12 Japanese Cocktails That Will Transport You to Tokyo

12 Best Japanese Cocktails

When it comes to Japanese culture, there are countless things to admire. From the intricate art of origami to the delicious and healthy cuisine, Japan has a lot to offer.

But have you ever considered incorporating Japanese flavors into your cocktails? It may sound unconventional, but trust me, it’s worth trying.

Japan is known for its attention to detail and precision, and these qualities are reflected in their cocktails.

The use of fresh, high-quality ingredients and delicate flavors make for a truly unique drinking experience. Whether you’re a fan of sweet or savory drinks, there’s a Japanese cocktail recipe out there for you.

One of the most popular ingredients in Japanese cocktails is sake, a rice wine that’s been brewed for centuries. Sake adds a subtle sweetness to cocktails and pairs well with a variety of flavors.

Another popular ingredient is matcha, a finely ground green tea powder that’s become popular in recent years. Matcha adds a subtle earthiness to cocktails and is often used in combination with citrus flavors.

So whether you’re a seasoned bartender or just looking to try something new, Japanese cocktails are definitely worth exploring.

From classic recipes to modern creations, there’s something for everyone. So let’s dive into the world of Japanese cocktails and discover some of the best recipes out there.

1. The Japanese Cocktail

The Japanese Cocktail

The Japanese Cocktail is a classic American cocktail that has nothing to do with Japan or Japanese cuisine. It is made with brandy or Cognac, sweetened with orgeat syrup, and finished with a few shakes of bitters. The drink has a nutty flavor with a hint of citrus and an herbal finish from the bitters.

The cocktail is believed to be inspired by the first Japanese diplomatic mission to the US in 1860. Although it may not be related to Japanese culture, it is a sophisticated and versatile cocktail that is perfect for sipping on any occasion. If you're looking to class up your brandy or Cognac, the Japanese Cocktail is definitely worth a try.

2. Japanese Cocktail

Japanese Cocktail

The Japanese Cocktail is a classic cocktail that is not actually from Japan, but rather originated in New York City. It is a refreshing blend of Cognac, Curaçao, Orgeat syrup, and Angostura bitters, garnished with a lemon peel. Despite its name, this cocktail does not include any Japanese ingredients, but it is a delicious and popular option on any cocktail menu.

Its origins are said to be a tribute to Tateishi Onojirou Noriyuki, a member of the first Japanese mission to the United States, who loved a good mixed drink. This cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a classic and unique cocktail experience.

3. Sparkling Elderflower Sake Cocktail

Sparkling Elderflower Sake Cocktail

The Sparkling Elderflower Sake Cocktail is a must-try for those looking for a unique and refreshing drink. This bubbly cocktail is a perfect blend of smooth elderflower notes and subtle sweetness of sake, finished with a bright burst of pomegranate and citrus. It's a fantastic introduction to the world of sake, and a great way to transition from winter to spring.

The richness of the elderflower liquor and warmth from the sake brings in elements of winter, while the bubbles and tartness remind you of spring. This cocktail is perfect for happy hour or any special occasion. Don't miss out on this delicious and exciting drink!

4. The Southside

The Southside

If you're looking for a unique twist on a classic cocktail, The Southside is a must-try. This fusion-style drink combines the traditional Japanese rice liquor, sake, with the classic gin cocktail. The addition of lemon, lime, and fresh mint creates a bright and intriguing complexity that will keep you sipping.

Sake's neutral flavor pairs perfectly with the tart citrus and refreshing mint, making this cocktail a refreshing and sweet-tart option for any occasion. Whether you're looking to impress guests or simply use up a bottle of sake, The Southside is a refreshing and unexpected choice.

5. Yuzu Whiskey Sour

Yuzu Whiskey Sour

The Yuzu Whiskey Sour is a refreshing and perfectly balanced Japanese cocktail that is sure to impress any whiskey lover. This Asian fusion spin on a traditional American whiskey cocktail features Japanese whiskey, yuzu juice, lemon juice, and an egg white for a frothy layer.

The combination of flavors creates a bright and refreshing taste that goes down dangerously easily. This cocktail is incredibly easy to make, making it perfect for your next happy hour or dinner party. If you're looking for a unique and delicious cocktail to impress your guests, the Yuzu Whiskey Sour is a must-try.

