From an after-work tipple to a pick-me-up with friends, these Japanese whiskey cocktails are so good, you may never buy American again!
These drinks are richly flavored, warmly boozy, and ideal for whisky lovers who want something different. So be sure to always have bottles of whisky on hand.
Japanese Whisky Cocktails & Drink Recipes
With a rich history dating back to the late 1800s and a passionate cult following, whisky has become an integral part of Japanese culture.
And from the water to the wood used in the distilling process, it’s pretty unique.
Here’s some fun fact: Japanese whisky (like Scottish & Canadian) doesn’t have an ‘E’.
When spelled with an ‘E’ – whiskey – that means it came from American or Irish distilleries.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s check out these fun Japanese whisky cocktails!
1. Japanese Highball
There are times in your life when you badly need to lift your spirits. For times like this, try your hand at a Japanese highball.
With Suntory Toki whisky, sparkling water, and either citrus zest or mint to garnish, it’ll tickle your tongue, ignite your imagination, and turn any event into a celebration.
Perfect for both novice tasters and experienced fire-breathers alike, it’s both strong and sleek in flavor.
A few sips of this divine concoction will transport you to the celestial dimensions of spirit savoring. Talk about setting the bar high!
Ingredients: Suntory Toki Whisky, sparkling water, citrus zest or mint
2. Maple Old Fashioned
Times may have changed, but the nuanced & sophisticated Maple Old Fashioned stays the same.
It mixes ultra-smooth quality whisky with a slight tartness from orange bitters and a sweet finish courtesy of brandied cherries.
This lip-smacking concoction will awaken your taste buds with its flavorful blend of mellow complexity and punchy vibrancy.
Just one sip will immerse you in its velvety waves of flavor – making it the perfect drink for an unforgettable evening.
Pro-tip: If you don’t have whisky on hand, feel free to swap it out with scotch. These products are similar in taste and structure.
Ingredients: whisky or scotch, maple syrup, orange bitters, brandied cherry, orange peel to rim the glass
3. Yuzu Whisky Sour
Why go to a bar when you can have a relaxing night with a glass of whisky sour at home?
The Yuzu Whisky Sour is one smooth and sophisticated cocktail with an elegance you won’t find in other cocktails.
A combination of Japanese whisky, lemon juice, and simple syrup, it’s a balanced, citrus flavor profile that showcases the unique flavors of Japan.
Its sweetness is not overpowering, and the aroma of the yuzu fruit provides a beautiful complexity.
When enjoyed neat or over ice in a crystal glass, it’s sure to please any whisky aficionado.
Ingredients: Suntory whisky or scotch, lemon or lime, yuzu juice, simple syrup, egg white
4. Toki Americano
For times when you’re in the mood for a twist on a classic, look no further than the Toki Americano.
This unique cocktail packs some punch of flavor, blending Japanese whisky with Cocchi Americano, Amaro Nonino, Hopped grapefruit bitters, and lemon.
Imagine sweet & citrus notes mixed with hints of bitterness that slowly build into a captivating blend of invigorating flavors.
If you need some soothing drink to help survive another work day, don’t head to the bar! This cocktail will deliver.
Ingredients: Suntory Toki or scotch, Italian aperitif wine, Italian bitter liqueur, grapefruit bitters, lemon or lime
5. Tokyo Sidecar
The Tokyo Sidecar is a drink that makes you feel like you’re in the fast lane.
Combining dynamic spirits – Iichiko Silhouette Shochu & Triple Sec – with citrus lemon and orange bitters for depth, this cocktail is sure to drive your senses wild.
It’s no wonder the Tokyo Sidecar has become an increasingly popular choice – its remarkable combination of flavors makes it truly unforgettable.
One sip, and you’ll find yourself longing for the next! Plus, the sugar on the rim really adds a depth of flavor that can’t be beat.
Ingredients: iichiko silhouette Shochu (distilled liquor from Japan), triple sec, lemon or lime, orange bitters, sugar to rim the glass
6. The Satsuma Smash
The Satsuma Smash is nothing short of a citrus delight! This orange cocktail from Japan deserves to be known all over the world.
You’ll muddle satsumas, and pour it into a cocktail shaker along with quality whisky and satsuma ginger syrup. Ooh, things are getting interesting!
After some good shaking, pour the smash into a glass and garnish with an orange peel.
What comes together is a perfect balance between sharpness and sweetness.
The robust alcohol enhanced by the sweet citrus flavors of the oranges makes for one outstanding combination.
Ingredients: Suntory whisky or scotch, satsuma or citrus wedges, satsuma ginger syrup, orange peel, lemon or lime, ice
7. Hibiki Shiso Julep
With its explosion of flavors, the Hibiki Shiso Julep is not one to be missed.
It’s a flawless combination of harmony and complexity, thanks to quality whisky from Japan and minty shiso leaves.
Sweetened with sugar and served in a glass full of crushed ice, it’s a refreshing take on the usual dark whiskey drinks.
That said, this alcohol is undeniably full-bodied and impossibly flavorful. Any bar or pub will be lucky to have this cocktail on its menu.
Ingredients: Hibiki Harmony (malt & grain whisky from Japan), shiso leaves, sugar, ice
8. Green Tea Highball
Are you looking for exciting spirits that’ll stand out from the crowd of basic cocktails? Well then, the Green Tea Highball is here to save the day.
This delicious combination of quality whisky, fresh-brewed green tea, club soda, and lemon is sure to excite all your senses.
The alcohol brings an exciting depth of flavor, while the fizzy club soda adds some sweetness with just a hint of bubbly bitterness.
Finally, the aromatic green tea brings it all together. Wow!
As a bonus, this cocktail is easy to make with just a few common ingredients. It proves that things don’t have to be complicated to be good.
Ingredients: green tea, whisky or scotch, club soda, lemon or lime, mint
9. Strawberry Samurai Japanese Whisky Cocktail
This one-of-a-kind drink combines bold spirits to create one distinctive tasting experience.
Featuring Hatozaki Whisky, strawberry syrup, rice wine vinegar, Liquore Strega, and cardamom bitters, it’s incredibly unique.
It’s one of those well-thought-out recipes where each ingredient was carefully chosen to complement the next.
The whisky provides a smoky undertone, while the syrupy strawberry sweetness provides some balance.
Meanwhile, the sharp notes of rice vinegar blend seamlessly with subtle herbal hints from the Liquore Strega.
Finally, it’s stamped with spiced undertones from the cardamom bitters. Delicious is an understatement!
Ingredients: whisky (e.g. Suntory), strawberry syrup, rice wine vinegar, Strega (Italian herbal liqueur), cardamom bitters
Introducing Harajuku, a decadent, delectable cocktail with just the right amount of smokiness sure to have all your friends raving!
This stunning mix starts off with Nikka coffee grain Japanese whisky. That’s then blended with Gran Classico, Byrrh Quinquina, and chocolate bitters.
It’s nutty and flavorful from the whisky, spicy and herbal from the Gran Classico, and fruity and floral from the Byrrh Quinquina.
Subtly sweet yet slightly bitter, it’s just what you need to add some zing to your next gathering.
True, some of the things in this recipe aren’t easily accessible. But some things are worth trying, and Harajuku is one of them.
Ingredients: whisky, Gran Classico (Italian bitters), Byrrh Quinquina (wine-based aperitif), orange twist
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