11 Clean and Versatile Sake Cocktails To Whip up and Enjoy

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

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Monica Samuels is the Director of Sake and Spirits and Vine Connection. 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 eleven great sake cocktails to sip on:

Ume Spritz

Ume Spritz Sake Cocktail

Method: Pour Blossom of Peace over ice in tall glass and top with Mango La Croix. Garnish with an edible flower or cherry.

Sakura Smash

Winter Spritz Cocktail
  • 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

Method: Muddle cherries and mint in a shaker. Add Blossom of Peace Plum Sake, juices and soda. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemon wedge and sprig of mint.

Mango Maiden

Mango Maiden Sake Cocktail
  • .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

Method: Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with fresh mint.

Tea of Wisdom

Well of Wisdom Sake Cocktail
  • 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

Method: Combine all in a shaker and add a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Garnish with melon ball pick.

Citrus Basil Typhoon-Tini

Citrus Basil Typhoon-Tini Sake Cocktail
  • 3 oz Tozai Typhoon Sake
  • 3 oz freshly squeezed lemonade
  • 2 large fresh Thai basil leaves

Method: Roughly chop Thai basil. Combine Typhoon and lemonade with ice in a shaker and serve with basil garnish.

Ruby Jewel

Ruby Jewel Sake Cocktail
  • 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

Method: Muddle cherries with Living Jewel, PAMA, and pomegranate juice in shaker. Add a few ice cubes and lemon juice and shake vigorously. Strain and add a splash of club soda. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Strawberry Snow-Jito

Strawberry Snowjito Sake Cocktail
  • 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

Method: Muddle strawberries in Snow Maiden Sake with mint, agave, and lime juice in shaker. Add ice and shake, strain into a tall glass. Finish with club soda and a garnish of mint.

Plum Sour

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

Method: Combine all ingredients in shaker and strain over ice. Serve with a cherry garnish.

Peaceful Hanami

Peaceful Hanami Sake Cocktail
  • 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 Peychaud’s Bitters
  • orange peel expression

Method: Freeze Bushido can overnight. Add all ingredients into shaker. Shake, strain into coupe, express orange peel over top. 

Whisky Blossom

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

Method: Build over ice in a tall glass and top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with a lime.

Read more: Best Japanese Whiskey Brands

Ganymede

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

Method: Stir all ingredients over ice then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Saketini

Saketini Sake Cocktial
Flickr/framboise

(Created by Bobby Flay)

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

Method: Combine sake and vodka in a cocktail shaker with the chipped ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of Japanese cucumber.

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