Art Deco meets Japanese tradition in the Turing Chest, a masterpiece by American craftsman Nicholas Phillips. Phillips uses the ancient Japanese marquetry technique known as yosegizaiku to decorate his work. It seemed appropriate to continue the theme of Japanese yosegi for a toast to Dr. Phillips’ fine creation. I wove together a classic sour using elements which are all from Japan. Starting with a fine Japanese whisky, I chose the Yamazaki, from Japan’s first and oldest distillery. I only break out my prized bottle of Distiller’s Reserve for special occasions. For the citrus, I used Japanese yuzu, the super tart, seed packed cousin of the lemon. Finally for sweetness I used a decadent Umeshu plum wine syrup. Ratios for a typical whiskey sour need to be adjusted to account for the tartness of the yuzu and sweetness of the plum wine syrup. For diehard sour fans an egg white can also be added for texture and foam. A simple lemon twist will do for garnish, but I was inspired to create a little yosegi of my own to toast this fine creation. I enjoy making intricate citrus peel garnishes for my cocktails, and while this is not technically yosegi in the manner of its creation, I think it retains the spirit and the kikkou pattern came out quite nicely. Here’s to a fine masterpiece, by America’s own Japanese master. Kampei!


The Yosegi

2 oz Japanese whisky

¾ oz yuzu

1 oz Umeshu plum syrup

½ oz fresh egg white (optional)

Shake together with ice. If using egg white shake without ice and finish shaking with ice briefly. Strain into a favorite glass. Yosegi garnish.


To crack the code on Phillip's masterpiece, the Turing Chest, see:

Boxes and Booze: The Turing Chest