Japan Beats the Heat with Champagne Snow Cones

Just keep on pouring...Just keep on pouring...
Sweltering through a typical Japanese summer is no fun, and the summer of 2007 is proving to be hotter than most. The trendy, well-off crowd in Tokyo is chilling out with Champagne Kakigori, a cooling concoction which features sparkling bubbly over shaved ice! Kakigori is a traditional Japanese dessert or summer snack that finds broad appeal among both children and adults. Just about anything can be drizzled over shards of shaved ice, but most the common toppings are fruit syrups or a combination of maccha (green tea) and sweet red azuki beans.

All very nice to cool parched throats on a summer afternoon, but Maxim's de Paris has gone one step further by raising humble kakigori to the heights of elegance - not to mention expense. Maxim's, a swanky French restaurant located in Tokyo's Chuo ward, at least tries to gives patrons their moneys worth, which works out to 2,100 yen (or about $18) per serving. The process begins with a large stemmed glass of shaved ice, into which are mixed aromatic fruit and herb extracts. Then comes the piece de resistance - golden Dom Perignon champagne poured over the top while the thirsty customer looks on. It's at this point the cell phone cameras come out, preserving the moment for posterity (and for instant messaging to jealous friends). I'm guessing they don't snap photos of the bill, something they'd probably prefer to forget. (via Mainichi News)

Steve Levenstein
Japanese Innovations Writer
Aug 5, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

That Looks Good, Especially On A Hot Day

I was going to pull a George and say, "I'd buy that right now"--until I saw the $18 per serving price tag.

Aug 5, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Cheap it ain't

You could probably make 'em at home with a min-bottle of domestic sparkiling wine, but Maxim's is going for the status angle, besides trying to get some free publicity. Hey, it worked!