It’s never too early in the week for these sake cocktails! I’m not exaggerating when I say you need to try them ASAP.
Sake cocktails aren’t as popular as ones made with vodka, gin, or whiskey. However, you shouldn’t overlook them as a viable cocktail option.
Sake Cocktails & Drink Recipes
This Japanese spirit has a rich, intricate flavor that combines several different flavor notes.
These include nutty, fruity, sweet, and dry. Many people compare its taste to that of white wine.
Its unique flavor profile means it pairs well with bright, zingy, and even bitter flavors.
As a result, many of the cocktail recipes on this list are tart and zesty, therefore, delicious!
Bring out the cocktail connoisseur in you and try these sake cocktail recipes!
1. Grapefruit Cocktail
This refreshing, bubbly cocktail has it all. It’s tart, tangy, and just a tiny bit spiced and bitter. It’s an interesting flavor combination that’s heavy on grapefruit.
The drink takes several ingredients, a shaker, and about 10 minutes to make. Still, it’s the ideal drink for summer, especially if you’re not fond of overly sweet cocktail recipes.
Don’t let its delicate pink color fool you, either. This one packs more of a punch than you might think.
Ingredients: Nigori sake, gin, grapefruit juice & sparkling water, ginger, nutmeg, ice
2. For Goodness Saké – A Saké and Ginger Cocktail
Some claim they taste a touch of sweetness in this drink. I’ve never noticed it myself. To me, its base is pretty tart, bordering on outright sour.
There are floral-like hints now and then. However, even those aren’t overly sweet; they’re more bright and tangy.
You’ll notice strong citrus notes in this cocktail, and don’t worry. The pickled ginger isn’t as overwhelming as most people assume it will be. It does add a nice dash of heat, though.
This one isn’t a strong drink as far as potency. So give it a try if you want something light and energizing.
Ingredients: Nigori sake, ginger juice, sugar & water, lime juice, pickled ginger
Looking for something quick and simple to mix up? The two-ingredient saketini is an excellent choice.
To make it, you’ll merely combine gin (or vodka) and sake in a cocktail glass and stir.
Stick a cucumber slice in the glass as a garnish, and it’s ready to serve. It has a fresh, crisp taste that’s not that far from a ‘regular’ martini.
Ingredients: Nigori sake, gin, cucumber or green olive
4. Sake Bloody Mary Cocktail
This sake-based version of the Bloody Mary is less potent than the original. You’ll use sake for the spirit instead of vodka.
It doesn’t hit as hard as a vodka-based Bloody Mary. However, the taste is fresher, cleaner, and tastier. It’s wonderfully tomatoey with the perfect amount of heat and spice.
It’s a fantastic choice for summer brunches.
Ingredients: Nigori sake, tomato juice, Sriracha, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, salt & pepper, celery stalk
5. Sake Sangria
I mentioned earlier that there were a couple of sweet drinks on this list. The sake sangria is one of them.
It’s delightfully and decadently fruity, lightly sweet, and delicious.
You’ll combine sake, merlot, four different fruit juices, and club soda in a cocktail glass.
Add a dash of simple syrup and some garnishes on top as a finishing touch. It’s citrusy, flavorful, and hard to put down.
Ingredients: Nigori sake, merlot, pomegranate juice, lemon & lime juices, sugar & water, soda water
6. Spicy Mango Sake Rum Cocktail
Don’t let the lengthy ingredients list scare you away from this one.
I know it looks intimidating, but the cocktail is pretty easy to make. Your food processor will do most of the work.
Its base is sweetly tart, tropical, and tangy from the fruit juices & mango liqueur. The chili water, meanwhile, adds heat in every sip.
Of all the drinks on this list, this one is probably the spiciest. If you’re sensitive to hot stuff, pass this one up.
Ingredients: sake, rum, mango liqueur, lemon juice, Hawaiian chili water, mango juice, simple syrup, dashes of Tiki bitters
7. Sake Mojito
This drink’s flavor differs depending on the spirit you use.
