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Yay or Nay? Foie Gras Vodka and Blue Cheese Cognac

Flavored adult beverages are nothing new. We had barely made good use out of the signature sweet-tart pomegranate essence of grenadine when the market started burping forth such love-them-or-hate-them creations as birthday cake vodka and pizza beer (complete with tomato, basil, oregano, and garlic, just so you know). While guava rum and honey whiskey may be subtle (and suitable) enough to make their way into rotation of cocktail ingredients, at where do you draw the line? As it turns out, the point of no return may have a little – or a lot – to do with the invention of foie gras vodka and blue cheese cognac.

Granted, these aren’t pre-packaged liquors but rather infusions dreamt up by the twisty-turny mind of Shuzo Nagumo. CNN contributors Kate Springer and Michala Sabnani have given us an interesting look into Nagumo and his new bar, Mixology Experience, which recently opened in the Roppongi district in Tokyo.

“I use any ingredient I can imagine,” Nagumo tells CNN. “It’s not just spices, but scents and (foods) you wouldn’t think to liquidize.” Wasabi vodka, basil gin and blue cheese cognac are just some of the spirits he’s created for adventurous cocktails, such as the bacon-infused “Breakfast” or sour and spicy “Tom Yum,” inspired by the namesake Thai soup.
Though the creativity may be innate, Nagumo’s inventive recipes are the result of lots of self-education as well as formal training at spots as esteemed as London’s Nobu.  They also take a lot of mise en place:
Each premise [Nagumo currently runs four bars] has a rotary evaporator, depressurizing distiller, cyclone separator, dehydrator, vacuum wrapper, and an automatic beer-brewing machine.
Nagumo likes to work with big flavors and ingredients considered pretty unconventional by mixology standards, bacon, corn, and yes, foie gras, very much included. Are the tipples any good? That’s likely a very subjective decision but they certainly are worth try.
For more information on Nagumo’s fascination process, some of his current creations, and insight into his backstory, head on over to the original article at CNN.



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