What are the popular Japanese whisky cocktails and how to make them?

by Spirits

Japanese whisky is known for its unique and complex taste. As such, it has become an increasingly popular choice for whisky connoisseurs and cocktail enthusiasts alike. From the classic whisky highball to more creative concoctions, there are a wide variety of Japanese whisky cocktails that can be enjoyed. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular Japanese whisky cocktails and how to make them.

Japanese whisky has become increasingly popular in recent years. One of the most beloved ways to enjoy this unique spirit is by making a delicious cocktail. Here are some of the most popular Japanese whisky cocktails:

• The Highball: This is perhaps the most classic Japanese whisky cocktail, and a favorite among many. It’s made by combining whisky with soda water and served over ice. The ratio of whisky to soda water can be adjusted to each individual’s taste.

• The Godfather: This is a twist on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, substituting whisky for whiskey. It’s made by muddling sugar and bitters together in a glass, adding ice, pouring in whisky, and stirring until chilled.

• The Japanese Manhattan: This modern take on the classic Manhattan substitutes Japanese whisky for American whiskey. It’s made by stirring together Japanese whisky, sweet vermouth, orange bitters and a few dashes of Angostura bitters. It’s then served up or over ice.

• The Whisky Sour: This is another classic that has been remade with Japanese whisky. It’s made by combining lime juice, simple syrup, egg white (optional), and Japanese whisky into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass filled with fresh ice cubes.

Flavor Profile of Suntory Old Fashioned

The Suntory Old Fashioned is a classic drink that has been adored by whiskey aficionados for years. This drink has a delicate balance of sweet and smoky flavors, with hints of vanilla and citrus. The aroma of the whiskey is rich and smoky, with a hint of oak and spice. On the palate, one can experience the complex mix of smoke, oak, vanilla, and citrus notes that give the drink a unique flavor. The body is medium-bodied with a smooth finish that lingers on the tongue for an extended period of time.


The Suntory Old Fashioned is made from Japanese whisky, sugar syrup, bitters, and one orange slice for garnish. The whisky used is usually one from Suntory’s renowned range such as Yamazaki 12 or Hibiki 17. The sugar syrup adds sweetness to balance out the bitterness from the bitters and orange slice adds a slight hint of citrus to enhance the flavor profile even further.

How to Make Suntory Old Fashioned

Making this classic cocktail at home is surprisingly easy. Begin by filling your glass with ice cubes to chill it down before adding in all of your ingredients. Pour in two parts whisky into your glass along with one part sugar syrup and three dashes of bitters before stirring until everything has been combined together. Garnish with an orange slice before serving.

Serving Suggestions

The Suntory Old Fashioned can be enjoyed neat or over ice but can also be enjoyed in many different ways depending on your preference. For those who prefer their whiskey drinks on the sweeter side can add a bit more sugar syrup or even some simple syrup if desired. For those who prefer something more bitter can add more bitters or even garnish their drinks with a maraschino cherry instead of an orange slice.

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Nikka From The Barrel is a blended whisky from the Japanese distillery Nikka. It was released in 2011 and has since become one of the most popular whiskies in Japan. The whisky is produced by blending two different malt and grain whiskies, making it a highly sought-after product. The malt whisky used in Nikka From The Barrel is sourced from Yoichi and Miyagikyo, two of Nikka’s well-known distilleries. The grain whisky is sourced from Nikka’s Coffey Grain Distillery, located near Sendai.

Tasting Notes

Nikka From The Barrel has a sweet aroma of toasted oak, vanilla, honey, and spices. On the palate, it has a smooth texture with a full-bodied flavor that is balanced with notes of caramel, dried fruit, and tobacco. Its finish is long and warm with notes of oak lingering on the tongue. This blended whisky has an ABV of 51%, making it a great choice for sipping neat or on the rocks.


Nikka From The Barrel is an excellent blended whisky that offers an enjoyable drinking experience for both novice and experienced whisky drinkers alike. Its unique blend of malt and grain whiskies creates a complex flavor profile that will satisfy even the most discerning palettes. This popular Japanese whisky is sure to be enjoyed for many years to come!


Highball is a classic mixed drink that has been around for centuries. It consists of a spirit, usually whiskey or bourbon, mixed with a carbonated beverage such as soda or ginger ale. It is often served in a tall glass with plenty of ice. Highballs can be made with any type of spirits, from gin to vodka to rum, and can be garnished with anything from lemon wedges to mint leaves. The most common highball cocktail is the simple whiskey and soda, which is often referred to as a “Whiskey Highball”.

A traditional Highball consists of two parts liquor and four parts carbonated beverage. The spirit used can vary based on preference, but whiskey and bourbon are the most popular choices. If you’re looking for something a bit more creative, you can mix in some other ingredients such as liqueurs or flavored syrups. The carbonated beverage can also vary; while club soda is the traditional choice, ginger ale or even tonic water can be used depending on your tastes.

Besides the whiskey and soda combination, there are many other variations of the highball cocktail that are worth trying out. A popular one is the Gin and Tonic which uses gin in place of whiskey and tonic water instead of soda. For a light and refreshing drink, try mixing vodka with lemon-lime soda for an easy Vodka Highball. If you’re looking for something sweet and fruity, mix some rum with cranberry juice for a Cranberry Rum Highball.

Highballs are incredibly versatile drinks that lend themselves well to experimentation; so go ahead and get creative! Whether you prefer the classic whiskey and soda combination or something unique like a Vodka Cranberry Highball, there’s sure to be something that will please your palate!

