Koi's Rockin' Cucumber martini is the perfect spring cocktail. Somewhat reminiscent of a Pimm's Cup, it's made with vodka and sake in place of gin, with lime juice instead of lemonade. It also has a stronger fresh cucumber flavor, as the cucumbers are added before shaking and straining, rather than simply placed as a garnish. Ken Whang, Koi's bar manager, says his inspiration for the drink was the cucumber water he was served at a spa a few years ago. “I thought that it would make a great drink and started making it as a special for VIP customers,” he told Squid Ink. “I fully developed it when I came to Koi and realized sake was the missing ingredient, and then it became the drink it is today. I used the Rock Sake so I could call it the Rockin' Cucumber.”

Warning: The drink does go down as smooth as cucumber water, so be careful. Turn the page for Whang's recipe.

Baked crab and diced avocado crispy rice; Credit: Koi

Baked crab and diced avocado crispy rice; Credit: Koi

A perfect accompaniment to your martini(s) would be one (or more) of Koi's special 10th-anniversary crispy rice flights, available through April. The contemporary Japanese restaurant is featuring 10 versions of executive chef Robb Lucas' most popular dish. You can choose two varieties from the chef's selection, which will rotate throughout the month. They include spicy tuna, crunchy spicy yellowtail, Kobe beef, diced avocado, spicy scallop, grilled eggplant, creamy salmon, rich lobster, shrimp salad and baked crab. You get two of each selection for $16.

Rockin' Cucumber martini

From: Ken Whang of Koi

Makes: 1 drink

2.5 oz. Rock Sake

1.5 oz. vodka

Splash of lime juice

Fresh cucumbers

1. Add all into a shaker and shake hard to break down the cucumbers.

2. Strain into a martini glass.

3. Garnish with a slice of cucumber.

Follow Samantha Bonar @samantha bonar.

LA Weekly