With edible pearl dust, squid ink, bay leaf, and apple brandy, the Space Oddity cocktail from the Fall 2016 cocktail menu at OBON Sushi Bar Ramen caught eyes with its hypnotic presentation. The single ice sphere swirled in the glass to create a mesmerizing vortex.
A creation of OBON bar manager Marlee Palmer, the Space Oddity highlighted her talent at combining fun presentations without sacrificing unique complex flavors. While the squid ink provided the jet black color, it also lent a briny component that complemented the bay leaf.
In Palmer’s latest menu completed about two months ago, her style shines through in 13 original cocktails from six eastern Asian countries. Many of the cocktails tickle the fine line between sweet and savory with ingredients such as hoisin, red bean whip, and chive oil. While the adventurous cocktails are expanding boundaries, the execution remains consistent thanks to a strong foundation of cocktail fundamentals.
While we haven’t tasted every single cocktail on the menu (yet), we’re confident you’ll find something you’ll like. Here’s an in-depth look with photographs courtesy of Fukushu Restaurant Concepts beverage director Matthew Martinez.
The aromatic blend of gin, sherry, Chartreuse, and spices has a particularly smooth mouthfeel since it’s milk-washed.
The combination of vodka, cachaça, young fresh green peppercorn from Cambodia, lemon, yuzu, and aiyu jelly is exceptionally refreshing with its combination of citrus and subtle spice.
Hong Kong Garden
Rum, golden kiwi, almond, lemon, and rose milk drizzle are served on crushed ice for a sweet treat that also functions well as a dessert.
Dutch gin and rambutan-infused Scotch combine for unique floral notes, while lantern soy syrup adds savory notes with the fragrance of Chinese five-spice.
Japanese whiskey mixes with OBON’s tamago eggnog, inspired by the savory-sweet tamago served on nigiri sushi.
Italy’s classic combination of prosciutto and melon takes on a Mexican and Japanese form via prosciutto mezcal, melon soda syrup, shiso, sake, and lime.
Corn silk-infused rye (inspired by Korea corn tea), coconut milk, Swedish punsch, and tobacco form a charming smooth blend that’s still rough around the edges.
Sesame vodka adds a touch of nuttiness to the bright combination of raspberry, togarashi, lime, and rice vinegar.
One Night in Bangkok
Bruleed papaya and peanut-infused tequila mingle with Thai chili and chive oils for a refreshingly funky and savory cocktail.
A Cuba Libre (a.k.a. Coke and rum) variant, the Neon Moon features Makrut (another term for kaffir lime that isn’t offensive in South Africa) cola and Thai spiced rum.
Hell in a Bucket
Minimum three people per order. Be careful.
Bourbon takes on a pho identity with cilantro, lime, jalapeño, and hoisin. Sweet, spicy, savory, and refreshing with a hint of salt.
Search & Destroy
Similar to the creamy Vietnamese egg coffee, Search & Destroy steps it up with chocolate brandy, milk, banana, coffee liqueur, red bean whip, and Thai chili salt.
Try a drink from the new OBON Sushi Bar Ramen spring cocktail menu at the downtown Tucson location at 350 E. Congress St. For more information, call (520) 485-3590 or visit obonsushi.com.