21 Japanese Whisky Cocktails (Easy Recipes)

I’m sharing my favorite Japanese Whisky cocktails–from classic cocktails you should know, to modern drinks every enthusiast should try.

Here I’ve rounded up the top 21 Japanese whisky cocktails to make from the Land of the Rising Sun.

These drinks showcase the versatility of Japanese whisky. And include some of the most popular Japanese whiskey cocktails that enthusiasts enjoy. Let’s explore everything possible with Japanese whisky!

Top Japanese Whisky Cocktails To Try

These are my best Japanese whisky drink recipes. Kanpai! (乾杯)

Related: 14 Best Jim Beam Cocktails

1. Japanese Highball

I LOVE a crisp and refreshing easy cocktail. You’re going to love this bubbly Japanese Highball! Whisky and sparkling water are all you need!

Easy Recipe: Chill a highball glass with ice, stirring for 30 seconds, then discard the meltwater. Add ice and 1 oz Japanese whisky in a chilled highball glass, stir. Pour 4 oz club soda stir 3.5 times.

2. Oyuwari

Modern versions of Oyuwari use whisky. Oyuwari is the ancient tradition of drinking a strong spirit and hot water. For this recipe I prefer to use a the most common 3:2 ratio (whisky to water).

Easy Recipe: Add 3 oz Tenjaku Blended Whisky to a heatproof glass or teacup. Top up with 2 oz hot boiled water to taste. Garnish with optional fresh mint leaves.

3. Japanese Yuzu Whiskey Sour

This easy Japanese whisky sour is made with yuzu juice–it’s perfect for your next happy hour! My very favorite whisky is Toki Suntory–although I find that Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is very good for a sour too.

Easy Recipe: Dry shake 2 oz Japanese whisky, 1 oz fresh lemon juice, 0.5 oz yuzu juice, 0.75 oz simple syrup, and 1 egg white. Add ice, then shake until chilled. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon peel. 

4. Japanese Old Fashioned (Kyushiki)

The Japanese Old Fashioned is a spirit-forward cocktail blending Japanese whisky with yuzu bitters, kokuto sugar, and yuzu peel garnish for a twist on the classic Old Fashioned. If yuzu isn’t your jam use aby citrus you like.

Easy Recipe: Muddle 1 sugar cube, 2 slices ginger, and 2 dashes Angostura bitters. Add 1/4 oz ginger syrup and 3 oz bourbon. Stir with ice until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass. Garnish with yuzu peel.

5. Toki Americano

The Toki Americano is a Japanese whiskey cocktail with the perfect balance of sweet, bitter, and savory. Here’s the way I make the Toki Americano.

Easy Recipe: Combine 1.5 oz Japanese Whisky, 0.75 oz Cocchi Americano, 0.75 oz Amaro Nonino, and a dash of Grapefruit Bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

6. Japanese Manhattan

The Japanese Manhattan showcases Japanese whisky’s silky texture in a familiar classic. I like to garnish with Luxardo cherries. Maraschino cherries are also fine, but I like an elegant vibe.

Easy Recipe: Combine 2oz Japanese whisky, 1oz sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes Angostura bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir, strain into a glass, and garnish with cocktail cherries.

7. Shiso Julep

This Shiso Julep recipe channels the whisky spirit of Japan. Honeydew syrup adds a summery sweetness. I recommend Toki whisky. Toki’s citrusy and spicy notes pair with Julep elements.

Easy Recipe: Muddle 2 shiso leaves with 1/2 oz honeydew syrup in a julep cup. Add 2 oz Japanese whisky and crushed ice, swizzle to chill. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a shiso leaf. [Honeydew Syrup: Simmer 1 cup each water, sugar, and honeydew juice until sugar dissolves. Chill.]

8. Japanese Penicillin

The Japanese Penicillin cocktail is a tasty tipple for the winter season. If you’re looking looking for authenticity, garnish with candied ginger. I like a lemon peel twist.

Easy Recipe: Combine 2 oz Suntory Toki Whisky, 3/4 oz lemon juice, and 3/4 oz ginger-honey syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Float 1/4 oz Hakushu 12 Year Whisky on top. Garnish with candied ginger.

9. Nippon Cocktail

The Nippon whiskey cocktail features notes of ginger and honeysuckle on the nose with a sweetness on the palate.

Easy Recipe: Stir 1.5 oz Japanese blended whisky, 1 oz sweet vermouth, and 0.25 oz ginger liqueur in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

10. Tokyo Sidecar

The Tokyo Sidecar is now my go to drink! it feels like I’m in Tokyo, even if I’m just in my kitchen.

Easy Recipe: Shake 1 oz Grand Marnier, 1 oz Japanese whisky, and 1 oz yuzu juice with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an optional lemon or yuzu twist.

11. Asagao Fizz

A combo of a whiskey sour with egg whites and a whiskey daisy, the Asagao whisky fizz is both light and refreshing. The character of Japanese whisky shines through and features exotic passion fruit.

Easy Recipe: Shake 1.7 oz Nikka From the Barrel, 1/2 fresh passion fruit, 0.85 oz brown sugar simple syrup, 0.68 oz fresh lemon juice, 1 egg white, and 0.17 oz Absinthe with ice. Strain into an ice-free highball glass. Slowly top with 1 oz sparkling water.

12. Japanese Whiskey Smash

The Japanese Whiskey Smash cocktail is a refreshing holiday cocktail. I use high-quality, fresh mint leaves and freshly squeezed lemon juice for the brightest flavor.

