Culinary Cocktails Debut at SUSHISAMBA

 In Barstool Review, Features

Gone are the days of “Sex and the City” cameos and cocktails trees. SUSHISAMBA is now making headlines with their new Culinary Cocktail menu, and it’s pretty darn delicious.

To completely revamp and refresh their beverage program, SUSHISAMBA brought in the big guns. Head of Spirit & Cocktail Development Richard Woods was the winner of UK’s “Most Imaginative Bartender Awards” in 2014 and named one of Evening Standard’s1,000 Most Influential People” in 2015, to name just a couple of his outstanding accomplishments and accolades. Though, the bearded (obviously), soft spoken, humble barman would probably just shrug them all off as perks of the job. His new menu, which officially launched on December 1, boasts eight drinks broken down into two categories: Culinary Cocktails and New Signature Samba Serves.

Tom Yam at SushiSAMBAYou know when you order a Bloody Mary just because you kinda want a snack with your drink? That’s SUSHISAMBA’s Culinary Cocktails. Each cocktail has been expertly paired with an edible garnish. The Tom Yam (Reyka Vodka, Coriander, Ginger, Lime Leaf, Chili), which is inspired by and tastes exactly like Tom Yum soup, is topped with a fresh piece of Turbot Nigiri. Sushi garnish. Well played, SUSHISAMBA. My personal favorite was the Pistachio & Avocado Batida (Avocado Purée, Cachaça, Pistachio Orgeat, Cacao); it tastes like an avocado smoothie and comes with a banana leaf cone filled with corn nuts, so its pretty much good for you.

The New Signature Samba Serves are Woods’ take on some old standbys. Disguised as a black and white cookie, the Café Millonario (Coffee-Washed Bacardi Black Rum, Infused Maple Syrup, Dark Chocolate, Espresso Shot) is an actually palatable version of an Espresso Martini. His version of a traditional Pisco Sour, the Samba Sour (Pisco Brandy, Maraschino, Yuzu, Egg White, Tumeric), has a Festival-esque garnish that’s irresistibly Instagram-able and will 100% give you a rainbow mustache.

Cafe Millonario Sushi Samba

Between the edible garnishes on the Culinary Cocktails list and the revitalized classics on the Samba Serves side, Woods proves that there is plenty of room to play in that grey area between food and beverage.

In his own words, “The foundations of any cocktail are to make something taste delicious. Once you have established the building blocks of flavour you can flirt with boundaries. I like to showcase how diverse and unusual flavours usually found in a kitchen can equally be delivered behind the bar. It is my experiential approach that enhances a multisensory experience allowing cocktails to live outside the glass.” (AUTHOR’S NOTE: I left the British spelling of flavor to better illustrate his accent. It’s really quite charming.)

The menu officially launched this week and are definitely worth a visit! Also, the SUSHISAMBA cocktail trees definitely still exist. No one knows why.



87 7th Avenue, NY, NY 10014

Social Media: @SUSHISAMBA

Hours of Operation

  • Monday 11:45am – 12am
  • Tuesday – Wednesday 11:45am – 1am
  • Thursday – Friday 11:45am – 2am
  • Saturday 11:45am – 12am
  • Sunday 11:30am – 12am
  • Samba Hour: Sunday – Friday, 4 – 7pm & 11pm – close
  • Brunch: Saturday 11:45am – 4pm; Sunday 11:30am – 4pm
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