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Japanese Inspired Cocktails

Updated on September 3, 2017

The Flavor of Japan in a Cocktail Glass

Japanese inspired cocktails are experiencing a surge in popularity, rather than just drinking sake with their sushi people are looking for a little more sophistication.

There are a number of different Japanese inspired cocktails to try to they are made from ingredients such as sake, shochu and Japanese whisky as well as infusing non-Japanese spirits like rum and vodka.

One that I particularly like is the Melon Cream Soda which is pictured opposite, you can find the recipe below and it's also available in a fantastic book on Japanese Cocktails called (rather inventively!) Japanese Cocktails by Yuri Kato.

Let's tiptoe through the cherry blossoms and see what Japanese inspired cocktails we can discover to fill our glasses with........

The first cocktail I want us to sample is the Cherry Blossom Margarita which incorporates Mexico's tequila with Japan's sake along with cherry syrup in reference to Japan's beautiful cherry blossoms.

Cherry Blossom Margarita

1 ½ oz tequila

2 oz sake

1 oz cherry syrup

1 oz sour mix

1 oz lemon juice

sugar for rimming

cherry and lemon twist for garnish.

First rim a margarita glass or martini glass with sugar. Next pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with a cherry and lemon twist.

Now although you could use a plain margarita glass or even a martini glass to serve the Cherry Blossom Margarita in, but don't you think this fun looking cherry inspired martini glass would look cool to drink it out of?

Lolita Love My Martini Glass Cherry Bomb New
Lolita Love My Martini Glass Cherry Bomb New

I do love the Lolita martini glasses as they are always very festive looking and I think drinking cocktails should always be a fun celebration!


Sake Based Cocktails

Japanese Inspired Cocktails

Sake is a Japanese rice wine. There are some lovely sake based cocktails which are really delicious and they include the Japanese Pear Martini and the Sake-politan.

Japanese Pear Martini

2 shots vodka

1 shot sake

½ shot pear flavored eau de vie

Place all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass to serve.


3 shots sake

¾ shot triple sec

¾ shot cranberry juice

¼ shot fresh lime juice

Place all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass to serve.

Another gorgeous martini glass to serve your Japanese inspired cocktails in - I just love the green color in the stem, don't you?

Shochu Based Cocktails

Japanese Inspired Cocktails

Shochu is a Japanese liquor with an earthy flavor and is the base for a number of Japanese inspired cocktails such as the Shochu Melon Citrus Cocktail and the Lime Chu-Hai Cocktail.

Shochu Melon Citrus Cocktail

3 oz shochu

3 oz melon liqueur

2 oz fresh lemon juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass to serve.

Lime Chu-Hai Cocktail

2 oz shochu

1 oz roses lime juice

soda water

Pour the shochu and lime juice over ice in a tall glass and top up with soda water stirring gently.

More Japanese Cocktails

Yuri Kato presents over 60 Japanese cocktails in this book from the classics to original creastions. Kato takes us through Japan’s cocktail history as you read through his book. There are a number of interesting bits of Japanese information scattered throughout this book as well as lots of recipes including the delicious Melon Cream Soda.

Japanese Cocktails
Japanese Cocktails

Kato explores Japan’s cocktail heritage int his book which has chapters devoted to sake, shochu and Japanese whisky. Recipes such as the Sake Eggnog and Zentini are mixed with newer cocktails like the Red Eye and Yuzu Mojito


Melon Cream Soda

1 oz melon liqueur

1 ½ oz citrus flavored vodka

3 oz club soda

1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Put all of the liquids into a cocktail shaker with ice and mix together. Pour into a tall glass and top with the vanilla ice cream. This refreshing drink froths up as the ice cream and soda combine which is why it definitely needs to be served in a tall glass.

More Asian Inspired Cocktails

I hope you've enjoyed this walk through the cherry blossoms and have sampled some delicious Japanese inspired cocktails, if you want to check out some other Asian inspired cocktails then here's the perfect link -

Asian Inspired Cocktails
Twenty years ago we were all intrigued with Italian cooking, before that French, but in this millennium we seem to be entranced with Asian flavors more than ...

I have to say that the Melon Cream Soda is my favorite........the fact that it contains ice cream has nothing to do with it - honest!

Which is Your Favorite Japanese Inspired Cocktail?

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    • BobZau profile image

      Bob Zau 6 years ago

      I'm a Scotch man my self, but I'll score big points with the wife.... she's going to love these. Of course I'll have to taste test them all.

    • profile image

      cocktailsexaminer 6 years ago

      Spicy Bloody Mary's made with sake are surprisingly good! I highly recommend trying one!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Cannot say that I have a favorite Japanese inspired cocktail, for I have never tried one. Nicely done and blessed.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I had no idea the Japanese even had cocktails but I don't care. The Sake-politan seems suitably decadent enough for me

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 7 years ago

      I've never tasted sake or shochu so not sure if I would like cocktails containing them, although I'd probably give them a try. The Melon Cream Soda sure sounds good to me.