A Balancing Act

When the delicate, lighter-style Japanese cuisine of Wynn’s newly opened Mizumi restaurant called for an equally light Asian-influenced cocktail, senior vice president of fine dining Pradeep Raman called for Wynn Resorts property mixologist Patricia Richards. “I generally create cocktails that I like to drink,” Richards says. And those are “well-balanced, high-quality, flavorful, fresh and delish.”

Advising the aspiring mixologist or home bartender similarly seeking to pair cocktails with food, Richards says, “First and foremost, I look at seasonality.” Next, she considers the type of cuisine. Italian? “Limoncello, basil, blood orange, Aperol, Campari and amaros.” Pan-Asian? “Thai basil, ginger and lemongrass.”

“I may refer to my favorite book, The Flavor Bible, to put a couple of ingredients together, and then I start creating.” And always, Richards strives to make cocktails containing six ingredients or less. In other words, don’t let complexity, ahem, cloud your creativity! Fashioned for the grand opening of Mizumi, Richards’ Mizumi Cloud is a cocktail that is beautiful in its simplicity, incorporating lemongrass, ginger and coconut as well as shōchū (Japanese alcohol, in this case, from rice). In fact, she adds, “they are so well-integrated that you can’t tell that there’s much alcohol in them. Yet be careful, as they will sneak up on you!”

Mizumi Cloud

As served at Mizumi in Wynn, $15

In a mixing glass, combine 1½ ounce Kai Lemongrass-Ginger shōchū, 1 ounce Ty-Ku Citrus liqueur, ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice and 1/3 ounce light agave syrup. Add ice, cover and shake gently to combine. Strain into an 8-ounce tumbler glass over fresh ice and top with 1½ to 2 ounces of house-made coconut-lemongrass-ginger foam (recipe at VegasSeven.com/Cocktail-Culture). Garnish with an edible orchid flower.

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