Introducing Finalist Cocktail #4 of Van Gogh Vodka’s revolutionary competition!

After six weeks the Grand Final will bring professionals and home bartenders together live on October 25th at 5 pm to announce each winner.

Professional Bartender Submission

Kyoto Red Light, cocktail

Kyoto Red Light

Kyoto Red Light

Recipe by Maxwell Berlin


  • 1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
  • 3/4 oz. Buckwheat Schochu
  • 1 oz. Roseberry Roasted Rice Syrup*
  • 1 oz. Salted Yuzu Juice
  • 1 Egg White scented with roasted rice and rose petals**
  • 2 dashes Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters

Preparation: Incorporate all ingredients in cocktail tin. Dry shake vigorously, then wet. Double strain into chilled coupe and garnish with a lightly charred maple or shiso leaf,  a spritz of Dutch Caramel Vodka and Buckwheat schochu mixture.

*Roseberry Roasted Rice Syrup

Create 1:1 raspberry simple with equal parts by weight of frozen raspberries and sugar. Add 2 teabags of roasted rice tea (hojicha) and 4 drops rosewater. Warm till syrupy then strain. Cool. Yuzu juice in Japan can come both salted and unsalted in bottle. If using unsalted, add small pinch of salt to taste.

**Rose and Rice Scented Eggs

Store eggs in clean container with the rest of the roasted rice tea and some rose petals. Eggs are porous so they’ll pick up the aroma.

Story: Inspired by the classic, but risqué Japanese shunga pieces of Hokusai. As well as creating famous woodblocks of fishing villages, waves, and volcanos, Hokusai had an affinity for making works about geisha life in the alleyways of old Tokyo. My Kyoto Red Light cocktail is a decadent and velvety Clover Club riff calling back to those special working ladies. Sour and sharp flavors from yuzu and raspberries are contrasted with rich caramel, roasty rice, and savory buckwheat. Perfect for a night out on the town or enjoyed by a warm fire. Thank you to all artists that inspire us and to great vodka. Cheers!

Join us Sunday, October 25th at 5pm for the Grand Final! Register to attend on Facebook!