Although there aren’t many to cover, I’m hoping to cover a lot of “only in Japan” cocktail related items on this blog.
First up is a little something called “Denki Bran,” a secret mix of brandy, gin, wine, curacao, herbs, and other stuff.
Denki Bran is a 40% drink made by the evidently famous Kamiya Bar in Asakusa, Tokyo, and available throughout Japan. “Denki” means “electric” in Japanese, and “bran” is the first part of the word “brandy.” Back when Denki Bran was first developed around 1882 (wow, that long ago? pretty impressive), the word “denki” was a buzz word along the lines of today’s “i-whatever” and “e-whatever.” Meaning, in today’s language, it’s kind of like iBrandy. Pretty weird naming if you ask me, I’m impressed the name has lasted for over 100 years.
Back to the drink. The Kamiya Bar serves Denki Bran by the chilled shot. I unfortunately have not chilled my Denki Bran yet (I don’t think I even have room in the fridge), so I’m going on the rocks with this one, one of the recommended ways to enjoy Denki Bran.
It definitely tastes a little like brandy, but a bit thicker. It’s got a little bit of gin’s herbal character as well, but it’s surprisingly sweet for 40%. The alcohol isn’t as smooth as I would like, but it’s not bad at ¥1050 (around 13 bucks or so) per 750mL bottle.
There aren’t many cocktail recipes for this, but I’d imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult to think of ways to mix this. A simple highball with a bit of lemon would probably be pretty tasty. Going a bit further and making a Tom Collins (Taro Collins?) would be interesting too. I think I’ll give a Taro Collins a try. Here he is:
No garnishes in my house, here’s the recipe:
2oz Denki Bran 40% (there’s also a 30% version, beware)
3/4oz fresh lemon juice
3/4oz simple syrup
Shaken, poured over ice into a 100 yen shop glass, topped with soda.
It was actually pretty good, in spite of it being pretty poorly made and watered down with too much melted ice. A dash o’ bitters might make things a bit more interesting. I’ll experiment a bit more in the future and post recipes here if I find anything good.