Portland’s Sustainable Restaurant Group (SRG) recently opened its popular Bamboo Sushi at Seattle’s University Village. The seventh location for the concept but the first restaurant in Washington for the group, the commitment to environmental and social change is a focus across the board, from fish to cocktails.
“Sustainable food systems are what really matter,” says Cory Schisler, creative director of SRG. “Sushi is just a very exciting food to use to get that message out there, as traditionally it’s a cuisine that sources from all over the world, touching so many different topics — from ecosystem preservations to carbon emissions to social good — with fair labor practices.”
With this philosophy behind both the food and bar program, Bamboo’s beverage consultant, Eben Klemm, made sure the two matched when creating the cocktail menu.
“For Bamboo Sushi, we’re creating a cohesive experience for our guests — one where the flavors all come together really smoothly, with points of story telling throughout,” he says. “For the bar program, that includes an increased focus on sustainability, highlighting some local spirits for a lower carbon footprint as well as finding interesting ways to incorporate kitchen scraps that would otherwise end up in the trash.”
For Jazzbar Noname — a gin-and sake-based cocktail specific to the new Seattle location — Klemm admitted he likes to bring savory elements to cocktails with Japanese cuisine. “I like to sneak in mild amounts of savory ingredients to add texture to classic cocktails,” he says. “This drink is really just a gin mule given some weight with nigori saké and matcha powder.”
And the name? “I named many of the drinks on this menu to seem evocative of the way the Japanese use English to illustrate some attitude without an exact concern for meaning,” he says. “I like drink names to say nothing about the drink itself but rather a mood. I was thinking about Tokyo nightclubs for most of this.”
Makes 1 cocktail
Remove the bottom half of the sprigs mint and muddle in a shaker. Add other ingredients, ice and shake about 20 times. Add 2 ounces of ginger beer and strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with the top halves of the mint springs and a dash of matcha powder.