Suika Cooler


by Raul Faria

Suika Cooler is a cocktail I had created for this years Finlandia competition. I really dig this cocktail because it is one of those drinks that you could just throw back without even realizing there’s booze in it. It’s so refreshing you feel like your just drank a really light and fruity sparkling punch. This is the perfect summer drink, on a hot day, a picnic somewhere, this is what you want in your hand. They’ll sneak up on you though so drink carefully:) Wanna make one?

1) Lets get our tools together, we are gonna need our Boston shaker, Hawthorne strainer, a muddler, barspoon, a jigger with a 1.5 oz measure and a .75 oz measure, a double-strainer, a paring knife, a citrus press and a chilled 14-16 oz cooler glass. Optional tool, a star shaped cookie cutter. Our grocery list will consist of Finlandia vodka, Campari, rhubarb, cucumber, a seedless watermelon, honey syrup, Peychauds bitters, Zipang sparkling sake.

2) This cocktail has some prep involved so lets get that out of the way. The first messiest part will be to make our watermelon juice. First set aside one or two half inch thick slabs of watermelon and set them aside. Cut up the rest of our watermelon into small chunks (small enough to fit into a citrus press) and squeeze them in our citrus press THROUGH a double-strainer. So just set the double-strainer over your container (whatever you want to store the watermelon juice in for later) and squeeze. You could also cut it up and throw it in the blender real quick and strain the contents through the double-strainer. The second method seems quicker but actually it takes forever to strain all that pulp through because the double-strainer needs to be cleaned out so often. Pick your poison because both methods are a pain in the ass but worth the effort in the end. Set your juice aside for now.

3) Next up let’s prep our rhubarb. Cut it up into 1- 1.5 inch chunks. Done. Throw 4 chunks into the mixing glass.

4) Now lets get our cucumber peeled and cut up, about a quarter to maybe half inch thick slices. Set aside a couple long peels for later. Throw 4 cucumber chunks into the glass.

5) Lets move on to our honey syrup. We will need to prepare this is well. Just take half and half hot water to honey (I personally prefer a 60-40 honey to water ratio) and stir it up. Let it cool off then store it in a squeeze bottle or some other container. Measure out .75 oz of honey syrup and get it into our glass.

6) Time for our Campari. We will need .75 oz in the mixing glass. Campari is an appertivo (traditionally drank before a big meal) liqueur made from a 150 years old, top secret recipe of different herbs and fruits and is essential for the Classic cocktail (and one of my personal favorites) the Negroni. I find this a fun thing to mix with since it has a bitter yet sweet character and a deep red color. On its own Campari can be off-putting due to the bitter, kinda funky thing it has going on but its got a lot of different flavors in there that aren’t appreciated right away. In fact there is an urban legend about this stuff that says it will you need to try this stuff three times before you like it.

7) Now let’s muddle the contents of our glass. After that let’s add our 1.5 oz of Finlandia vodka and our 2.5 oz of hard fought for watermelon juice into the glass. Add ice and shake! Double-strain into our iced up chilled 14-16 oz cooler glass.

8) Next let’s add about 1.5 oz Zipang sparkling sake. This is another fun ingredient to mix with. Zipang is really clean and really effervescent but still carries a light sake flavor of melon and cucumber.

9) Add 3 dashes of Peychauds bitters and stir contents lightly with your barspoon. You do not want to kill the bubbles, we are just distributing the flavors in the glass.

10) Garnish time! Grab your pairing knife and cut out a star shape out of your watermelon slab or use that star shaped cookie cutter. Now grab that cucumber peel and cut out a “Comets Tail” type shape. Set the Comets Tail where you want it on top of our watermelon star and put a cocktail pick through it. Lastly set this baby on the rim of your glass and you have yourself a refreshing Suika Cooler! Kippis! (Cheers in Finnish)

Suika Cooler- 1.5 oz Finlandia vodka, .75 oz Campari, .75 oz of honey syrup, 2.5 oz of watermelon juice, 1.5 oz of Zipang sparkling sake, Peychauds bitters, muddled rhubarb and cucumber.


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