Roka Akor: Part II - Kabocha

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a cooking demonstration at Roka Akor Steak and Sushi in Chicago. The other foodie sister, Becky, had been there last year shortly after it opened and blogged about it here. And I blogged a little bit about my recent visit with our niece, Kelly, where we sampled some delicious appetizers and then rolled our own sushi!!! It was the first time there for both Kelly and I and we had a blast. We're both fans of Asian cuisine and it was a great learning experience.

We started off the afternoon with a lesson from master mixologist and bar manager, Tony Selna, who taught us to make one of their signature Asian inspired cocktails, Kabocha. Kobacha, we were told is a Japanese pumpkin, so it's a fitting name for this cocktail that includes pumpkin ale.

He gave quite a presentation that moved along too quickly for me to take adequate detailed notes and make a ton of inquiries, but I did pick up the following:

The drink includes 1 ounce of Templeton Rye Whiskey. For it to be considered "rye" whiskey, it must be 51% rye. The hearty whiskey variety has grown in popularity in recent years.

The drink contains Grade "B" Maple Syrup, which is not as sweet as grade A and is a darker syrup that uses less molasses. You can find it at Trader Joe's or Binny's.

The whole organic egg creates an appetizing froth and enhances the flavor.

Drinks like this one, which use a raw egg, are termed "flip cocktails" and also popular breakfast cocktails.

He used a 28 oz. stainless steel cup, with an 18 oz. topper, which can be found online at A steel jiggar is also essential and can be purchased on the site, as well.

Shake for about 15 seconds to prepare - sounds easy, but looked like it was enough to make you break a sweat! :)

Be sure to garnish with fresh nutmeg.

And here's the full recipe:

1 oz. Tempelton Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Laird's Bonded Apple brandy
.5 oz. Grade B Maple Syrup
2 oz. Pumpkin Ale Beer
1 whole organic egg

In shaker tin, add all ingredients (no ice). Swirl the mixture to decarbonate the beer. Dry shake 15 seconds. Add ice. Shake and double strain into a coupe glass, garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.

According to Selna, people often freak out needlessly about the use of a raw egg in cocktails, but as he noted "Rocky drank raw eggs, so they must be good for you!" I have to admit, I would probably not order something that I knew had raw eggs, so I'm so glad I tried this. It was a perfect festive flavored drink. Once I got a taste, I never would have suspected raw eggs as an ingredient and now I can erase that fear from my mind. I would totally order it again! So tasty! Cheers!


  1. OHH! Looks So. Good. And perfect for New Year's Eve! Thanks for a festive new recipe to try! Happy New Year!
    ~Joy from Yesterfood


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