Sake: It’s not just for sipping neat. Cocktails containing this Japanese spirit, distilled from rice, have been popping up all over the country. Perfect for those looking for a lighter cocktail, sake can really elevate drinks to an entirely different level. Here are seven ways to try it.
1. Zucchini Sake
Zucchini water isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it’s cocktail time but this incredibly simple drink is the refreshing libation you need right now. Joined with sake and some lemon simple syrup, the Zucchini Sake is light and slightly sweet, with pleasant vegetal undertones.
2. SAKE CHAMPAGNE MOJITO
Pair a rice wine with a glass of sparkling wine to delicious effect! With just four ingredients—sake, Champagne, lime juice and stevia, which adds a touch of sweetness—you can enjoy a cocktail without feeling that you’re cheating on your New Year’s resolutions. Get the recipe.
3. LYCHEE SAKE
The heady tropical bouquet of lychee fruit is tempered when combined with dry sake in this unique, easy cocktail, served as a shot with a whole lychee garnish.
4. THAI ME UP THAI ME DOWN
Sake can carry a cocktail all on its own, but why not pair it with another spirit? In this cocktail, you can choose either vodka or gin to accompany the Thai basil–infused sake. Makrut lime simple syrup, lime juice, and yuzu bitters bring the refreshing citrus, and a bit of coconut milk contributes creamy richness.
5. CHERRY VANILLA SPARKLER
A fizzy cocktail with cherry and vanilla? Sign us up. The Cherry Vanilla Sparkler is a light and bubbly drink to sip up when you’re dreaming of the warmer months (grab some bottled pure cherry juice if cherries aren’t in season).
6. STRAWBERRY MINT SPRITZER
Just like with the Cherry Vanilla Sparkler, this cocktail is a refresher that’s easy to make. Sake and Champagne are paired with strawberries, mint, fragrant Meyer lemon juice and some vanilla stevia; it’s a low-calorie cocktail with big flavor.
7. MIST & SHADOW
If you prefer your cocktails on the savory side, try a Mist & Shadow. St-Germain elderflower liqueur and sake form the base of the drink, which is further enhanced by dill, celery bitters, lemon juice and a surprise ingredient: sugar snap peas. Why eat your vegetables when you can drink them?