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Photo from Otto-Izakaya.com

We took a little Asian adventure for our TALKGreenville cocktailin’ outing this month – Otto Izakaya on Main Street in Greenville – and we learned a thing or two!  First, we now know what an “izakaya” is.  It’s an informal restaurant/bar-type establishment found all across Asia, so the term totally fits this fun little sushi/Asian-fare place!  Second, we learned a new purpose for pickle juice (more on that later).  And third, we discovered that Katelin, the bar manager, and her trusty sidekick, Aaron, really have this cocktailin’ thing figured out!

sake that knocks your socks off…

Katelin and Aaron love it when people scoot up to the bar and ask about the sake selection – especially when they have it stuck in their head that they don’t even like sake!  Otto Izakaya boasts quite an extensive sake list, and as they say, there is something to suit all tastes.  And stay tuned…sake tasting dinners are in the works, so follow @otto_izakaya2 on Instagram for the skinny on the plans!


Photo by Nathan Gray

Lychee Margarita

We have been motivated by the margarita of late, and much like white jeans, it can now be a year-round indulgence!  (so we indulge…and so should you.  Just sayin).  This lychee version hits very high marks with a Souza cucumber chili tequila, Cointreau, lychee syrup, fresh lime and a splash of sour, topped with a salted rim. Strong but not over-powering, this is a great cocktail for any time.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Nail in Hibiki’s Coffin… 

A simple drink can be just the right the answer to a long day and this one made with Hibiki Japanese whiskey, Drambuie, and bitters blooms on the tastebuds and makes the drudgeries of the day disappear. The robust whiskey is softened by the bitters, and the citrus livens it up a bit…making this the ideal drink for the manly man, the girly man, the girly girl or manly girl…so go for it!

Photo by Nathan Gray
Hot Huck Fizz

44° North Huckleberry vodka, Parma pomegranate liqueur, fresh lime juice, jalapeño simple syrup, a splash of cranberry and a floater of sparkling wine create a festive and fancy beverage. Who doesn’t get perked up with some bubbles? This is any easy way to while away the evening and is a guaranteed pleasure to sip.

The Dickle & a Pickle” and its shotto friends

Some clever names like the “Dickle & a Pickle” and the “Tickelback” really caught our attention in the “shotto” section of the menu. (this is when we learned that little lesson about pickle juice)Basically, these two clever creations are shots with a pickle juice chaser…and the result is mind-blowing!  So much so that we took the combination home and have been introducing it to all our nearest and dearest! The Dickle & a Pickle features George Dickel whiskey while the Tickleback features Hornitos Plata tequila…and the sting of both is obliterated by the pickle juice.  Why have we not known this little trick all along??

Photo by Nathan Gray

With a menu featuring the usual sushi-bar faves along with some surprises (hello, Banh Mi Sliders and Izakaya Fries), Otto Izakaya has the fix for just but any craving of the Asian persuasion.  And no worries if the craving hits a little on the late side.  They keep the kitchen hoppin’ until 12:30 am (with full menu) and the doors open until 2! Now that’s what we callaimin’ to please  day and night!  Go now – and later – and later.

Otto Izakaya . 802 S Main Street . Greenville . 864-568-5880

otto-izakaya.com . @otto_izakaya2