The Tokyo Strawberry Bellini

6710For anyone that has been to Japan and enjoyed the craft and selection of liquor on show at any of the great standing bars in the city, the experience of every aspect of the production being focussed on perfection, the quality of experience is astounding.

When my girlfriend and I visited Tokyo 18 months ago, we visited an unnamed glass cube attached to the bottom of a non-descript eight story apartment building in the back streets of Hiro prefecture. While I drank my way through the finest selection of Rums I have ever seen, Chelsey ordered a Champagne cocktail. The bartender agreed and pulled out three of the plumpest most wonderful looking strawberries I have ever seen in my life and went to work.

Last night I made an effort at recreating this fabulous beverage.

Not having access to the most perfect fruit on earth, I made do with Australian produce and muddled ten large red strawberries with about 15 mls of 1:1 sugar syrup. Muddling is the fine art of pounding fruit and sugar together to form a puree. You want to try and free as much of the juice as is possible from the fibrous tendrils of the strawberry goodness. Once you have your juicy pulp, you need to strain it to remove the juice from the pulp. As this is the Tokyo Strawberry Bellini, I opted to triple strain the liquid. this means passing it through the strainer three times, you could also use three strainers, one on top of the other. The result is a vibrant red liquid with an absolute minimum of pulp and absolutely no seeds.

Reserve the pulp to use in Strawberry frozen daiquiris or spread it on toast for a punchy alternative to jam. 

Chill the glasses first, or maybe load a couple in the freezer the day before.

Pour the refined juice into a Champagne flute, aiming to fill the glass about one third full. Top up with Bubbles, I am making the most of the cheap abundance of Pinot and Chardonnay based Aussie bubbles on offer here, but in keeping with the nature of the drink and its forebears, the best you have at hand is probably the way to go. Garnish with the best looking strawberry you have and love every drop that slides down your throat.

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