Sake cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

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Commonly referred to as a ‘rice-wine’ sake is phenomenal in cocktails and pairs well with any spirit. However, beware, a sake’s delicate flavours can be easily shrouded. Use a good quality sake - we recommend a Junmai ginjō.

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Damn It Jimmy
With: Sake, rum, fino sherry, dry vermouth and sugar syrup.
We say: Stirred down sake, white rum, fino sherry and dry vermouth - delicately flavoured and ever so slightly sweet. Pairs well with blue cheese stuffed olives.

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Iced Sake Martini
With: Vodka, sake and icewine.
We say:A simple combination. The icewine (a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine) adds interesting and wonderfully honeyed notes to this Sake Martini.

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Sake Martini
With: London dry gin, sake and dry vermouth stirred down and garnish with an apple slice.
We say: A dry, subtle version of a Sake Marini, the quality of this drink really depends on your choice of sake.

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Sakura Martini
With: Sake, dry gin and maraschino liqueur.
We say: This sake based reverse martini benefits from the merest dash of maraschino and is a signature cocktail at Kenta Goto's 'Bar Goto' in New York City.

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Smokey Joe
With: Sake, cognac, malt scotch whisky and dessert wine.
We say: Sake sweetened with Sauternes wine combined with cognac, Islay whisky and garnished with a beef flavoured Hula Hoop.

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Special Brew Martini
With: Vodka, aromatised wine, sake and absinthe.
We say: There's 'beer' and then there's 'Byrrh.

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Sumo In A Sidecar
With: Apricot brandy liqueur, sake and lemon juice.
We say: Despite the name this 'sidecar' is delicate and apricot flavoured.

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Voyager Vodka Martini
With: Vodka, dry vermouth, sake and Pisco.
We say: Why have your Martini dampened by just vermouth when the Japanese and the Peruvians have so much more to give?

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Eastern Raspberry Sidecar
With: Raspberries, cognac, sake, triple sec, sugar syrup and lemon juice.
We say: Raspberries, cognac, sake and triple sec balanced with a dash of citrus and sugar, this contemporary-style cocktail was created by Ryan Magarian in Seattle.

More sake cocktails on Difford's Guide.

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