Monday, January 20, 2014

Mixology Monday - In Which I Actually Enjoy A Drink For A Change

This month's Mixology Monday (hosted at Southern Ash) was Highballs. Aka a "_____ & Soda". I drink quite a lot of high balls. I think this stems from the fact that I am a Drinker first, and someone that gives a shit about fancy drinks second. As a Drinker, it is quite helpful to have something that is moderate enough in alcohol that I can still face tomorrow after 4-to-10 drinks on a Tuesday. I make soda water in 5 gallon kegs and blow through about one a fortnight. Margarett likes me to make the soda water with around 5 volumes of pressure, which I think is double what commercial soda water is. I find that to be on the threshold of painfully fizzy, but it is worth enduring for the times when guests attempt to serve themselves, and the soda water rockets into their glass and sprays their drink all over them.

One of my favorite highballs is the Grapefruit Chuhai served at Tanuki, a weird bar place in Portland. Tanuki is the only place I've ever been close to a regular at, and it's a great place to go if you are able to slam 4 beers during happy hour and then eat 15 different ocean creatures while a giant tv plays videos of tentacle horror softcore. A Chuhai was originally a shochu highball, which through the Japanese love of packaging became a canned Mike's Harder-equse alcoholic soda / premium malt beverage. Tanuki serves theirs with a big whack of bitters in it, which is nice.

While shochu would be a great choice, I selected Taiwanese cooking 'wine' to stay truer to the canned Chuhai experience. Michiu is something like a kome shochu, a spirit distilled from rice. I say something like, because I really don't know much about it except what the label tells me and what light googling yields. I DO know that it costs $5/bottle and is 19.5% abv, and tastes pretty good. This version has no salt added which is HIGHLY IMPORTANT. Is there shame in drinking cooking wine? I say no. Good enough for teens good enough for me.

If you have grapefruit soda I bet that would work. I had a Florida grapefruit that someone mailed me for Christmas because they aren't aware that we have grocery stores in Oregon now. This was great, and I expect the first one will pair well in my stomach with the four that will be following it over the course of Robo Vampire.


1 half grapefruit
3 oz Wan An Farm & Pastoral Co LTD Taiwan Michiu
1/2 oz Palm Sugar Simple Syrup

Slice grapefruit in half, place on pan and sprinkle on brown sugar. Broil in your oven for like 5 or 10 minutes, until it looks good and broiled. Juice the grapefruit, which should yield about 3 oz juice. Mix together juice, michiu, and simple syrup, shake with ice and strain into a relatively clean glass (a dirty glass will work if you can't find a clean one). Blast in some ultra carbonated fizzy water and top with a float of angostura.


  1. I just found your post after purchasing a mysterious bottle of alcohol labeled only as "michiu". It seems you are the only person on the internet who advises that it's ok to drink and you're cocktail recipe sounds lovely. In the process of broiling a grapefruit right now, hopefully the michiu I bought isn't the added salt kind...

  2. Hope that the cocktail worked out for you, and that you didn't get salt poisoning! I really enjoyed your blog just now, especially the poopoo airplane drawing.