Japanese And Their Art Of Making Cocktails
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The Japanese take the art of making cocktails seriously and do so with precision and pace. This is quite different from the flamboyance of many American bartenders. The word "wa" in Japanese means "harmony," and this concept permeates Japanese culture, from architecture and design to the creation of cocktails. The word has several meanings but mostly relates to a calming experience.

So, if you are interested in learning more about Japanese cocktails, we have a few tips to help you dive deeper into this world. 

Julia Momose, Masahiro Urushido

Every field or domain has an expert, and Julia Momoseis a great starting point for anyone looking up Japanese cocktails. She is a celebrity in the world of Japanese cocktails, with a great journey from a starry-eyed Japanese kid to a world-class bartender and writer in her field. Momose has become an authority in this field with the research she has done for her book The Way of The Cocktail, which covers Japanese cocktails, recipes for classic and original drinks divided by season, as well as spirit frees and nonalcoholic drinks. You can also look up the book 

The Japanese Art Of The Cocktail by the award-winning mixologist Masahiro Urushido.He also runs the popular Katana Kitten bar in New York and is a proud proponent of the Japanese style of making cocktails. 

For the sake of Sake

Japanese cocktails have been known to be a bit smaller in size than their American counterpart because Japanese drinks are traditionally made in smaller amounts. The original recipes were also much simpler than the modern versions. Mizuwari and other staple ingredients were not yet available in their modern forms, so even simple recipes often required meticulous mixing.

These days, Japanese cocktail culture is undergoing a transformation. While traditional drinks are still popular in Japan, a new generation of sake sellers is pushing for premium brews that appeal to a younger demographic. They are launching new campaigns to increase exports. This growth is reflected in the growing popularity of sake overseas. The younger generation of Japanese often aspires to emulate Western trends.

DIY Recipes on Popular Japanese Cocktails

Alright, now that we’re acquainted with the broader trends in Japanese cocktails, it’s time for some DIY recipes we can use at home to dazzling our friends and guests. I mean, Japanese cuisine is famous for its delicious drinks, so why not learn how to make them at home? So read on for recipes for popular Japanese drinks like Calpis Sour, Chuhi, Tamagozake, and Umeshu- delicious cocktails that are perfect for an evening in with friends and family, or to drown your sorrows alone. Hey, we’re not judging!

Calpis Sour

A cultured dairy drink, Calpis is a popular staple in Japanese convenience stores that has a mild, buttermilk-tart flavor. It's loaded with probiotics, which support digestion and strengthen the immune system. So, the Japanese made a cocktail using this. 

Calpis Sour is a delicious twist on the popular Japanese cocktail chu-hai. The cocktail combines shochu with the milky soft Calpis. It's similar to the American highball but has more of a sweet-sour taste.


The shochu highball, popularly known as a chu-hai, is a combination of shochu, fruit juice, and soda water. Shochu is a traditional Japanese distilled hard liquor made from grains and vegetables. 

Japanese cocktails are often flavored with liqueurs, juice, and fresh fruit. They're a great choice for people who don't want to drink beer or heavy spirits and are easily available in bars and restaurants. Many of the drinks can also be purchased in pre-mixed cans.

A typical Japanese cocktail is the lemon sour made with shochu, soda water, and lemon juice. To make the drink sweeter, you can use honey or sugar syrup. Citrus-flavored syrups are also available, which can enhance the flavor of a classic Japanese cocktail.


If you're looking for a fun and delicious way to serve Japanese sake, consider making a Tamagozake. This Japanese cocktail is similar to eggnog but made with sake. That’s right, heated sake, sugar, and a raw egg. It's a great cold-weather drink that's surprisingly good for health. It is used as a traditional home remedy for colds, not unlike hot toddy in the US, or brandy with hot water on Diwali ‘taash’ nights in some households in India.


If you want to try Japanese cocktails at home, try a DIY recipe for one of their most popular drinks: Umeshu, which is made from plums. It's sweet and tart, and pairs well with various fruits. You can create a classic mojito using umeshu in place of gin.

You can also make a cassis orange cocktail, which is a popular drink among Japanese women. You can use blackcurrant liqueur and orange juice to make this drink. If you prefer not to use orange juice, you can substitute it with grapefruit juice.


How could this not be a thing? One of the most popular Japanese cocktails is the saketini, a blend of sake and martini. This drink is served over a glass of cucumber ice and can be easily prepared using a cocktail shaker. It contains very little alcohol and is made with sake, melon liqueur, lemon juice, and ice. 

If you're planning a trip to Japan, or feel like getting a slice of Japan at home for the weekend, or just want to have a drink at home with a fun, new twist, you can try out these recipes for popular Japanese cocktails. 

You can tailor them to your personal tastes and preferences, and even add some of your favorite ingredients for some flair. We’re pretty certain you’ll fall in love with Japanese cocktails as we have.