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Drink This

Boozy Snow Cones


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The centerpiece of the cocktail program at the Gaslamp’s new Gaijin Noodle + Sake House is a heavy cast-iron box with a hand crank on one side. In goes a giant block of ice; out come fluffy flakes of snow that are packed into a paper cone and soaked in fresh syrups spiked with sake and soju, a lower-proof alcohol you’ve probably seen standing in for vodka at other Asian restaurants. This is kakigori, Gaijin’s boozy take on Japan’s shaved ice tradition. “We wanted a fun and interesting way to celebrate the flavors of sake and soju—and not deny the fact that we don’t have a liquor license yet,” admits Lucien Connor of Snake Oil Cocktail Co. Don’t let the nostalgia of these colorful little treats fool you: they’re surprisingly potent, so kampai (cheers) with caution. 627 Fourth Ave., downtown

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