Steeped in (Australian) nostalgia, the Japanese Slipper is a tart-sweet, neon hued cocktail which had its peak in the ‘80s – and it’s making a comeback!
So food and restaurants are big in Melbourne – but the bar scene in the 1980s was not known for its innovation. Despite that, it gave the world the Japanese Slipper – and a lovely back story to the drink making a comeback out of nostalgia and a desire for the familiar and comforting during these pandemic affected times.
Bourguignon recalled in an interview that the cocktail was based around Midori –a bright green sweet muskmelon flavoured liqueur. Apparently a sales rep dropped off a bottle for him to sample – and he added orange flavoured Cointreau and some fresh lemon juice to tone down and balance the sweetness. Et voila! The Japanese Slipper was added to Mietta’s cocktail menu – and it quickly grabbed everyone’s attention.
Bourguignon moved on from Mietta’s and wherever he went in Australia, he added the drink to his new bar menu. This included hospitality groups, bars, casinos, restaurants and even an airline! The popularity of the bright green cocktail grew and a generation of young trendy Australians enthusiastically helped to spread its fame and notoriety. There’s even a story about the drink being a favourite of the seriously hip and trendy set who frequented New York’s Studio 54 at its prime.
Or, as www.makemeadrink.com put it in its review of the Japanese Slipper in 2012: “There’s something Zen-like about that single maraschino cherry floating at the bottom of cloudy soft spring-green liquor. It looks like an abstract painting of spring.”
30 ml Midori melon liqueur
30 ml Cointreau or Triple Sec orange liqueur
30 ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Maraschino cherry for garnish
Pour Midori, Cointreau or Triple Sec and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail/martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.