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Best Surprise Bloody Mary 

O-Ku's sake Bloody

Staff Pick

While some area restaurants value sake for its liquor license-dodging appeal (see our Fall 2017 SWIG feature) others, like popular contemporary Japanese spot O-Ku, value sake for sake's sake. Bar Manager Allison Radecker uses soju — a clear, higher alcohol spirit distilled from barley — to give her drink an extra kick (the ABV can range, on average, between 20 and 24 percent). She then adds O-Ku's house sake, plus locally made mixer Natural Blonde Bloody Mary Mix. Radecker says the lightness of Natural Blonde is perfect for sake, which is such a delicate base, compared to the heartiness of vodka. For heat, she muddles Thai chilis and rims the glass with an Asian seven spice blend, and then tops it all off with two perfectly red chilis, lime, and cucumber. For newly initiated sake seekers, we say: order up. — Mary Scott Hardaway

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