The Japanese Tea and Whiskey Cocktail


Colorado‘s capital is widely and rightly regarded as the epicenter of the craft beer revolution, but even the biggest brew-heads need a break from the frothy stuff every now and then. Partners Bryan Dayton and Chef Steven Redzikowski are keenly aware of that fact, which is why they paid so much attention to the cocktail menu when they opened Acorn in Denver’s River North District in 2013. The restaurant’s winter menu includes mouthwatering dishes like blackened pork belly, ahi tuna, and cumin-spiced pork shoulder, while the bar menu is full of proprietary handcrafted drinks designed to fight the cold.

Dayton is particularly proud of his Eastern Thoughts cocktail, which he created as an ode to Japanese whiskeys he loves. “Hibiki is one of my favorites to drink, so I wanted to make something that complemented it well,” he says. Because of the whiskey’s provenance, he thought something Asian-inspired would be best and added tea. He followed that with a dash of honey.

“The nutmeg and amaro give it a bit more depth, but the egg white makes it a bit lighter since it adds froth,” he explains. “I’d recommend pairing this cocktail with any of our desserts, since it’s perfect for capping off a meal.”

Eastern Thoughts


  • 1 oz Hibiki whiskey
  • 1 oz Amaro Braulio
  • 1 oz chai
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 3/4 oz honey syrup
  • 1 egg white


Shake all ingredients together, and pour into a small water glass. Top mixture with grated nutmeg.