosely and libatiously to ‘suppai’.

Which brings us to this week’s choice cocktail. The ‘Fine Line Suppai’ is a twist on the traditional sour — built on a base of fine Japanese vodka and whipped up to celebrate Sexy Fish’s new late night series; ‘Spring Dance of the Sea’. Thrown in collaboration with drinks doyens Suntory, the evening entertainment series takes place every Friday, bringing together light displays, live music and lashings of custom-made cocktails.

"In Japanese, ‘sour’ translates loosely and libatiously to ‘suppai’..."

And, along with the ‘Kaizoku’ and the ‘Hana Highball’, the ‘Fine Line Suppai’ is among the best drinks on the marine-themed menu. The kick comes from Haku, a premium craft vodka made from fine white rice (‘Haku’ means ‘white’ in Japanese) and distilled through bamboo charcoal in Osaka. Added to the pure spirit is dry vermouth and the generous measure of mint and melon cordial that gives the drink its fruit-forward flavour.

But perhaps the most dramatic departure from a traditional ‘sour’ recipe is the addition of ‘Melonade’ — a trademarked aperitif and an alternative to Midori or Aperol. Created using Cavaillon melon juice from an orchard in France, it adds an intense sweetness to the sour proceedings, and leaves only a dash of the bar’s miraculous and secret ‘foamer’ to complete the cocktail’s classic look.

But, whilst this secrecy means you can’t comprehensively replicate the ‘Fine Line’ Suppai’s foam at home, don’t let that deter you; here’s how to make a truly unique spin on a ‘sour’…

How to make Sexy Fish’s ‘Fine Line’ Suppai

Ingredients

  • 35ml Haku Vodka
  • 20ml Melonade
  • 10ml Dry Vermouth
  • 20ml Mint & Melon Cordial
  • Mint Spring to garnish

Method

  1. Pour all ingredients into a room temperature shaker
  2. ‘Dry shake’ the cocktail so it emulsifies and aerates
  3. Fill the shaker with cubed ice and replace the lid
  4. Hard shake’ the cocktail (a deceptively gentle Japanese technique)
  5. Strain into a chilled rocks glass
  6. Garnish with a mint sprig

Want more idiosyncratic cocktails? Here’s how to mix 34 Mayfair’s ‘Something Classic’ Martini…

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