6th October 2005
'The Emperor' made with a blend of WOKKA SAKi and Château D'Yquem headlines Zuma's cocktail list.
When Tim Day, the creator of WOKKA SAKi - the award winning new spirit brand of ultra premium vodka blended with sake - had the idea of making the ultimate indulgent cocktail, he knew no better man of taste than Paul Birtwistle, Bar Manager of Zuma restaurant in Knightsbridge. Indeed Tim Day already had conceived the name of the cocktail ' The Emperor', before the ingredients had even been determined.
"I wanted to create a magnificent WOKKA SAKi cocktail, using only the finest and most extravagant ingredients, but also one that resonated an 'east meets west' theme, 'The Emperor' said it all." commented Tim Day.
With his purpose clear, he visited wine merchant Berry Bros in St James's and bought a bottle of 1999 Château d'Yquem, the finest sauternes, (a dessert wine of unparalleled equal), and arranged an appointment with Paul Birtwistle, Zuma's master mixologist.
Tim Day's business partner, Anthony Foster, a Master of Wine (there are only 240 of them in the world), shuddered with disbelief, as he was informed of his intentions. " You can't do that ... that's sacrilege!" said Anthony, defending France 's finest.
Undeterred, Tim Day briefed Paul Birtwistle on his vision of blending the eclectic ingredients, and was told to return a couple of days later.
When they reconvened, 'The Emperor' was tasted for the first time: ' It was unbelievable, it surpassed all my expectations' enthused Tim Day.
'The Emperor' headlines Zuma's cocktail list from next week, 14 October, and it is clearly a creation of vision and skill rather than simply a combination of secret ingredients. All concerned agree that it is the ultimate in hedonistic pleasures. Like most of the best things in life, it comes at a more than princely price of £22, and surely offers empirical pleasure.
WOKKA SAKi (40% abv) is a blend of micro distilled British grain vodka, fine Japanese sake (80:20), and the subtle essence of Asian fruit. It creates an entirely new category beyond the flavoured vodka sector. Exceptionally smooth, it has a fresh subtle essence of peach and apricot. Winning Gold and double Gold medals in the prestigious San Francisco International Spirits Competition for three consecutive years in the flavoured vodka category is an unrivalled achievement. Highest category rating of 96 out of 100 by The Wine Enthusiast and Spirit Journal by Paul Pacult (aka 'The Spirits Guru USA').
Nominated by Wine Enthusiast magazine for 2005 Distiller of the Year, amongst other established contenders:
Appleton Estate, Johnnie Walker, Laird's AppleJack, Tanqueray. Winner announced mid November 2005, New York .
Positioned in the luxury sector, WOKKA SAKi represents the fusion of two cultures - east meets west. The awesome beauty of 'Snow Monsters' - a natural wonder in the landscape when the giant conifers are encrusted with layers of snow and ice in Japan's Asahi Mountains inspired its creation. Design features reflecting this imagery include the unusual sea-blue glass of the bottle, through to the embossed frosted details of the label.
What the experts say:
Ajaz Sheikh, Food & Beverage Manager, The Lanesborough Hotel:
"Finally, an inspiring drink worth talking about. With the market flooded with a plethora of vodkas, and dare I say, wannabe vodkas, WOKKA SAKi is definitely one that stands out - daring to be different"
Gian-Carlo D'Urso, Bar Manager, Hakkasan:
"WOKKA SAKi is a refined, eclectic spirit with an elegant body and soft finish; pleasant to drink neat or on ice. I am fascinated by its complexity"
Paul Birtwistle, Bar Manager, Zuma Restaurant:
"An exceptional blend of two very different products and cultures. Inspired in both flavour and design, WOKKA SAKi should prove to be a timeless creation!"
Giuliano Morandin, Bar Manager, The Dorchester Hotel:
"A wonderful product, very clean and very smooth"
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