KURAND summer cocktails Vol.1

Greetings sake lovers,

For some people, sake can be quite an intimidating challenge at first. That rather rough texture that comes from the rice and the strong alcohol feel isn’t for everyone. And that’s why we set up our sister branch SHUGAR which offers the same all-you-can-drink package, not for sake, but for fruit liqueurs and plum wines made with a base of sake, intended as a slightly less daunting stepping stone into the world of sake. Finding news ways to serve sake is another way of making it accessible to more and more palates. The fact is that sake also makes a very good cocktail base. Luckily one of the KURAND team is an experienced Mixologist so we decided to tap into his vast repertoire and put together a little summer sake cocktail guide.

sakamoto-160x160Sakamoto: Sakamoto san trained for 6 years in Kyoto, during which time, in between convivial conversation with customers, he would invest every spare moment into concocting new recipes to thrill them with; this is the part of the job that he enjoyed the most.

Sakamoto san in action!

1. Water Melon Sunrise


All you need are 4 ingredients.

Water melon 100g
Sake 40ml
Mitsuya Soda (or a light lemonade or cream soda) A splash
Ice A block or two


All it takes is 3 steps to make this very simple cocktail.

1. Put the ingredients into the glass!

Cut the melon up into chunks and pop into the glass. Pour over the sake. You could remove the pips from the melon to make the drink easier to palate but I prefer to leave them in for a more natural taste.

2. Mix everything together!

Mash up the melon well using a pestle or fork. Extract as much of the juice from the melon as you can and mix with the sake. By this time the scent of summer should wrapping its way around your senses.

3. Finish by adding the ice and soda!

All that is left is to add the ice and a splash of soda. Dress with a leaf or two of mint. Let this cocktail take you by the hand and dance with you into the setting summer sun.

Comment from Sakamoto San

“With little or no effort at all, you have a very palatable summer-blend of refreshing fruity flavours with an exhilarating sweetness at the end. And just when you think this is a one trick pony with nothing but sweetness to offer, the sparkling aftertaste ties everything together neatly.”

2. Hatsugi




Just 6 ingredients!

Sake 20ml
Dita Lychee 10ml
Get 27 Peppermint Liqueur 10ml
Ginger ale a splash
Soda a splash
Mint 1 leaf (to taste)


Another 4-step easy cocktail

1. Put the ice and sake into a glass


Pop the ice into a glass and pour over the sake and Dita Lychee.

2. Stir


Stir well

3. Put in the soda and ginger ale


Fill the glass to the top with half and half soda and ginger ale.

4. Drizzle the peppermint liqueur


Finally, drizzle the peppermint liqueur into the mix.
Comment from Sakamoto San

“The mint leaves create a more refreshing aesthetic. I named the finished cocktail after the 8th lunar month, because I really think the mint leaf completes this cocktail and in Japanese, the 8th month, Hatsugi is written with the Chinese character for leaf. I guess you could say that mint is my leaf of the month.”

“The crispness of the soda and ginger ale and the cool refreshing zing of the mint is just what you need to beat the summer heat. It’s super sleek with notes of sweet lychee on the tongue. Super easy to drink and super addictive. “

“Incidentally, we can prepare this cocktail for you at our Shinjuku branch (for a limited period only).”

3. Sake Blossom




Just 4 ingredients!

Sake 20ml
Kimia (Citrus Liqueur) 20ml
Orange juice 150ml
Grenadine Syrup to taste


A delicious cocktail in just 3 simple steps

1. Add all ingredients except Grenadine Syrup into a glass layered with ice


2. Stir


Give it a swizzle with a cocktail stirrer. Give it a good swizzle to really chill it.

3. Pour in the Grenadine Syrup


Pour in the syrup gently. Gentle pouring is important to make sure the syrup gets sinks all the way to the bottom creating the right gradation.

Comment from Sakamoto San

“I named this cocktail sake blossom to match its gorgeous look. It’s not for me to say of course, but you really can’t go wrong with citrus flavoured cocktails. Frozen orange or tangerine in place of the ice is also really delicious.”


This is another cocktail that we can prepare for you at our Shinjuku branch.





Just 4 ingredients

Tomato Juice (or fresh tomato) 60ml(1)
Sake 30ml
Passoa(passion fruits liqueur) 30ml
Tabasco 1 drop


1. Pour in the ingredients


Prepare a glass with ice and pour in the sake (“I used Chikuha Noto Josen”), Passoa, tomato juice and tabasco.
If using fresh tomato, cut the tomato into half, add with the other ingredients and mash. The ice might make mashing a bit difficult so probably best to add the ice after.

2. Stir


Give it a good stir. Once it’s got just the right chill to it, garnish with the mint.

Comment from Sakamoto San

“For some reason tomato and passion fruit are a great combination; it just seems to work. ”

However, it’s actually the heat from the tabasco that is the centre piece of this cocktail. It adds depth to it. Wait a sec!? Tabasco!? you might be thinking. But, please! give it a try. You have my Mixologist’s guarantee that it will not disappoint!

This is my take, a Japanese version, of the Whisky-based Western cocktail of the same name.

It works wonders for heat exhaustion; it will have you up and running again in no time.

Yep, you guess it! this one is available at our Shinjuku branch also.

5. Apricot Club




Just 4 ingredients!

Sake 20ml
Disaronno 15ml
Lejay Pear (pear liqueur by Suntory) 10ml
Milk 50ml


All it takes is 4 simple steps.

1. Pour everything into a shaker


Prepare a shaker and add all the ingredients.

2. Stir!


Since we are going to shake everything together later, a very light stir will do.

3. Add the ice!


Well, a summer cocktail is not a summer cocktail without right?

4. Shake!


Make sure the lids on tight and give it your best rendition of Tom Cruise in that movie.


Pour into a glass layered with ice.

Comment from Sakamoto San

A sake with a light, well-balanced palate works best. Pasteurised is better than unpasteurised to contrast with the milk. The finished cocktail is more like a dessert in many ways.

Why not come and try some more irresistable cocktails from Sakamoto san’s recipe book at our Shinjuku branch. And if you fancy making your own blend of sake and fruit liqueurs, SHUGAR market is your heaven waiting with open arms.

Stay tuned for volume 2.