Often thought of as something only to be ordered with sushi, sake has been experiencing a renaissance all across the country. Made from the liquid pressed from fermented rice, the Japanese spirit has the ability to transform familiar recipes into cocktails that are completely unique.
Sake can also be the perfect ingredient for those looking for a lighter libation without sacrificing their buzz. While it doesn’t pack as much punch as other spirits like vodka and gin, it typically has a higher alcohol content than most wine and beer.
We teamed up with Hakushika, a Japanese company established in 1662, to bring you five sake cocktail recipes you need to add to your arsenal.
Autumn Moon: Made with sake, lime juice, and cassis liqueur, the Autumn Moon is like a sharper, more distinguished version of the Cosmopolitan. See recipe
Spring Garden: The name really says it all. Sake, simple syrup, and lemon and yogurt liqueurs make for a light and zesty combination that screams springtime in the garden. See recipe
Shiba Dog: Fans of the Salty Dog are sure to love the Japanese rendition of the drink. Just swap your vodka or gin for high-quality sake, and the result is sure to be equally tangy and bold. See recipe
Red Sun: If Bloody Marys can be a bit too spicy for your taste, look no further than the Red Sun. Sake pairs perfectly with tomato juice and tomato liqueur for a drink that’s boozy, fresh, and bright. See recipe
Japanese Sling: Head northeast across the China Seas for Japan’s take on the popular Singapore Sling. The combination of sake, cherry brandy, and lemon juice creates a tiki-style drink worthy of a sunny afternoon on Okinawa Island. See recipe
Japan certainly has a rich and storied history when it comes to its alcohol. In fact, the tōji, the job title of a sake brewer, is viewed as one of the most respected positions in Japanese society. Learn more about the culture and the beverages it’s inspired by picking up a copy of Japanese Cocktails by Yuri Kato.
Photos courtesy of Hakushika