Amateur Mixologist

Reach for Japanese Whiskey the Next Time You Craft That Sour

You'll enjoy this spin on a traditional hit after creating your own apple-forward mix.

By Joanna O'Leary August 29, 2018

Apples? In a whiskey sour? Go for it.

If my Irish ancestors could read this post, they probably would roll over in their graves to see one of their descendants advocating the use of anything but an Irish whiskey in the preparation of a whiskey sour.

Sorry, great-grandpa Francis Xavier, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. While I have nothing against sipping on some Jameson and juice, some other countries deserve props for their more-than-respectable fermented mash spirits. Case in point, Japan. While this nation is more traditionally known for its sake, the past five decades have seen an explosion in the development of high-end whiskeys. One varietal, in fact, was impressive enough to be named the best whiskey in the world in 2015.

Here's an opportunity to try a Japanese spin on the traditional cocktail using not only a whiskey made in the Land of the Rising Sun but also “sour mix” with more Asian inflections.

Need inspiration? After some rigorous research and development plus taste-testing (a rough job, I know, but someone has to do it), I arrived at this stellar recipe. Enjoy!


  • 2 oz whiskey (I recommend Kikori, which can be bought at Total Wine & More)
  • Fuji apple juice (available at Central Market)
  • Crushed ice
  • Fuji apple slice

Combine whiskey, apple juice, and ice in shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into highball glass. Garnish with a Fuji apple slice and pair with unagi.

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