Erin Davey is the corporate beverage manager at New York-based TAO Group Hospitality.
The Kusama Full Happiness cocktail at Sake No Hana, our modern Japanese restaurant in New York, is inspired by the art and life of artist Yayoi Kusama. Her work shows a compelling combination of both joy and fear, which is what we tried to do with the flavors incorporated within the drink.
The gentle backdrop of the blood orange and silky egg white combats the harsh heat and mouth numbing effects of the peppercorn mixture. Szechuan peppercorns create a tingling heat on the tongue — a sensation that transforms other flavors for a lush, unforgettable libation.
The name Kusama Full Happiness references her work “Full Happiness with Dots,” as dots represent her obsessive personality and minimalistic style. This is reflected in the visual of the drink, combined with the exacting proportions of the recipe.
- 1 ¼ oz. Bombay East gin
- ¼ oz. Belvedere vodka
- ½ oz. Aperol
- ¾ oz. Blood orange juice
- ½ oz. Peppercorn syrup
- 1 Egg white
- Add all ingredients to a shaker tin and shake (no ice).
- Add ice to shaker and shake again.
- Strain into a coupe glass.
- Use needle tongs to place a printed rice paper garnish.