By Mike Augustyniak

Every week on Saturday, Mike Augustyniak goes in search of a new cocktail idea from a local mixologist. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Mike heads this week to a place that’s special for so many couples — Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis.

Lost in Translation

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3 oz Sake
1 ½ oz Green Tea Concentrate
½ oz Top Note Indian Tonic
2 Dashes Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters
4 Dashes Yuzu


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Combine all ingredients and carbonate by using a Soda Stream, or similar machine. Pour into an iced red wine glass. Garnish with an orange wheel, a lemon wheel and a cranberry skewered with a rosemary sprig.

Taste Test

The “Lost In Translation” is a take on a traditional gin and tonic, but with an Asian influence. A dry sake stands in for the gin; the Milwaukee-made Top Note Indian Tonic brings the traditional quinine flavor, but is also infused with gentian, grapefruit, lemongrass and lime. The final flavor, yuzu, is an east-Asian citrus fruit. It is light and herbaceous, with additional spices (like cinnamon) coming out the longer the drink sits. And, with a low alcohol-by-volume, you’ll be able to enjoy this, and the other low-proof cocktails at Restaurant Alma, without getting too tipsy.

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Restaurant Alma is on University Avenue in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood; reservations are recommended.

Mike Augustyniak