The Rooster        Asian New Year Celebration

An online ad for Korean vodka, intrigued me, especially when there was no way to buy it in the U.S.  After some research, it turned out two countries stocked it: Korea and Germany.  Executive Director of Target Health Inc., Yong Joong Kim was contacted for advice.  Luckily, for the newsletter, Y.J. Kim’s wife was heading to Korea for a visit.


Ingredients for two unbelievable vodka (Korean vodka) cocktails


3 jiggers of Korean vodka

1 cup of ruby red Tropicana grapefruit juice

3 jiggers of Frangelico

3 jiggers Ginger liqueur

1 teaspoon Campari in each glass, after all else is poured in

2 Martini picks (1 per glass)

6 Cocktail cherries, 3 on each pick (per glass)

1 Cara Cara orange, 1 circle cut in half, half per glass

2 spears watermelon (1 per glass)

2 spears cantaloupe (optional) – 1 per glass


This particular vodka cocktail is for Absolut Korean vodka only.  Korean vodka comes with spices infused: coffee, almond, chili.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Special voyage needed to obtain this special vodka.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


In Korea, Mrs Kim is receiving the Korean vodka from her father, who got it from her brother who made the purchase.


Here Mrs. Kim hands her husband, Yong Joong Kim the long sought after special Korean vodka, who brings it to THI in Manhattan and finally to yours truly, who now must come up with an extraordinary recipe saluting Asian Lunar New Year.


Above are the 4 basic alcoholic ingredients needed for this vodka cocktail: Absolut Korean (spiced) vodka, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Frangelico Liqueur, and after the above mixture is shaken with ice & with gusto, 1 teaspoon of Campari is gently dropped on the surface of the drink.  I learned this secret from a friendly Italian master bartender, now Maitre D’  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


You never want to use those bright red totally chemical cocktail cherries.  Instead, shop around for slightly more expensive real cherries in their own syrup or sometimes infused in brandy, cognac or (above) bourbon.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


After trying out several brands of juice (orange and grapefruit) plus some bubbly, we settled on the above ruby red with pulp.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Cut your fruit, before you do anything else.  Cara cara oranges were used because they have peak flavor right now and because their color is really beautiful, as you can see above.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here’s a close up of the fruit I ended up using.  Three dark cherries on each pick, half a slice of Cara cara, spear of watermelon.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




1. Decide what fruit you want to use, then do all the cutting and slicing needed.  This is a fun chance to be creative, in the shapes and lengths you make of the fruit.

2. Put all the fruit in each cocktail glass, so you’re free to arrange it any way you want.  If you do this after the drink is poured, it’s much harder.

3. In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients except for the Campari

4. Shake vigourously.

5. Take cover off shaker and add as many ice cubes as will fit.  Shake again with gusto

6. Pour the mixture, through the strainer, into each glass, about 1 inch from the top of the glass rim.

7. Pour a small amount of Campari into a small glass or measuring cup.

8. Place the drink in front of the lucky person about to take a sip.  Now dip a teaspoon into the Campari, fill it,  and carefully drop the Campari onto the surface of the drink.  DO NOT STIR. WAIT until the Campari drops through the rest of the drink and falls to the bottom.  There are photos below, that show the remarkable layers of color, this small amount of Campari adds to the already delicious Korean vodka drink

9. Okay, now sip and smile


The Rooster, a Korean vodka cocktail to celebrate the New Year with!  We raise our glasses to Mr. and Mrs. Yong Joong Kim.  We also raise our glasses to all of our wonderful Asian employees who contribute daily to the feeling of community at THI.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


The Rooster                                        ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Like part of a rainbow, the color layers are so pretty.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Up close example of the separate layers of color that make a lovely presentation.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here are the beautiful layers of color easy for you to achieve.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


HAPPY  NEW  YEAR  EVERYONE !  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




Rice crackers or the Asian mix, above, are especially good with this cocktail.  During one experiment with the Rooster, we had Ahi tuna & avocado sticks, which also went well with this drink.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



From Our Table to Yours !


Bon Appetit!



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