Shochu Cocktail Recipe: Squash and Rice Pumpkin Cocktail

Today we present the “Squash & Rice,” a pumpkin jam and Nankai Gold shochu cocktail that is both seasonal and a perfect breakfast cocktail. When the holidays arrive and you’re entertaining guests, drinks are just as important as the food. Maybe even more so, depending on who is cooking. Squash & Rice is easy to make and unique, ensuring that your guests will be asking for the recipe for their own parties.

Previously featured on our site, Gersom Gamez of Salud designed this cocktail to celebrate seasonal flavors but to also challenge existing breakfast cocktails. His results come from finding the correct balance between some unique ingredients.

The Ingredients

Nankai Gold Pumpkin Cocktail Squash and Rice
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5 from 1 vote

Squash and Rice

A seasonal pumpkin breakfast cocktail, perfectly balanced with sweet, bitter and acid. It features Nankai Gold (cask-aged kokuto shochu), Cynar (an artichoke amaro) and Pumpkin Jam.
Prep Time1 minute
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time2 minutes
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: breakfast cocktail, brunch, cynar, nankai gold, pumpkin
Servings: 1
Calories: 205kcal


  • Shaker
  • Strainer


  • 1.5 oz Nankai Gold
  • 0.5 oz Cynar
  • 0.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 bar spoons Pumpkin Jam Trader Joe's brand
  • 1 piece Orange Peel


  • Combine Nankai, Cynar, lemon, and pumpkin jam in a shaker with ice.
    1.5 oz Nankai Gold, 0.5 oz Cynar, 0.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice, 3 bar spoons Pumpkin Jam
  • Shake vigorously.
  • Double strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Flame and express orange peel over glass, and discard peel.
    1 piece Orange Peel


Serving: 3oz | Calories: 205kcal

What’s in Squash & Rice? While you may need a little help tracking down some of these ingredients, the results are worth the effort. First is Nankai Gold, our award-winning cask-aged kokuto shochu that has been featured in Whisky Advocate and Spirits Business. Nankai Gold is single-distilled from artisanal kokuto sugar and malted rice koji, making it packed with umami and full of nuanced flavors. Cynar is an artichoke-based amaro liqueur. The most difficult ingredient to track down is the pumpkin jam. We use Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spread, which is sweet and nutty. With a little acid from fresh squeezed lemon juice, it’s all tied together into a flavorful and balanced breakfast cocktail.

What’s a Breakfast Cocktail?

A breakfast cocktail, or commonly referred to as a brunch cocktail, is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a cocktail enjoyed during the morning hours with breakfast or brunch. Generally, savory or refreshing come to mind with classics like the mimosa or bloody mary.

Not Just for Breakfast

Squash and Rice is a fantastic cocktail is suited for brunch, as well as holiday dinners. With sweet, bitter, nutty, and citrus notes, pair the cocktail with rich cuts of ham or a cheese platter. With the herbal amaro notes from the Cynar, drinkers may enjoy it as an aperitif. Served with cheese or pie, the pumpkin jam cocktail could easily work for the dessert course, too.

Other Breakfast Cocktails to Enjoy: