In Japan, the annual blooming of cherry trees is a major cultural event; hanami, or group picnics underneath the colorful branches, are a custom that goes back centuries. Right about now, Okinawa is awash in pink from the thousands upon thousands of sakura (cherry blossoms), forming an unforgettably beautiful natural wonder. It’s a perfect time to visit – but if you’re reading this in OKC, the island probably isn’t on your immediate itinerary. Well, there’s always next year … and while you’re here, it’s also a perfect time to visit Yuzo, whose cocktail called a Cherry Blossom is a beauty, as well.
In addition to serving some excellent sushi and a wide variety of appetizers from multiple culinary cultures, Yuzo also houses a well-stocked bar. Their Cherry Blossom is a mixture of Pinnacle cherry vodka, Peachtree schnapps, unfiltered Ozeki Nigori sake, a twist of lemon and a last-minute pour of pomegranate juice. And if the ingredients sound overly saccharine, don’t worry; the sake offsets the other spirits and the juices wash away any alcohol burn, for a nicely balanced and surprisingly complex flavor. General Manager Cory White calls it “our answer to sangria,” and praises the way “the multiple fruits and unfiltered sake hit a few areas of the palate at once.”
The OKC Streetcar’s completion means traffic can flow freely through Automobile Alley again, and the new transportation option drops visitors off mere steps from Yuzo’s front door at 808 N Broadway. It’s a new season for the downtown area, which means it’s a good time to celebrate, as long as we keep the picnic indoors. Kampai!