The recipes in Cocktail Techniques are split into two sections—classics and originals. While comparing and contrasting the classic recipes with Uyeda's versions, using his techniques, is an enjoyable and enlightening experience, the book becomes especially compelling when it turns to his original creations. A variety of spirits are used in the recipes—some familiar, some not—and the drinks run the gamut from West to East.
The ingredients in the Moon River are simple and familiar: bourbon, Cointreau and grapefruit juice. It is easy to suppose that one knows how the finished cocktail will taste given these players, but the drink is surprising when prepared with the hard shake. There is none of the tartness one expects, but the drink has a pleasantly aromatic almond note.
As Uyeda himself describes it: "A moon river is a river on whose rippling surface a pathway of moonlight is reflected. With this cocktail, I created a finish that's like scooping up a handful of moonlight."
There's no need to use an expensive bourbon here, either; try this with Buffalo Trace, Russell's Reserve, or Four Roses yellow label.
About the author: Marleigh Riggins Miller writes and photographs for SLOSHED!, a website about cocktails, spirits, home bartending, and entertaining.
- 4 parts bourbon (2 oz)
- 1 part Cointreau (1/2 oz)
- 1 part fresh grapefruit juice (1/2 oz)
Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice.
Shake well (using the hard shake) and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve.