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How to Make the Japanese Cocktail

You might think, given the name, that the Japanese Cocktail originated in Japan. Hate to tell you, but you would be wrong. It was born in New York City and includes French and Caribbean ingredients! No sake, shochu and no Japanese whisky in sight!

Japanese Cocktail 1

This refreshing, brandy cocktail enjoyed is included in “How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion” by Jerry Thomas, the father of American mixology! According to David Wondrich, this classic cocktail may have been a homage to Tateishi Onojirou Noriyuki who visited Jerry at his home at the Metropolitan Bar.

He was a member of the first Japanese mission to the United States. Tommy, as Tateishi was known, loved a mixed drink or two and may have created this original recipe of Cognac, Curaçao, Orgeat syrup, and Angostura bitters for his friend. Since then the popular Japanese Cocktail can be found on any menu!

Japanese Cocktail 2

Where to find ingredients for the Japanese Cocktail

You can find all the ingredients at Spirits Kiosk (10% off the entire site by quoting this code: ALushLife10SK.) in the UK; or in the USA!

What goes into a Japanese Cocktail recipe?

Just the three spirits and a lemon peel!

  • Cognac: Cognac is a French brandy. It adds a smooth, rich flavor to this popular cocktail. Use your favorite brandy!
  • Orgeat Syrup (Almond Syrup): In a Japanese Cocktail, orgeat syrup adds a rich, nutty flavor to the cocktails. You can add a touch of simple syrup as well if it’s not sweet enough for you.
  • Angostura bitters: The key ingredient in this cocktail is Angostura bitters. It gives the spice and helps to balance out the sweetness of the orgeat syrup.
  • Lime Juice or Lemon Juice: I prefer lime juice in this sour cocktail, but some use lemon juice.

What tools you need to make Japanese Cocktail

You’ll need a cocktail shaker for this one! Grab a jigger, a barspoon, a strainer, and a coupe glass for this delicious cocktail.

  • Step 1: Add the cognac, orgeat syrup, lime juice and angostura bitters to a cocktail shaker
  • Step 2: Add ice and then shake, shake, shake until the drink becomes chilled
  • Step 3: Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Step 4: Finally, garnish with lime or lemon peel and serve. Bottoms up!
Japanese Cocktail 3
  • 🍸A few cocktail using Japanese ingredients:
    •  Sake Grapefruit cocktail: A sake grapefruit cocktail is a refreshing twist on the classic Japanese cocktail. This delightful drink combines the sweetness of grapefruit juice with the smooth flavor of sake.
    • Matcha Mint Julep: This Japanese-inspired cocktail is made with matcha green tea powder, mint leaves, and simple syrup. I
    • Raspberry Sake Tea Cocktail: The green tea gives it a slight bitterness that pairs well with the sweetness of the raspberries, while the sake adds just enough alcohol to make it enjoyable without being too strong.
    • Tokyo Mary: Tokyo Mary is a delicious twist on the classic Bloody Mary. This refreshing drink is made with vodka, sake, yuzu juice and tomato juice is perfect for brunch!

 Plus more Asian cocktail recipes here

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Here is the recipe!

Japanese Cocktail

Japanese Cocktail

You might think, given the name, that the Japanese cocktail originated in Japan. It was born in New York City and is easy to make!
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 1
Calories 135 kcal


  • 2 ounces Cognac
  • 1/2 ounce Orgeat
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Lime or lemon peel


  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker
  • Add ice
  • Shake, shake, shake
  • Strain into a chilled coupe
  • Garnish with the lemon peel


Serving: 1gCalories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 1gSodium: 1mgFiber: 1g
Keyword Cognac, Japanese cocktail
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2 thoughts on “How to Make the Japanese Cocktail

  1. Nannette Furrer says:

    5 stars
    Got rave reviews on this cocktail from my dinner party guests. I also loved it! Not sweet but very tasty.

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