Yuzu is a small, intensely sour fruit used widely in Japanese cuisine, with a flavor somewhere between a grapefruit and a mandarin orange. It has become popular with bartenders and pastry chefs here for its unique tang, which gives these Trixy Stix a nice punch of flavor.
Special equipment: You will need a very clean coffee or spice grinder for this recipe.
To fill the paper straws, you will need a couple of pieces of paper, to cover your work surface and make a funnel with—any kind of paper will do. Alternatives to a paper funnel are a No. 16 Open Star or No. 5 Round piping tip. You will also need a toothpick.
What to buy:Yuzu juice can be found in the ethnic aisle or freezer section of well-stocked gourmet or ethnic grocery stores, or you can buy it online.
1Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2Place the sugar in a medium bowl and drizzle with the yuzu juice. Using your fingers, rub the yuzu juice into the sugar until the mixture is evenly combined and the texture of wet sand.
3Sprinkle the sugar mixture onto the parchment. Using your fingers, press the mixture into a thin, even layer about 1/16 inch thick. Set aside uncovered in a cool, dry place until the sugar dries out completely, at least 6 hours or overnight.
4Using your hands, break up the dried sugar into small pieces. Working in 2 to 3 batches, transfer the sugar to a clean coffee or spice grinder and process into a fine powder. Transfer the powder to a small bowl, scraping out any mixture stuck inside the grinder.
5Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Pour the sugar powder into the strainer and sift it into the bowl, pressing against the powder with the back of a spoon to force it through the mesh. Return any larger bits left in the strainer to the grinder and process into a fine powder. Sift again and repeat with the grinding and sifting as needed until all of the sugar mixture is processed (you may have a few solids left to be discarded).
6Place a sheet of paper on a work surface. Have about 20 (8-inch) paper straws and a toothpick ready. Make a small funnel out of another piece of paper. (Make sure the tip fits into the end of the straws.) Alternatively, use a No. 16 Open Star or No. 5 Round piping tip.
7Fold up one end of a straw 1/4 inch. Fit the point of the funnel or piping tip into the open end of the straw. Holding the funnel or piping tip in place and working over the sheet of paper, spoon in about 1 1/4 teaspoons of the sugar mixture. Use the pointed end of the toothpick to poke the sugar mixture into the straw. Remove the funnel or piping tip and fold the open end of the straw down 1/4 inch to close. Repeat with the remaining straws and sugar.