Legent Bourbon To Launch Cocktail Omakase Series Across The United States – Forbes

Legent bourbon and cocktails prepared for a special omakase series.
Sometimes, it’s best to leave your night out in the hands of someone else.
Legent Bourbon is encouraging its fans to do just that, and register for a chance to attend a cocktail omakase tasting at different locations throughout the country.
While omakase is known more in the United States as it applies to sushi menus, the word means to leave yourself in the hands of a master of a craft, said Julia Momose, a mixologist and partner in Bar Kumiko in Chicago, and co-author of the upcoming “The Way of the Cocktail: Japanese Traditions, Techniques, and Recipes.” 
Momose will be partnering with bartenders in each city (Foster Modesette and Samuel Jossen in NYC, Adam Pomajz in Chicago, Ramon Clark and Jen O’Neil in Seattle, and … someone that has yet to be confirmed in Dallas), to come up with drink options and incorporate local products. Attendees fill out a brief questionnaire first to help them determine what drinks will best suit the drinkers.
“Dealer’s choice,” where a bartender makes you drink based on a couple preferences, has become an increasingly common option at bars across America, but it isn’t quite what omakase is, Momose explained.
“More often than not in America, ‘dealer’s choice’ is whatever the bartender wants to give you, and less about the bartender finding out what you want,” Momose said. “Omakase is a balance of creator making what they want to create, but also taking into account what the drinker wants to drink or taste without overwhelming them with questions or decision making. It’s about asking key questions to glean the right information.”
Julia Momose
Momose, who is known for her attention to detail, first observed great hospitality at home. She was born and raised in Japan, but her mother grew up in the United States. 
“She moved to Japan with my dad right after they got married, and she quickly made that home for her. Whenever we would host people at the house, she would go out of her way to make special dishes for them, especially if there were people who weren’t from Japan and missing home,” she said. “If people would be staying at our house she would make the room extra nice and put candy on the pillow. Those extra little touches. That’s something that definitely stuck with me as a bartender, to make it feel thoughtful and make people feel welcome.”
At the Legent events, each attendee will start with a simple pour of Legent, but how it is served, either with water, with ice or neat, will depend on how the drinker answered questions before the event. Then, drinkers will get three cocktails paired with food. A table of four people could all have different drinks in front of them, Momose said.
Designing the drinks is where the unique characteristics of Legent comes into play. The whiskey, which debuted in 2019, is a collaboration between Fred Noe, seventh generation master distiller of Jim Beam, and Shinji Fukuyo, the fifth chief blender at Suntory. 
The bourbon is made from the traditional Jim Beam mash bill, and then aged in virgin oak barrels, while portions are then finished in California wine and Oloroso sherry casks for up to two summers, said Adam Harris, an American whiskey ambassador at Beam Suntory. Fukuyo then blended those three whiskeys together through a years-long process of visiting Kentucky and getting samples by mail. The resulting whiskey is not a subtle Japanese-style whiskey some might assume when they hear Suntory is involved. 
“At its core, Legent is a Kentucky straight bourbon, which is reflected in the bold flavor profile,” Harris wrote in an email interview. “It was a real process for both Fred and Shinji to get the level of flavor influenced by the sherry and red wine casks to both of their liking.”
The resulting liquid is ruby red, with bright fruit and spice coming from the wine barrels, and a long, smooth finish.
“There’s no bourbon like it on the market honestly,” Momose said.
To come up with cocktails, she said she starts thinking about the different components of the bourbon for inspiration. When she focuses on the sherry aspect, she starts learning towards baking spices; for wine, she leans towards bramble fruits. 
“It’s such a complex bourbon and it mixes really well with water,” Momose said. “Something I like to geek out on with my guests a lot is how Japanese whisky is so popular in a highball, it’s meant to be delicious when it’s mixed with a lot of water. American bourbon is not really made for a highball, but Legent can withstand all the styles. It can mix well in bubbly water in a highball, and a great whiskey sour, Old Fashioned, or Manhattan. It’s really versatile.”
Some initial ideas of what will be served include a New York Sour, with a float of red wine on top, a drink inspired by Japanese curry rice and will include caraway and cumin liqueur. The drinks will be served in delicate Kimura glassware, a Japanese company that has been making detailed pieces since the early 1900s.
To get a chance to attend the events, register at the links below. If you get picked to attend (through random selection), you’ll find out location and more details then.
New York, Sept. 28, 8:30 p.m.
Dallas, Oct. 5, 8:30 p.m.
Chicago, Oct. 7, 8:30 p.m.
Seattle, Oct. 19, 8:30 p.m.

I am an editorial director at Oxygen.com and Syfy.com, as well as a freelance writer covering drinks, food and travel. I’m based in New York, but spend as much time as

I am an editorial director at Oxygen.com and Syfy.com, as well as a freelance writer covering drinks, food and travel. I’m based in New York, but spend as much time as possible visiting other parts of the world. Before joining NBCUniversal, I was on staff at CBS News, The New York Daily News, and Yahoo Food, among other publications. A fan of añejo tequila and cheese plates, I grew up in the Sunshine State and will always be a fan of Florida man.  Follow me on Twitter at @ginamariepace.  

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