6. Sakura Martini

Sakura Martini

The Sakura Martini is a delightful and delicate cocktail that is perfect for a special occasion or a fancy night in. This cocktail is inspired by the national flower of Japan, the cherry blossom, and is made with maraschino cherry liqueur, sake, and salted cherry blossoms.

The meaning of Sakura is renewal and optimism, which is reflected in the beautiful and short-lived blooming period of the cherry blossom. The sake in this cocktail adds a unique and delicious flavor, and the salted cherry blossoms are a beautiful and tasty addition. If you're looking for a cocktail that is both impressive and delicious, the Sakura Martini is definitely worth a try.

7. Tokyo Mule

Tokyo Mule

The Tokyo Mule is a refreshing and unique twist on the classic Moscow Mule. Made with sake, cucumber, ginger syrup, lime juice, and vodka, this cocktail is bursting with flavors that complement each other perfectly. The sake adds a distinct Japanese touch to the drink, while the cucumber and ginger give it a refreshing and spicy kick.

The lime juice adds a tartness that balances out the sweetness of the ginger syrup. Overall, the Tokyo Mule is a must-try for anyone looking to explore Japanese-inspired cocktails. So, if you're in the mood for a refreshing and flavorful drink, give the Tokyo Mule a try!

8. Asian Persuasion Cocktail

Asian Persuasion Cocktail

The Asian Persuasion Cocktail is a unique fusion drink that combines Canadian gin with Japanese matcha powder. The gin used in this cocktail is Ungava Gin, which is made from hand-picked ingredients found in the far north reaches of Quebec.

The bright yellow color of the gin comes from the Nordic Juniper, Wild Rose Hips, Cloudberry, Crowberry, Arctic Blend, and Labrador Tea that are infused in the spirit. The Asian Persuasion Cocktail has a refreshing and herbal flavor that is perfect for those who enjoy modern exotic cocktail recipes. This cocktail is a must-try for anyone who wants to experience the perfect union of East meeting West.

9. The Sake Lychee Martini

The Sake Lychee Martini

The Sake Lychee Martini is an elegant and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for any party or romantic date night. With just two simple ingredients, this signature cocktail is easy to make and impresses with its pretty lychee cocktail garnish.

The canned lychees in juice add a touch of sweetness to the cocktail, making it a delicious and satisfying drink. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy the delicate and subtle flavors of Japanese cuisine. If you're looking for a unique and tasty cocktail to add to your repertoire, the Sake Lychee Martini is definitely worth a try.

10. The Benefit

The Benefit

"The Benefit" is a refreshing pink sake cocktail infused with ginger, lemongrass, and grapefruit. It's perfect for a small crowd and can be made by the pitcher. The addition of vodka gives it an extra kick, making it perfect for those who love a little bit of spice.

The name "The Benefit" is inspired by the fact that it was created for a charity auction, and it has a long list of benefits. Overall, it's a must-try cocktail for anyone who loves Japanese-inspired drinks.

11. Grapefruit Honey Sake Cocktail

Grapefruit Honey Sake Cocktail

The Grapefruit Honey Sake Cocktail is a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail that is perfect for a summer day. It combines the sweetness of grapefruit and honey with the creamy flavor of Hakutsuru Sayuri Nigori sake, which adds a floral and lush element to the drink.

This cocktail is a great way to enjoy sake and is perfect for those who are looking for a light and refreshing drink. If you are looking for a cocktail that is easy to make and tastes great, then the Grapefruit Honey Sake Cocktail is definitely worth trying.

12. The Damiana Valentine Cocktail

The Damiana Valentine Cocktail

The Damiana Valentine Cocktail is a unique and exciting Japanese Cocktail recipe that is sure to spice up your Valentine's Day celebrations. Made with Damiana tea, sake, raspberry and pomegranate juice, and a spritz of rose water, this cocktail is a potent aphrodisiac that stimulates the "drive" of ladies.

The Damiana tea is known for its effectiveness in enhancing mood and reducing stress, making it the perfect ingredient for a romantic evening. The cocktail is easy to make and has a delicious, fruity flavor that is sure to please. If you're looking for a Valentine's Day cocktail that will put you in the mood, give the Damiana Valentine Cocktail a try.