The cocktail has been limiting itself to four basic type of flavors for quite some time: salty, sour, bitter and sweet. You probably have your favorites in each category. Now, there’s a fifth, lesser known category that has been pushing its way toward the lip of the stage: umami. What is umami? Named by the Japanese, umami describes that mysterious taste of savory, meaty and salty that most of us enjoy. Love the flavor of bacon (of course you do), cured meat is a member of that umami spectrum. Soy sauce? Check. Miso, shellfish, vinegar and many other foods and sauces all carry the high amount of amino acids that pack that umami punch. Umami: It’s not just for food anymore. With these cocktails, you can have it right inside your glass.
Stop fighting because bacon is just not going away. Those who want to try an umami cocktail, this beloved cured meat is a great way to start. The Nose to Cocktail uses bacon-infused whiskey for a salty, meaty taste. Rounding out the cocktail is a whole egg, maple syrup and orange juice. Is this a cocktail or weekend brunch? Get the recipe for The Nose To Cocktail.
There can’t be a list of umami cocktails without mentioning Mary. The classic Bloody Mary recipe is umami heaven, with ingredients like Worcestershire sauce and roasted tomatoes. The Bayou Bloody Mary takes it a step further by adding crawfish as a garnish. We may have previously mentioned not wanting our dinner in our glass. But as with everything, there are exceptions to the rule. Get the recipe for the Bayou Bloody Mary.
Did you know those toasted nuts you snack on can make a great umami cocktail? The Tallulah uses peanut orgeat for a nutty variation on a whiskey and Coke. This three-ingredient cocktail calls for a garnish of salty peanuts to boost the umami flavor further. The next time a Margarita just isn’t getting your saline needs met, this cocktail should be your next bet. Get the recipe for the Tallulah.
The next time you’re looking for something to pair with your cognac, head to your kitchen cabinet. Even with only two ingredients, the Desmo has a complexity that will make you think, “This should be wrong, but it feels soo right.” Stir balsamic vinegar with your cognac for a savoriness that’s also, well, vinegar-y. Can’t quite put a touch on that taste? There’s a word for it: umami. Get the recipe for the Desmo.
If you’re thinking of tequila and lime juice here, you’re mistaken. With no common ingredients, the Plymouth Harvest Margherita is like the classic Margarita in phonetics only. This cocktail combines gin, basil, balsamic vinegar and tomatoes for a drink that sounds more like an Italian dinner special than a selection for your next happy hour. Savory, bubbly and unique, try this cocktail when you’re in the mood to surprise. Get the recipe for the Plymouth Harvest Margherita.
Oyster shooters anyone? The briny bivalves and alcohol are two well-acquainted pals. The Bloody Roman takes that kinship and bumps it up to BFF status in this twist on the Bloody Mary. Packed with fish sauce, olives, vinegar, and yes, that distinctive shellfish, this beer-based cocktail is an umami paradise. Get the recipe for the Bloody Roman.
Mixing your cocktail