With dry sake, you’ll barely taste the difference between it and a typical mojito.
If your sake brand is sweeter, you might notice a flowery aftertaste. Additionally, some sake brands give it a much tarter flavor – almost like lemonade or limeade.
Either way, if you want a crisp, refreshing drink with mint, this one is a good option. Bring out a tray of these on a summer day by the pool. Your guests will surely appreciate them.
Ingredients: mint leaves, sugar, lime, sake, ice, club soda
8. Sake Lychee Martini
The sake lychee martini is easily the prettiest glass on this list. It has a delicate, elegant look perfect for weddings or anniversaries.
It’s easy to make, too. You’ll combine dry sake with lychee juice in a cocktail shaker. Serve in a cocktail glass then garnish with a lychee fruit.
It shouldn’t take but a few minutes to whip it up.
Fortunately, it tastes just as terrific as it looks. It has a light, brisk, invigorating flavor and isn’t too sweet.
Ingredients: dry sake, lychee
9. Pink Sakura: A Cherry Blossom Sake Cocktail (Nigori Sake & Cherry Liquor)
Ah, cherry blossoms. They’re perhaps the only thing more recognizably Japanese than sake and samurai.
This gorgeous drink capitalizes on both those things (not the samurai, of course).
This sweet, flowery pink drink is a must-try for springtime brunches. It features sake, pink grapefruit juice, and a touch of Maraschino cherry liqueur.
It has an intricate, enchanting flavor and smells as lovely as it looks and tastes. It’s a little thicker than it seems, but the taste is incredible.
Ingredients: Nigori sake, maraschino cherry liqueur, pink grapefruit juice, simple syrup, cherry blossoms
10. The Cherry Blossom – A Sake and Gin Cocktail
This second cherry blossom cocktail is somewhat stronger than the last. It also features a more brilliantly red color.
This glass, too, combines sake and cherry liqueur. However, it adds dashes of tarter, more citrusy liqueurs, as well.
It’s more potent and has a higher mouth-pucker factor for those who drink it.
Stick with this if you prefer tangy to sweet cocktail recipes.
Ingredients: sake, cherry liqueur, gin, orange liqueur, grenadine, lemon juice, brandied cherry
11. The Phantom Love Song Cocktail
Here’s another fancy cocktail with a slightly spectral appearance. It’s light, smooth, and intensely floral, thanks to elderflower liqueur.
You can substitute a sweeter sake for a fruitier, brighter base.
However, I prefer sticking to dry sake. It gives the cocktail a unique, otherworldly flavor to match its ghostly look.
Ingredients: dry sake, elderflower liqueur, lime juice
12. Grapefruit Honey Sake Cocktail
Sake, honey, and grapefruit don’t seem like they should go together. And indeed, this drink is somewhat of an acquired taste.
However, if you’re the kind of person who loads grapefruit down with sugar, you’ll like it.
Saying this drink tastes like ‘sweet grapefruit’ isn’t precisely correct. It gets you in the basic ballpark of how this tastes but doesn’t explain it perfectly.
Think of it more like sweetened grapefruit covered in caramelized nuts. That may be closer to the truth.
Despite its sweetness, the drink is reasonably refreshing. Apparently, the bitter-tart flavor of the fruit is all the crisp bite it needs.
Ingredients: sake, grapefruit, sugar, honey, thyme, ice
13. Lotus Blossom Martini
This 3-minute martini is fruity, zesty, and heavily pear flavored. Its light gold color makes it ideal for more formal occasions.
However, it uses just five ingredients and is simple to pull together. Therefore, it’s also an excellent choice for simpler affairs.
Because of its fruit forward taste, it’s perfect for the spring and summer months. It’s easier to find the lychee during those months, as well.
Ingredients: sake, pear vodka, lychees, lime, simple syrup, pear slice
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