Master of Cocktails The Japanese Cocktail

Right then ladies and gentlemen – for this week’s #MasterofCocktails we made a Japanese Cocktail. It’s one of those oft-forgotten classics that really does work very well indeed if made with decent ingredients.

Before we get onto that though, we need to do some prep for next week’s drink. Or rather ‘drinks’. See, with all this amazing weather we’ve been having, I’m going to show you how to make an amazing bowl of Punch.

Master of Cocktails Next Week

You’ll be needing these…
(LHS for Japanese Cocktail, RHS for next week’s Punch prep)

There’s nowt better than being able to have your guests serve themselves amazing punch. If you’re quite lazy. Which I am. So the prep is quite simple really – we’re going to be making an ‘Oleo-Saccharum’. Sounds fancy, it’s just sugared peel.

The sugar rips the essential oils out of the peel as they gently macerate over the course of the week. Now you can do this in a pinch by ‘working’ the sugar into the peel, but that’s quite hard, so we’re going to use the power of ‘leaving it the hell alone’ for a week. So. Begin with 4 lemons…

Master of Cocktails Lemons

Peel ’em:

Master of Cocktails Peeled Lemons

And sling them into a freezer bag with about 35g sugar per lemon.

Master of Cocktails Lemon Peel and Sugar

Squeeze the air out of the bag, and bung it into the fridge along with the peeled lemons (we’ll juice them next week).

Master of Cocktails Lemon Peel and Sugar

There we go. Now onto the Japanese Cocktail…

List of Ingredients

So. Japanese Cocktail. Start with 60ml good Cognac.

Master of Cocktails Hine Rare VSOP Cognac

Next up, 20ml Orgeat.

Master of Cocktails Orgeat

Now there are a few recipes which call for Lime Juice now. I tried it, but I’m not using any. Reason being it turns the drink into a slightly shit Mai-Tai instead of the pure bittered version we’re making today.

So – final ingredient is a couple of good shakes of Angostura Bitters.

Master of Cocktails Angostura Bitters

Hard shake for 20 seconds or so…

Master of Cocktails Shaker

…and Strain into a pre-chilled Coupette.

Master of Cocktails Strain

At this point, ignore the other recipes you’ve read, and steer clear of the Lemon Twist. Kills the drink.

Simply serve straight up. This is a real ‘classic’ cocktail – spirit, bitters, sugar.

Master of Cocktails The Japanese Cocktail




Next week’s ingredients can be found below. Plus, erm, ‘whatever else you want’. This makes a classic gin punch but augmenting with bitters, liqueurs, vermouths, juices etc. will make it all the more delicious. All bets is off.*

Master of Cocktails Next Week Punch

Next week, you’ll be needing these…
Soda Water, Bathtub Gin, the prepped Lemons and Oleo-Saccharum (sugared lemon peel), and Sugar Syrup.


*Probably not meat though. Or custard. Okay, maybe meat.