Shochu Cocktail Recipe: Koala and the Bee

Nankai white oak shochu cocktail
Nankai white oak shochu cocktail
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5 from 3 votes

Koala and the Bee

A simple yet intriguing spin on the traditional Old Fashioned, this cocktail uses Nankai White Oak kokuto shochu, honey syrup and Eucalyptus bitters for both herbal and fruity notes.
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: eucalyptus bitters, honey, kokuto shochu, nankai gold, nankai white oak, old fashioned, shochu, Shochu cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 138kcal


  • 3 oz Nankai White Oak Use Nankai Gold for higher proof cocktail
  • 0.5 oz Honey Syrup 1:1 water to honey ratio
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 2 dashes Eucalyptus Bitters Bitter Queens Eucalyptus Bitters
  • 1 peel Lemon Peel


  • Combine Nankai, honey, and bitters in a glass.
    3 oz Nankai White Oak, 0.5 oz Honey Syrup, 1 dash Angostura Bitters, 2 dashes Eucalyptus Bitters
  • Add large ice cube.
  • Stir gently 2-3 times, careful not to overdilute.
  • Express lemon peel over glass and garnish.


You can replace Nankai White Oak with Nankai Gold for a boozier cocktail.


Serving: 4oz | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.9g | Sugar: 5.9g

Running an alcohol importing business while raising two young children means that we treat ourselves to a nightly cocktail. Okay, fine, by saying “nightly,” we actually mean mid-afternoon. Always on the hunt for new complementary ingredients to our shochu portfolio, we picked up a bottle of The Bitter Queens’ excellent Eucalyptus Bitters. An idea for a shochu cocktail popped into our heads, and the Koala & the Bee was born. The result was so good that it’s been on steady repeat at our home bar.

To make the Koala and the Bee, combine Nankai White Oak, honey syrup (1:1), and eucalyptus bitters. Stirred with a large cube of ice and garnished by a lemon peel, it is as complex on the nose as it is simple to make. Herbal, bright, and complex, this shochu cocktail is essentially a riff on an Old Fashioned. One bit of warning, however. Be wary of using too heavy a hand on the eucalyptus bitters as it can overpower the drink and make it taste like cough syrup.

Nankai White Oak is a 24% ABV cask-finished kokuto shochu, elegantly smooth and nuanced with notes of vanilla, lychee and banana. If you prefer a boozier cocktail, you can replace this with Nankai Gold, our 43% cask strength kokuto shochu.

Other Nankai cocktails to try: