This weekend was the finale of the 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival. How fast cherry blossoms fade away!
Not too long ago, I enjoyed a stroll around the Tidal Basin and White House, while the blossoms refused to emerge from their buds. Yesterday, I watched it rain pink and white petals from my chair in my favorite coffee shop while getting some GRE study time in. There they were, dancing in the wind, leaving behind them the pale green of the newly emerged leaves.
The Cherry Blossom Festival is more than an annual Washington, D.C. event for me. Many of you know that I grew up in Okinawa, so this Japanese tradition was
part of my childhood. It seemed befitting then, that during the heart of the 2006 festival, my sister and I re-united with two of our closest friends that we had grown up with…over a decade after last seeing each other in middle school. Taren drove up from San Antonio, Mika metro-ed in from eastern Maryland, and Val and I metro-ed in from Virginia. We found each other on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, amidst peak bloom, and the energetic vibrations of taiko drums. It was like old times enjoying street festivals in Okinawa. We picked up right where we left off. You never would have known the three of us hadn’t seen each other since we were children.
So I thought I would share this Cherry Blossom Martini as we say good-bye to this years blooms. It is based on a recipe from Disney’s EPCOT Center (You know, the “It’s A Small World” park where you can “visit” a number of countries, including Japan). This pretty pink cocktail gets its color from a splash of cranberry juice, but it’s flavor is all sake (think sherry) and sweetly tart plum wine. If you like, a delicate sparkling sake is a fun substitute to the junmai sake I used. Just be sure to use a good quality sake. The kind you drink warm will definitely not work here!
Cherry Blossom Martini
- 1 part junmai sake
- 1 part cranberry juice
- 0.5 parts plum wine
- ice cubes
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker and pour in all three ingredients. Shake vigorously for a few seconds .
- Pour into cocktail glasses.