Shochu Cocktail Recipe: Bloody Mariko

Our Bloody Mariko was one of the first cocktails we crafted when we started the Nankai brand back in 2015, way before we launched. Co-founder Paul adores the Bloody Mary and wanted a Japanese version, specifically one that uses the flavors of Kagoshima. Hence, we use yuzu pepper instead of black pepper and soy sauce as the secret umami weapon. Because Nankai Shochu enhances umami flavors in cocktails, the Bloody Mariko aka the Japanese Bloody Mary is a refreshing umami bomb, designed to raise you up from your hangover deathbed.

Before we talk about our choice of ingredients, let’s talk a little about the Bloody Mary itself. As with many classic cocktails, there tends to be multiple origin stories and people claiming credit. However, we agree with’s version that Fernand Petiot created the cocktail in 1920s Paris at Harry’s New York Bar. It then arrived in Manhattan post-Prohibition when Petiot began work at the King Cole Bar.

The Bloody Mariko?

So why do we call our version the “Bloody Mariko?” Our version swaps out common ingredients for more Japanese Bloody Mary ingredients, like soy sauce, yuzu pepper, and wasabi. Nankai Shochu, a 24% ABV shochu from Amami, Japan, has 30% lower calories than vodka and is naturally gluten-free. The soy sauce is the secret weapon that boosts the umami flavors of the tomato juice even further. Use sparingly, however, as both the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce are sodium-heavy. The yuzu pepper mentioned, or “yuzu kosho” in Japanese, is a unique condiment made from fresh chilies, yuzu, and salt. Yakitori and sushi popularized its use among chefs and has become a staple of Japanese cuisine.

The Bloody Mariko, aka our Japanese Bloody Mary, is a great choice as a potentially healthier alternative to vodka. We use shochu, which is low-ABV, low sugar, low carbs, gluten-free, and low calorie. The vacuum distilled Nankai is incredibly clean and will enhance the flavor profiles of the Bloody Mariko. This will hopefully give your senses a punch in the gut and dispel your hangovers or late morning blues.

If you’d like to try Nankai Shochu and this cocktail, check out our Store Locator page for help finding Nankai near you or an online partner that might ship to you.

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5 from 17 votes

Bloody Mariko

Bloody Mariko is our version of the classic Bloody Mary, but here we use Nankai Shochu, which pairs amazingly with umami-rich savory drinks. Even better, Nankai Shochu has 30% fewer calories than vodka.
Prep Time3 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time8 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: bloody mary, brunch, cocktail, hot sauce, lemon, Low ABV, Low calories, low sugar, shochu, summer cocktail, tomato juice
Servings: 1
Calories: 104kcal


  • Cocktail Shaker


  • 2 oz Nankai Shochu
  • 4 oz Tomato/Clamato Juice
  • 0.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice Lime Juice okay too
  • 1-2 dash Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1-2 dash Hot Sauce
  • 1-2 dash Soy Sauce
  • 1-2 pinch Yuzu Pepper Wasabi as an alternative


  • Combine lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and yuzu pepper in shaker.
  • Add ice, Nankai Shochu, and tomato/clamato juice.
  • Shake and strain into highball glass with ice.
  • Garnish with favorite pickles, vegetables, or lime wedge.


You can exchange lime for lemons and wasabi for yuzu pepper.


Serving: 6.5oz | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Sodium: 82mg | Sugar: 1.5g