Easy Recipe: Muddle 7 mint leaves, 1/2 lemon, and 1 tsp simple syrup in a shaker. Add 1/4 cup Japanese whisky and crushed ice. Shake until chilled. Pour into a rocks glass, garnish with a mint sprig and lemon peel.

13. Blood Orange Whisky Negroni

The Japanese say the best way to drink Yamazaki single malt whisky is straight up– but I’m smitten with this fruity Blood Orange Whiskey Negroni. It’s is a modern take on a timeless classic.

Easy Recipe: Combine 1 oz Yamazaki single malt whisky, 1 oz sweet vermouth, and 1 oz Campari in a mixing glass filled with ice; stir well. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice and garnish with an blood orange peel.

14. Nail In The Coffin

I was introduced to this Japanese whisky cocktail by a friend recently and it is a perfect party drink!

Easy Recipe: Stir 1.5 oz Japanese Whisky, 0.75 oz Dry Madeira Wine, 0.5 oz Licor 43, and 0.25 oz Fernet Branca in a mixing glass with ice until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

15. Matcha Highball

If you know me, you know I LOVE matcha! Especially when I need an energy boost. Sip on this light, refreshing, and earthy Japanese Matcha Highball cocktail–it’s one of my favorite green cocktails.

Easy Recipe: Stir 1.5 oz Japanese whisky, 0.5 oz matcha syrup, and 0.5 oz lemon juice with ice in a highball glass. Top with 2 oz chilled sparkling water. Garnish with a lemon wheel. [Matcha Syrup: Whisk 1 tsp matcha powder into 1 cup simple syrup until dissolved.] 

16. Black Ship

The Black Ships were naval vessels that forced an end to Japanese isolation in 1853. It’s also the name of this Japanese Whisky Cocktail.

Easy Recipe: Shake 1.5 oz Japanese Whisky, 1 oz pomegranate juice, 0.25 oz port, and 1 tsp lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

17. Japanese Boulevardier

I love complex drink recipes that barely take any time to prepare. This Japanese Whisky Cocktail features a dominant orange flavor and a back palate of genetian, quinine, and amaro herbs.

Easy Recipe: Stir 1.5 oz Japanese whisky (like Nikka Coffey Malt), 0.5 oz Amer dit Picon, and 0.75 oz sweet vermouth (like Carpano Antico) in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with maraschino cherries. 

18. Harajuku Highball

Whisky highball culture is popular in Japan. This Harajuki Highball cocktail provides a unique and fruity twist.

Easy Recipe: Shake 1.5 oz Suntory Toki Whisky, 1 oz Umeshu, 0.33 oz lemon juice, and 0.67 oz plum steeped sugar syrup with ice until chilled. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Top with shiso leaf. 

19. Suntory Toki Whisky Sour

This sour cocktail with Japanese whisky is perfect any time of year with Suntory Toki Whisky. I prefer extra lemon juice. Feel free to boost the citrus in this recipe.

Easy Recipe: Shake 1.5 oz Suntory Toki Whisky, 1 oz lemon juice, and 0.5 oz simple syrup with ice until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

20. Yamabuki

The Yamabuki is a woodsy whisky sipper that warms up chilly nights. I recommend Hibiki Japanese Harmony blended whisky.

Easy Recipe: Stir 1.5 oz Japanese blended whisky, 1 oz bianco vermouth, 0.5 oz amaro (like Amaro Montenegro), and 1 dash orange bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon zest twist.

21. Drifter

The Drifter is a boozy cocktail made with Japanese whisky, Amaro Nonino, blanc vermouth, and Peychaud’s bitters. I think it’s very underrated when you’re looking for an easy Japanese whisky cocktail.

Easy Recipe: Mix 1.5 oz Japanese whisky, 0.75 oz blanc vermouth, 0.5 oz Amaro Nonino, and 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Related: 21 Cocktails with Martini Bianco (Easy Recipes)

More Cocktails!

If you’re looking for more drink collections, I’m sharing some of my favorites below!

Cheers!

Japanese Whisky Cocktail FAQs

What mixes well with Japanese whiskey?

Soda water, ginger ale, and citrus juices are all good mixers for Japanese whiskey.

How is “whiskey” spelled in Japan?

Japan uses the Scottish and Canadian spelling and does not include an “e” in “whisky”. “Whiskey” is the spelling used in the United States and Ireland.

21 Japanese Whisky Cocktails

21 Japanese Whisky Cocktails

Here are all the best Japanese whisky cocktails to unleash the spirit! Pick from all classic mixed drinks and unique cocktails--from the Highball to the Yamabuki.

Ingredients

  • Japanese Highball

  • Oyuwari

  • Japanese Yuzu Whiskey Sour

  • Japanese Old Fashioned (Kyushiki)

  • Toki Americano

  • Japanese Manhattan

  • Shiso Julep

  • Japanese Penicillin

  • Nippon Cocktail

  • Tokyo Sidecar

  • Asagao Fizz

  • Japanese Whiskey Smash

  • Blood Orange Whisky Negroni

  • Nail In The Coffin

  • Matcha Highball

  • Black Ship

  • Japanese Boulevardier

  • Harajuku Highball

  • Suntory Toki Whisky Sour

  • Yamabuki

  • Drifter

Instructions

  • Choose your favorite Japanese whiskey cocktail
  • Mix & sip!

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