The Hibiki Harmony Highball

The Hibiki Harmony Highball is an exquisite blend of Japanese whisky and natural ingredients that creates an unbeatable flavor. The perfect balance of sweetness, bitterness, and umami flavors makes this highball a great choice for any occasion. The natural ingredients used in the Hibiki Harmony Highball include juniper berries, yuzu citrus, and green tea. This combination of ingredients creates a subtle yet complex flavor that is truly unique.

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The Hibiki Harmony Highball is best enjoyed over ice with a few drops of soda water to bring out the flavors even more. It’s also great for mixing with other drinks such as tonic water or ginger ale to create a refreshing cocktail. This highball can also be enjoyed neat if you’re looking for a more intense experience.

The Hibiki Harmony Highball is one of the best Japanese whiskies on the market today and can be found in many bars and restaurants throughout Japan. Whether you’re looking for a classic whisky experience or something new and exciting, the Hibiki Harmony Highball is sure to please any palate. So grab yourself a bottle today and enjoy the perfect harmony of whisky and natural ingredients!

What is Kakubin Sour?

Kakubin Sour is a special kind of whiskey made by Suntory, one of Japan’s leading whisky distilleries. It is made by blending two different types of whiskey – a light-bodied grain whisky and a full-bodied malt whisky – together in such a way that the result is a unique and complex whiskey that has the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors. The blend is then matured in ex-bourbon oak barrels, which adds further complexity to the flavor profile. The result is an exceptionally smooth, mellow, and well-balanced whiskey that has become popular among Japanese whisky enthusiasts.

The History of Kakubin Sour

Kakubin Sour was first released in 1953 as part of Suntory’s Kakubin line of products. It was created with the intention to provide a new style of whiskey that could be enjoyed by all kinds of drinkers, from beginners to experts alike. Over time, it has become one of Suntory’s most popular whiskies, with its signature blend and mellow taste becoming highly sought after by drinkers around the world.

Tasting Notes

Kakubin Sour has a light golden color with aromas of honeyed fruit, vanilla and subtle oak notes on the nose. On the palate, it has a delicate sweetness with notes of caramelized apples, custard and baked bread before finishing off with a long lingering finish full of subtle spices. Overall, Kakubin Sour is an incredibly smooth and easy to drink whisky that offers enough complexity for those looking for something more than just an everyday dram.

Serving Recommendations

Kakubin Sour can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks for maximum enjoyment. It also makes for an excellent base spirit in cocktails such as Whiskey Sour or Old Fashioned as its sweetness helps to balance out other flavors in the drink. For those looking for something more unusual, try adding some soda water or tonic water as this will help bring out some more subtle notes in the whiskey while still keeping it refreshingly light on the palate.

Umeshu & Tonic

Umeshu & Tonic is a popular Japanese cocktail that combines the sweetness of umeshu, a traditional Japanese liqueur, with the bitterness of tonic water. The drink is easy to make and is a great way to enjoy the flavors of both umeshu and tonic together. The combination of the two ingredients creates an interesting balance between sweet and bitter flavors.

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The key to making this drink is to find the perfect balance between the umeshu and tonic. A good rule of thumb is to start with equal parts of both ingredients, then adjust according to your taste. For a sweeter flavor, add more umeshu; for a more bitter flavor, add more tonic water. You can also experiment with different ratios until you find what works best for you.

In addition to its unique taste, Umeshu & Tonic has some great health benefits. Umeshu contains antioxidants that can help protect against free radical damage and reduce inflammation in the body. It also contains vitamins A and C which can help boost your immune system and promote overall health. The tonic water in this drink also has some beneficial effects; it can help reduce bloating and improve digestion.

Overall, Umeshu & Tonic is an easy-to-make refreshing cocktail that provides a great balance between sweet and bitter flavors as well as some added health benefits. So if you’re looking for something new to try, give this drink a try!

The Balance of Shochu Sour

Shochu Sour is a delightful and refreshing cocktail that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It’s a simple concoction that combines shochu, a Japanese distilled spirit, sour mix, and a citrus fruit. The resulting drink has a light, refreshing flavor with just enough sweetness and tartness to make it enjoyable. The key to making this drink perfect is achieving the right balance between all of the ingredients.

When it comes to shochu, there are many different varieties to choose from. The type of shochu used will have an effect on the overall flavor of the drink, so be sure to choose one that will complement the other ingredients. Most recipes call for honkaku shochu, which is made from barley or rice and is generally considered to be the best quality.

Next up is the sour mix. This can be bought premade or you can make your own using simple ingredients like lemon juice, lime juice, and sugar syrup. Be sure not to skimp on the sour mix as it helps bring out all of the other flavors in the drink.

Finally, you’ll need a citrus fruit such as lemon or lime for garnish. This adds just enough sweetness and tartness to cut through all of the other flavors in the drink without overpowering them.

Once you’ve found your desired balance between all of these ingredients, simply pour them into an ice-filled glass and stir until combined. Enjoy your Shochu Sour!


Japanese whisky has become increasingly popular around the world, and making Japanese whisky cocktails is a great way to enjoy it. From the classic Highball to the modern Tokyo Mule, there’s a cocktail for every taste. You can also experiment with your own creations to bring out the unique flavours of your favourite whisky. Whichever way you choose to enjoy your Japanese whisky, be sure to savour the experience and appreciate its unique character.

So next time you’re looking for something special to serve at a party or just want to make something special for yourself, why not try making a Japanese whisky cocktail? Whether you choose one of these popular recipes or create one of your own, you’re sure to have an enjoyable and memorable experience that will bring out the best in any Japanese whisky.



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