Skip to main content

12 tasty, versatile sake cocktails to whip up and enjoy

Try these delicious sake cocktails to up your mixology game

A sake set consisting of a green glass sake bottle and a short glass
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Odds are, you’re either not drinking enough sake or you’re not mixing it right. Fortunately, this lovely nectar of fermented rice is nimble and cocktail-ready, once you get the hang of it.

Female hand pouring sake

What is sake?

Sake is the national drink of Japan, it’s an alcoholic beverage that is made of fermented rice, water, yeast, and Aspergillus oryzae mold, which is also known as koji. The mold is used to convert the starch in the rice to sugar. The rice used in the process of making sake is a special sakamai rice that is high in starch and low in protein. The rice is highly milled (or polished) to remove the outer hull and some of the bran. Highly polished sake rice will lead to a smoother final product.

Once the sake has been distilled, it is generally aged for a year or more before it is bottled. Sake can be served either hot or cold, depending on personal preference. As a general rule of thumb, fine sake is better served slightly chilled, while cheaper sake benefits from being served slightly warm.

Monica Samuels is the director of sake and spirits at Vine Connections. The company specializes in sake imports and boasts a nice lineup of varieties, spanning all kinds of styles and flavors. We had her offer some of her favorite sake cocktail creations so that you can experience firsthand just how special the stuff can be.

“Sake is clean, refreshing, and is packed with subtle fruit and floral notes that are fun to amplify when mixing in cocktails,” she says. “The low ABV — 15% on average — also makes sake cocktails more sessionable, and a better-for-you choice overall as they require much less in terms of sugary mixers.”

In other words, ditch the stereotypical Sake Bomb and go for something a little more sophisticated and tasty. Here are some great sake cocktails to sip on.

Ume Spritz Sake Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Great sake cocktails to try

Ume Spritz


  • 3 oz. Tozai Blossom of Peace Sake
  • Mango La Croix Sparkling Water


  1. Pour Blossom of Peace over ice in a tall glass and top with Mango La Croix.
  2. Garnish with an edible flower or cherry.
Winter Spritz Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sakura Smash


  • 3 oz Tozai Blossom of Peace Plum Sake
  • 6 fresh cherries
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz pomegranate juice
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • splash of soda


  1. Muddle cherries and mint in a shaker.
  2. Add Blossom of Peace Plum Sake, juices, and soda.
  3. Serve over ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of mint.
Mango Maiden Sake Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Mango Maiden


  • .5 cup Tozai Snow Maiden Sake
  • .5 cup mango nectar
  • .5 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
  • .5 cup ice
  • .25 cup coconut milk
  • splash of coconut or dark rum
  • juice of ½ lime


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with fresh mint.
Well of Wisdom Sake Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Tea of Wisdom


  • 3 oz Tozai Well of Wisdom Sake
  • 3 oz brewed and chilled green tea
  • ⅓ cup fresh cantaloupe chunks, muddled in 1 tbsp simple syrup


  1. Combine all in a shaker and add a few ice cubes.
  2. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.
  3. Garnish with melon ball pick.
Citrus Basil Typhoon-Tini Sake Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Citrus Basil Typhoon-Tini


  • 3 oz Tozai Typhoon Sake
  • 3 oz freshly squeezed lemonade
  • 2 large fresh Thai basil leaves


  1. Roughly chop Thai basil.
  2. Combine Typhoon and lemonade with ice in a shaker and serve with basil garnish.
Ruby Jewel Sake Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ruby Jewel


  • 2 oz Tozai Living Jewel Sake
  • 2 oz Pama liqueur
  • 2 oz pomegranate juice
  • .25 cup pitted fresh sweet cherries
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • club soda


  1. Muddle cherries with Living Jewel, PAMA, and pomegranate juice in a shaker.
  2. Add a few ice cubes and lemon juice and shake vigorously.
  3. Strain and add a splash of club soda.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Strawberry Snowjito Sake Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Strawberry Snow-Jito


  • 6 oz Tozai Snow Maiden Sake
  • 4 fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 4 large mint leaves, torn
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 2 oz club soda


  1. Muddle strawberries in Snow Maiden Sake with mint, agave, and lime juice in a shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake, strain into a tall glass.
  3. Finish with club soda and a garnish of mint.
Plum Sour Sake Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Plum Sour


  • 2 oz Tozai Blossom of Peace Sake
  • 1 oz 800 Generations Shochu
  • .5 oz lemon juice
  • .5 oz Aperol


  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker and strain over ice.
  2. Serve with a cherry garnish.
Peaceful Hanami Sake Cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Peaceful Hanami


