Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Whiskey Cocktails

Kung Fu Pandan

Kung Fu Pandan cocktail
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Kevin Diedrich

Pacific Cocktail Haven’s Kevin Diedrich loves pandan so much, his colleagues joke they should rename the spot “Pandan Cocktail Heaven.” So much so that the fragrant plant native to Southeast Asia takes multiple forms on any given menu at the bar, be it in a milk punch, a cordial used in a Negroni variation, or a flavored syrup taking the place of the usual simple. 

The latter takes center stage in this summery, caramel-corn-evoking sipper, in the form of a salted pandan syrup. “We use pandan as a nice way to add a depth of nutty, grassy flavor to a cocktail,” says Diedrich. That depth is complemented in this cocktail by a combination of Japanese whisky, grassy rice shochu, and lemon juice—plus a festive, earthy sprinkle of candy cap mushroom dust, if you have it on hand.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Kikori Japanese whisky

  • 3/4 ounce rice shochu

  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 3/4 ounce salted pandan syrup*

  • Garnish: tied pandan leaf

  • Garnish: candy cap mushroom dust (optional)

Steps

  1. Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Double-strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass filled with pebble ice.

  3. Garnish with a tied pandan leaf and candy cap mushroom dust, if desired.

*Salted pandan syrup: In a saucepot, heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water until sugar is completely dissolved. Add 5 fresh pandan leaves to the pot. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain out the leaves. Add 1 tablespoon salt and stir to combine. Will keep, tightly sealed and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.