When you're flying United Airlines, do you pick up their inflight magazine that's tucked behind the barf bag and the safety instructions in the seat pocket in front of you? I usually don't. But during my long flight back from Japan, I ran out of reading material, and so I read the May Hemispheres Magazine from front to back for the first time ever. And I have to say, it's not a bad magazine. They did a feature on Japanese whiskys and had a special recipe for a Roasted Sesame Seed Infused Whisky. The recipe called for a specific whisky called Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky. And though it's misleading, the whisky is not coffee flavored. It's named that because they use a Coffey still imported from Scotland. By itself this is whisky is pretty smooth (well ok, moment of honesty here, I'm not really a discerning whiskey drinker. I only like whisky if it doesn't burn as it goes down the hatchet. Lame, I know, but I'm working on it). I didn't think I would find this Japanese brand whisky but the following week I just happened to pass a store called Epicurean Trader, in Bernal Heights, and they had it!
If you live in the SF Bay Area, you need to visit this shop! I think I already mentioned it once before, but this place is amazing. It's all small batch artisanal food, carefully selected by an Australian couple. And they have great taste! Well when I found the Nikka Whisky there, I knew I needed to try the sesame seed infusion.
Sesame Whiskey recipe:
-4 cups Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky or any other whiskey you prefer
-1 cup white sesame seeds (ratio of spirits to sesame seeds can be changed according to aroma preference but 4:1 usually yields a pretty strong infusion)
Preheat a large frying pan over low heat and roast sesame seeds until golden brown (or until they glisten and start popping), about 2-3 minutes. After roasting, let sesame seeds cool on a baking sheet. Let it infuse overnight (or longer). Once you get the desired flavor, strain through a fine mesh. If you want a clearer whiskey then strain through a coffee filter.
Now just add some ice, or whiskey stones, sip and enjoy! The sesame seeds adds an earthy flavor to the whiskey (and it still doesn't burn as it goes down). So drink up and relax, the weekend is just starting!