One of the most popular ways to cool yourself off during a muggy Japanese summer is with a bowl of shaved ice, known as kakigoori. However, not everyone has the sweet tooth or enduring connection to their inner child that’s necessary to enjoy the brightly colored, syrupy sweet frozen treat that’s usually flavored like strawberry, melon, or lemon.
Thankfully, if you’re looking for a chilled dessert that’s a little more adult, a restaurant in Kyoto has just the thing: shaved ice with whiskey.
During the summer, many high-rises in Japan open beer gardens on their roofs. Soradoko in Kyoto, which is open from now until October, decided to shake up its menu a little bit, and instead of focusing on beer, makes whiskey highballs its specialty.
This, of course, means Soradoko has to keep a lot of whiskey on hand, which has in turn led to it getting a little creative with whiskey shaved ice. Made with either Yamazaki or Shirasu, two of Suntory’s best-known brands, both the Mizore Yamazaki and Mizore Shirasu come with lemon, Soradoko’s own mildly sweet syrup, and soda water.
Aside from its 1,200 yen (US$11.90) whiskey shaved ice, Soradoko also has a variety of cocktails in its Fruit Jar series. The flavors offered are made with tropical fruits from Miyazaki Prefecture, such as mango and hyuganatsu citrus.
Soradoko isn’t strictly for drinkers, as there’s food on the menu too. The restaurant is managed by the same company as the Tsukada Nojo chain of izakaya pubs, and there’s even some crossover between the menu, such as flat-grilled Miyazaki Jitokko chicken.
Tasty as it looks, we still have to say the main draw here is the whiskey shaved ice. Even though we were just in Kyoto, it’s already got us wanting to go back again to find out what it feels like to get buzzed using a spoon.
Soradoko / 空床
Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-to, Nakagyo-ku, Sanjodori Kawaramachi Higashi-iri, Nakajimacho 110, Sanjo Forum Building rooftop
Open 5 p.m.-midnight