Our very own “samurai”, Drew Peterson, the Corporate Beverage Director of SUSHISAMBA. The picture was taken in a small mountain town in Japan, where he was taking his sake-smarts to the next level (II) as part of a Master’s degree in sake certification (that can only be accomplished in Japan.)
In addition to learning all about sake, Drew also discovered a lot about Japanese cuisine, especially in regards to the preparation of sashimi. Like Koji, Mere and I – he ventured through Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market – the largest fish market in the world. The Tsukiji fish market exports fish all over and always has a huge selection of fresh seafood.
We’ll be working with Drew a lot more on the culinary side – including some exciting pairings to go with NYC’s upcoming Restaurant Week.
SS has long focused on the idea of food and beverage pairings. The right wine/sake/cocktail paired with the right dish can bring out flavors that might otherwise be missed.
We have an awesome Beverage Team and count on them for scouting out new sakes, vinos and liquors that can expand our offerings and our education. There’s so much to taste! Recently in NYC, Cody swung by the Martin Scott Grand Tasting, The Wines of Japan portfolio tasting, and an exclusive Chablis Tasting at the David Bouley Test Kitchen in Tribeca.
Here are a few of his picks… Click the bottles/logo for more details. How about a shochu with a green tea ice cream finish?
In Rio we paid a visit to Academia da Cachaça in Leblon (Rua Conde Bernadotte 26) where they offer over 100 different types of cachacas by the bottle – and as a result – a wide variety of caipirinhas.
Koji went with the Cocada Geladinha – a cocktail of fresh coconut, cachaca, coconut water and fig marmalade served in a wine glass – while Mere tried the Cachaca Cristalina, made with sweet lime, lemon, passion fruit and jabuticaba served in a small, straight water glass with a salt rim. [Side note: jabuticaba is pretty much the equal of the American grape - but with a deep plum/black skin and white/rose-colored flesh... we'll post a photo of the fresh version from the market soon] I went with a ‘traditional’ caipirinha so that we had a foundation for comparison and we paired everything with bar snacks like Bolinha de Carne and Bolinha de Queijo (fried meat and cheese balls), Bolinho de Mandioca (fried manioc and cheese rolls), Inhame Crocante (crispy yam chips). All of us remarked at the strength of cocktails in Brazil, where cachaca flows like water and nobody minds the sharp citrus burn down the back of their throats. While we sipped out drinks slowly – the locals at the table next to us had already finished their second round. It’ll take some getting used to – but we’re up for the challenge.
Here’s a list of some of the Academia’s local cachaças:
SC – Armazém Vieira SC – Warehouse Vieira
GO – Atitude GO – Attitude
RS – Casa Bucco RS – House Bucco
CE – Chave de Ouro EC – Gold Key
MG – Lua Cheia MG – Full Moon
RJ – Magnífica RJ – Magnificent
RJ – Santa Rosa RJ – Santa Rosa
ES – Santa Terezinha ES – Santa Terezinha
PB – Serra Limpa PB – Clear Mountain