City Pulse

By Patricia Wersinger

Recently, one of New York’s favorite neighborhood sushi spots, Haru, highlighted its’ Silk Lantern cocktail: a smooth mix of Calpico, unfiltered sake, vodka and soda, and garnished with lychee for a luxurious finish. Calpico is a sweet Japanese un-carbonated soft drink which is often used as a mixer. It is somewhat milky and has a hint of vanilla flavor to it. The cocktail tastes less sweet and less alcoholic than a Manhattan, but with a more delicate, exotic fruitiness.

I went to my local Haru near Times Square to taste The Silk Lantern and selected the best menu accompaniments for this unique cocktail. The restaurant is known for generous portions and remarkable design. Haru specializes in sushi, sashimi and specialty salads to complement signature dishes. For the Silk Lantern, I chose the crispy Tofu Appetizer with ginger, scallions and bonito flakes that turned out to be an inspired choice. The Tofu is dipped in a broth that adds just the necessary tingle after you absorb the cocktail’s sweetness. Add to that a plate of crisp and fresh Edamame and a Spicy Titanic Roll, and you are good for the night. The Spicy Titanic Roll includes salmon, avocado, caviar wrapped around spicy tuna and crisp tempura flakes that bring an interesting depth of taste. With my second Silk Lantern (hard to resist), I added the Sashimi Salad composed of strips of fish over lettuces and the house Special Wasabi-Ginger-Lemon dressing. As a dessert, the Red Bean Ice Cream was a surprising delight, different, exotic and again not too sweet.

The Silk Lantern is available at all seven Haru Sushi locations in Manhattan for $7.50 during Haru’s Happy Hour, Sake Hour, and Sake After Dark. During regular business hours the cocktail is offered for $12 (Park Avenue location $13).

Recipe for the Silk Lantern:

1. 1.5 oz Sake (light /fruity)
2. 1 oz Nigori Sake
3. 1 oz Vodka
4. 1.5 oz Calpico
5. Splash Soda
6. Lychee Garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, then shake and pour over a strainer into the cocktail glass. Add a splash of soda. Serve straight up with garnish or two or three lychees on a bamboo skewer.
Haru’s cocktails have been featured on Martha Stewart Radio, The Daily Meal, Thrillist New York, Nightclub & Bar Magazine, ShoesNBooze, and New York 1, just to name a few media outlets!

Haru restaurants offer a beautiful setting for a calm respite from the street’s clamor. A curtain of trees provides an unusual partition across the space and comfortable booths allow you to find privacy and quiet close to the bar. Private rooms and lounges are also available. The staff is exceptionally courteous and accommodating.
With 8 locations in Manhattan, there must be a Haru Restaurant near you. Come and discover the exotic Silk Lantern and sample some of the best Japanese food in the city.

For more information please visit http://www.harusushi.com

Originally published November 2011
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