Book Review: Japanese Cocktails

Book Review: Japanese Cocktails

I love the idea of Japanese Cocktails, the look of it, and the author Yuri Kato, who has obviously toiled for some long months to come up with a succinct list of Japanese-inspired cocktails that you won’t find in any other cocktail recipe guide.

And therein lies the problem with Japanese Cocktails: Unless you have access to some rare and obscure ingredients, you’re going to spend a lot more time dreaming about these drinks than you will making them.

Every page seems to demand something off the beaten path: Umeboshi? Shichimi Togarashi spice? Kabosu juice? I don’t even know what some of these things are, much less where to buy them.

But really, that’s OK. Many of the 60 or so recipes in the book at least lend themselves to substitution — if you don’t have sweet potato shochu you can always sub in whatever rice soju you can find; non-peated Scotch can sub in for rare Japanese whiskies — and even if you can’t they might inspire you to make something new. Don’t have yuzu juice? Try subbing in another fruit flavor and see what happens.

More coffee table book than indispensable bartending guide, Japanese Cocktails is a great gift for the cocktail enthusiast who thinks he’s seen it all.


Japanese Cocktails




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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