Shochu Cocktail Recipe: Amami Sazerac

Amami Sazerac Kokuto Shochu
Amami Sazerac Kokuto Shochu
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5 from 3 votes

Amami Sazerac

The Amami Sazerac replaces cognac or rye whiskey with Nankai Gold Kokuto Shochu for a well balanced and aromatic cocktail. Herbal notes perfectly married with the tropical fruit and spice notes of Nankai Gold.
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time3 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: absinthe, classic cocktail, cognac, kokuto shochu, nankai gold, rye whiskey, Sazerac, Shochu cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 157kcal


  • 2 Old Fashioned Glasses


  • 2 oz Nankai Gold
  • 0.25 oz Absinthe or Herbsainte
  • 1 cube Sugar
  • 0.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2-3 dashed Aromatic Bitters Peychaud or Angostura
  • 1 piece Lemon Peel for garnish


  • Add ice to first glass. Let chill.
  • Add sugar cube, lemon juice, and bitters to second glass. Muddle.
    1 cube Sugar, 0.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice, 2-3 dashed Aromatic Bitters
  • Add Nankai Gold and ice to second glass. Stir to chill.
    2 oz Nankai Gold
  • Throw away ice from first glass. Wash glass with absinthe.
    0.25 oz Absinthe or Herbsainte
  • Add large ice cube to first glass.
  • Strain second glass contents into first glass.
  • Express lemon peel over first glass and serve.
    1 piece Lemon Peel


Note: If you want an easier method, you can skip the 2-glass approach to making a Sazerac and instead just add the absinthe to step 3, mixing all the ingredients together after muddling.


Serving: 2.5oz | Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Sugar: 4g

If you think of New Orleans, you’ll immediately think of beignets, gumbo, and Sazerac cocktails. If you think of Amami Island, Japan, then Sazerac is probably the last thing that comes to mind. But that may change once you try our Nankai Gold kokuto shochu-based Amami Sazerac.

First, Some History

Cocktail historians often debated whether the Sazerac, created around 1850, is the oldest American cocktail. While this was debunked, it remains one of the oldest and most beloved, especially in New Orleans, where it is the official cocktail.

The most commonly accepted story about its origins is that Aaron Bird, the owner of the Sazerac Coffee House, created this cocktail using Sazerac cognac, absinthe, and bitters made by the one and only Peychaud. The recipe changed from cognac to rye whiskey after France’s vineyards suffered an epidemic, and rye has remained the base spirit ever since.

What Makes a Sazerac?

The classic Sazerac recipe cites cognac, absinthe, sugar, bitters and a lemon peel twist. Later, rye whiskey replaced cognac but the recipe remained the same. However, the defining characteristic is its method of preparation. It requires two old-fashioned glasses. The first is chilled with ice and washed with absinthe, while the second is used to mix the spirit, bitters, and sugar.

What Makes an Amami Sazerac?

The Amami Sazerac is a Nankai original cocktail, replacing rye or cognac with Nankai Gold. The interesting thing is that Nankai Gold is a kokuto shochu blend with one expression aged in an ex-cognac barrel and another in an ex-whiskey barrel. Hence, Nankai Gold acts as a lovely bridge between the two classic versions.

In our version, we also add a little lemon juice because we don’t throw away the absinthe after the wash. (Absinthe is just too precious to simply throw away!) The result is a beautiful complement between the herbal notes of the absinthe and bitters with the rich body of the Nankai Gold shochu.

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