  • 1 Frozen Bushido Sake Can
  • 1.5 oz Tozai Blossom of Peace Sake
  • .75 oz lemon juice
  • .25 oz Marascino Liqueur
  • .25 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
  • orange peel expression


  1. Freeze Bushido can overnight.
  2. Add all ingredients into a shaker.
  3. Shake, strain into a coupe glass, and express orange peel over top. 
ward eight cocktail
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Whisky Blossom


  • 3 oz Tozai Blossom of Peace
  • 1 oz Sunday’s Whisky
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • splash of soda water
  • lime


  1. Build over ice in a tall glass and top with a splash of soda water.
  2. Garnish with a lime.
rob roy cocktail cherry garnish
Christian Kargl / Getty Images


(Created by Blake Walker)


  • 2 oz Narutojai Ginjo Nama Genchu Sake
  • .25 oz Lustau Los Arcos amontillado sherry
  • 1 teaspoon Cherry Heering
  • .5 teaspoon Plymouth Sloe Gin
  • .25 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .25 oz cane sugar syrup


  1. Stir all ingredients over ice then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  2. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
Saketini Sake Cocktial


(Created by Bobby Flay)


  • 2.5 oz dry sake
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 Japanese cucumber, cut into 1/4 rounds
  • chipped ice


  1. Combine sake and vodka in a cocktail shaker with the chipped ice and shake well.
  2. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of Japanese cucumber.
Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
I’m a cocktail expert — these are the best tonic waters for a gin and tonic
Make the best gin and tonic. with these ingredients
Gin and tonic with lemon and lime

With summer in full swing, it's time to enjoy one of the world's all-time favorite mixed drinks: the gin and tonic. It's every gin drinker's go-to choice for being easy to make but endlessly engaging in terms of its flavor and variety. If you're already enmeshed in the world of craft gins, then you know how incredible the variety and choice of spirits that are now available is and how many options you have in terms of flavors -- from classic London dry gins to experimental offerings flavored with everything from pine needles to rosewater to olives.
But if you're new to the world of gin, then don't judge the sometimes humble G&T based on the typical Gordons & Schweppes that you might be served at a dive bar. With minimal effort, you can mix your own G&Ts at home, which will knock the socks off anything you'll find in your average bar, and with some experimentation, you can find a gin for virtually any palate.
But a great G&T isn't only about finding a great gin. It also requires a great tonic water, which is easier than ever, thanks to a boom of craft brands producing high-quality mixers. And then there's the art form of matching the gin to the tonic, which is a more nuanced topic than you might imagine. To help steer you on your way, I've distilled down five of my tried and true favorite combinations of gin and tonic water, including everything from the super dry and crispy options with bracing bitterness to choices that are fruity, fun, and accessible, and which might just convert some of your gin-hating friends to the delights of a truly classic drink.

The 5 best gin and tonic water combinations for a delicious G&T

Read more
The Gold Rush cocktail is perfect for all seasons
Get to know the Gold Rush cockail
Gold Rush cocktail

There’s no wrong time of year for a classic whiskey-based cocktail. Winter, spring, summer, and fall, we love whiskey drinks during them all. We love the Manhattan, Boulevardier, Sazerac, Old Fashioned, and everything in between. But while we love historic drinks, we also enjoy the contemporary mixed drinks that have elevated cocktail culture.

One of our favorite contemporary drinks is the Gold Rush. It’s not just that it’s delicious on a warm summer night or in the depths of frigid winter; it’s also surprisingly simple to make. It’s a take on the classic whiskey sour with one ingredient swapped out for another.

Read more
Breakfast cocktails for the long weekend
Indulge in the morning with these classic recipes
Bloody mary

With many people opting to enjoy a long weekend, it's a fine excuse to indulge a little and enjoy the usually forbidden breakfast cocktail. There's something awfully decadent about having a drink with the first meal of the day, but for a long, lazy brunch with friends or family then an occasional bit of hedonism is allowed.

If you're looking for ideas for breakfast cocktails though, skip the martinis and the old fashioneds -- no one want straight booze first thing in the morning. Instead, try one of these breakfast classics.
The classic: Bloody Mary
Tomato juice, vodka, and Tabasco sauce form the backbone of the most iconic breakfast cocktail, the Bloody Mary. There are almost infinite variations of this drink to play with, but I like to swap out the vodka for gin, as the juniper works nicely with the tomato juice, and to add a healthy wack of pickle juice and celery bitters to give the drink a sharpness and a savoury heft.

Read more