Sake Sour

Cocktails | Sake

Photo of author
Written By
Sake Sour_001

Introduction to the Sake Sour

The Sake Sour is a unique cocktail that marries the delicate taste of sake with the tangy zest of lemon. Perfect for those who enjoy a lighter, more refined twist on the traditional sour cocktails, the Sake Sour is a fantastic choice for a summer evening or as a sophisticated dinner party aperitif. Its harmonious blend of flavors is sure to captivate your palate.

This cocktail is not just a drink; it’s an experience. Each sip takes you on a journey through the subtle complexities of Japanese sake, enhanced by the bright notes of fresh citrus. Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or new to the world of mixed drinks, the Sake Sour is a refreshing choice that won’t disappoint.

Let’s dive into the essence of this cocktail and discover why it’s quickly becoming a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.

Key Facts About the Sake Sour

  • Alcohol Content: Approximately 14% ABV
  • Calories: Approximately 150-180 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 10-15 g
  • Preferred Glass: Chilled cocktail glass
  • Typical Garnish: Lemon twist or wheel

Sake Sour Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Sake Sour offers a light and refreshing taste with a smooth texture that is both invigorating and soothing. Its delicate balance of sweet and sour appeals to those who appreciate a cocktail that’s not too overpowering. The optional addition of egg white adds a creamy frothiness that elevates the mouthfeel to a luxurious level.

This cocktail is ideal for a variety of occasions, from casual gatherings to more formal events. Its elegant presentation and exotic origin make it a conversation starter and a delightful way to introduce guests to the world of Japanese spirits.

Whether you’re looking to unwind after a long day or searching for the perfect drink to pair with a light meal, the Sake Sour fits the bill beautifully.

History of the Sake Sour

The Sake Sour is a relatively new addition to the cocktail scene, drawing inspiration from the classic Whiskey Sour. The exact origins of the Sake Sour are not well-documented, but it is believed to have emerged as part of the growing interest in Asian spirits and flavors in the Western cocktail culture.

Sake, a rice-based alcoholic beverage, has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries. It’s only in recent years that mixologists have begun to experiment with sake in cocktails, leading to innovative creations like the Sake Sour.

As the popularity of Japanese cuisine and culture continues to rise globally, the Sake Sour has found its place in the hearts of cocktail lovers looking for something different yet familiar.

Sake Sour Ingredients

  • Sake: 2 oz (60 ml) – The star of the show, sake provides a smooth, umami-rich base for the cocktail.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: 3/4 oz (22 ml) – Adds a bright, tart element that balances the sake’s sweetness.
  • Simple Syrup: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Brings a touch of sweetness to harmonize the flavors.
  • Egg White: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Optional, for a silky frothiness and a luxurious texture.
  • Ice Cubes: Essential for chilling and diluting the cocktail to perfection.
  • Lemon Twist or Wheel: For garnish, adding an aromatic zest and an elegant touch.

Did you know? Sake is often referred to as “rice wine,” but its brewing process is more similar to beer, where starch is converted into sugars before fermentation.

Preparing Sake Sour

Sake Sour Method

Creating the perfect Sake Sour is an art form. Here’s a step-by-step guide to crafting this exquisite cocktail:

  • Emulsify: Begin by combining sake, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white (if using) in a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake vigorously to emulsify the egg white.
  • Chill: Add ice to the shaker and shake again until the mixture is well chilled.
  • Serve: Strain the chilled cocktail into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist or wheel.

Serving Suggestion

The Sake Sour is best served in a chilled cocktail glass to maintain its cool temperature and enhance the overall drinking experience. The glass’s shape also allows the aromas to concentrate, offering a more intense olfactory pleasure.

For garnish, a simple lemon twist or wheel not only adds a pop of color but also releases essential oils that complement the drink’s citrus notes.

Elevating the Sake Sour

While the Sake Sour is delightful in its classic form, there are ways to elevate it further:

  • Use Premium Sake: Opt for a high-quality sake to enhance the cocktail’s depth and flavor profile.
  • Homemade Simple Syrup: Create your own simple syrup with natural ingredients for a personalized touch.
  • Special Garnishes: Experiment with garnishes like edible flowers or a sprig of mint for an extra layer of visual appeal and taste.

Sake Sour Cocktail Finished

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Sake Sour

If you’re missing an ingredient or looking to experiment, consider these substitutions:

  • Non-Alcoholic Spirit: For a sober version, replace sake with a non-alcoholic spirit or adjust the lemon juice and simple syrup.
  • Aquafaba: If you’re vegan or allergic to eggs, use aquafaba to achieve a similar frothy texture.
  • Similar Cocktails: If you enjoy the Sake Sour, try a Pisco Sour or Amaretto Sour for a different yet related flavor experience.

Add a Twist

Put your own spin on the Sake Sour with these ideas:

  • Infused Sake: Use sake infused with fruits or herbs for an additional flavor dimension.
  • Alternative Sweeteners: Swap simple syrup for honey or agave nectar for a different kind of sweetness.

Preferred Liquors for the Sake Sour

Selecting the right sake is crucial for the perfect Sake Sour. Look for a Junmai or Ginjo grade sake, which are known for their purity and flavor complexity. These will complement the cocktail’s other components beautifully.

Similar Cocktails to the Sake Sour

  • Whiskey Sour: The classic cousin of the Sake Sour, featuring whiskey for a bolder taste.
  • Amaretto Sour: A sweeter, almond-flavored alternative for those who enjoy dessert-like drinks.
  • Tom Collins: Another refreshing sour cocktail, but with gin as the base spirit.

Sake Sour FAQs

  • Can I make a Sake Sour without egg white? Yes, you can omit the egg white or use aquafaba for a similar texture.
  • What type of sake is best for a Sake Sour? A Junmai or Ginjo sake is ideal for its clean flavor and aromatic qualities.
  • How can I adjust the sweetness of my Sake Sour? Play with the amount of simple syrup to find your preferred balance of sweet and sour.
  • Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Sake Sour? Yes, simply use a non-alcoholic spirit or adjust the lemon and syrup quantities.
  • What garnish should I use for a Sake Sour? A lemon twist or wheel is traditional, but feel free to experiment with other citrus or herbs.
Sake Sour_001

Sake Sour

The Sake Sour is a delightful twist on the classic Whiskey Sour, substituting whiskey for sake to create a lighter, more aromatic cocktail. This refreshing blend combines the subtle flavors of sake with the tartness of fresh lemon juice, balanced with the sweetness of simple syrup, and is often finished with a dash of egg white for a smooth texture.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 165 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • Jigger
  • Citrus Juicer (optional)
  • chilled cocktail glass


  • 2 oz Sake
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Egg White optional, for frothiness
  • Ice Cubes
  • Lemon Twist or Wheel for garnish


  • In a cocktail shaker without ice, combine the sake, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white (if using).
  • Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds to emulsify the egg white.
  • Add a handful of ice to the shaker and shake again until well chilled.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist or wheel.


For a non-alcoholic version, omit the sake and use a non-alcoholic spirit or simply increase the lemon juice and simple syrup slightly. Adjust sweetness to taste. If you prefer not to use egg white, you can substitute with a few drops of aquafaba for a similar frothy texture.
Keyword Classic Cocktails, Egg White, Japanese Cocktails, lemon juice, Sake, Sake Sour, Simple Syrup, Sour Cocktails

Leave a Comment