The Sushi Martini at Bouchon wine bar is an adventure from start to finish.
With each serve of this exquisitely peculiar cocktail comes a warning from bar staff, “Beware of the wasabi”.
The garnish – slivered tuna filet doused in wasabi – goes down with a sting, unlike the rest of the drink, which is slippery and smooth.
On first impact, a gentle splash of seaweed washes over your tongue – its flavour quickly disappearing as you swallow.
A surge of alcohol masked by provocative sugary syrup follows. Its hot and cold potency lingers on your palate and the back of your throat.
The lasting impression of fresh sugar lures you to the next sip. And so the adventure is relived.
Bouchon manager Stan Loubieres agrees the drink is a unique and somewhat strange one.
“Maybe you need to have an acquired taste to really appreciate this drink,” he says.
“When you use already flavoured vodka or liqueurs your cocktail becomes less refined. We want to capture that organic essence,” he says, adding that where possible, all variations on the cocktail menu are organically achieved.
He achieves the seaweed flavour by fermenting seaweed sheets in vodka over night.
During the invention, Loubieres says he experimented with many different brands of seaweed sheets before he found “the one”.
“Some of them were not nice, so I tried again with a different brand.”
Inspired by option upon option of tasteful and quirky martinis available in his hometown, Paris, Loubieres tries to bring a similar level of creativity to Bouchon. Other original martini delights include Kampot pepper with vanilla, and ginger with crème brulee.
Ingredients: Seaweed sheets fermented in vodka, sugar syrup, freshly squeezed lemon. Garnish: lime, tuna, wasabi
Cost: US$5. Happy hour every Saturday 9pm – 10pm (excl. nights Saturdays with live performance) Buy one get on free.
Address: Bouchon Wine Bar No 3 St 246.