Shake Your Way To A Richer Cocktail With Uncooked Rice

Cocktail trends come and go; however, the drinks themselves remain in the world of spirits. From the festive Aperol Spritz to the classic Negroni to the Cosmopolitan, there's something for every palate. But one trend you may not be familiar with, but should definitely try, is a cocktail made with rice.

Rice is a pantry staple and is known for its great superpower to absorb liquids and flavors for many dishes. This quality makes it an essential ingredient in some of our favorite sushi, paella, and risotto recipes. The grain's protective layer softens as the rice cooks, allowing it to soak up all the rich flavors you are cooking with. 

However, uncooked rice grains are a little more difficult for liquids to penetrate their hard surface. For this reason, rice is a fascinating ingredient to add to a cocktail and only requires you to sharpen your cocktail shaker skills to pull it off.

Adding rice to your cocktail creates a fuller flavor and creamy texture

Rice in alcohol is not a new concept. It is the base for plenty of distilled spirits, including sake, soju, and baijiu. However, if you want to really change up the flavor of some of your shaken cocktails, Bartender Leanne Favre told Punch you might want to use a little uncooked rice. According to Favre, the addition of anywhere from just a few grains to a couple of tablespoons to your cocktail shaker can alter the overall taste of a mixed drink, giving it a unique flavor and texture. 

In some cases, the rice might dull the warmth of alcohol or even counteract the bitterness or harshness of your drink. It's also great for adding a creamy taste similar to a horchata. You can add the grains directly to your mixing glass or to your shaker; just be sure to give your cocktail a good stir to give your drink a more well-rounded mouthfeel. The extent that rice changes the flavors of your cocktail depends on several factors, including what type of rice you add, the spirits being used, and how long the rice is left in the alcohol — and it's completely up to you. 

For example, arborio rice may bring in a creamier element, while basmati and Jasmine can provide a nuttier and floral flavor to your drink. So, the next time you are playing bartender and mixing up a smooth Old-Fashioned, or even a martini, try adding a couple of grains of rice to the shaker to enhance your beverage.