As you may or may not know, I'm the head bartender at Last Exit and in charge of the concept's R&D. When you see the cocktail menu, much of it was arranged based on my direction and recommendation.
So when I began thinking about Last Exit's spring menu I knew that I wanted to create a drink that would honor the Centennial of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in our home town of Washington D.C this year.
Lucky for me, our little bar has a respectable whiskey selection which includes Suntory Yamazaki 12 year old Single Malt Whiskey. Not only is this spirit distinctly Japanese but it is also a tasty whiskey.
I took a little inspiration from another great whiskey cocktail, Blood and Sand. After a slight change in flavor profile and few additional ingredients to enhance an already winning combination, I named it Two Sakuras.
For those who don't know, sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese. The "two sakuras" name refers to the first two cherry blossom trees which were planted next to the Tidal Basin on March 27, 1912.
- 2 oz Yamazaki Single Malt Whiskey
- 3/4 oz Luxardo Cherry Liqueur
- 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
- 1 spoonful of Luxardo Marsachino Liqueur
- 3-4 dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.