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Strawberry Samurai Japanese Whisky Cocktail

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Last Updated on June 10, 2023 by Leah Hall

This Japanese whisky cocktail is full of flavor from the small batch Hatozaki!


Hatozaki Japanese blended whisky is very versatile and a great base for this spirit forward cocktail. This Japanese whisky cocktail is warming yet delicate with notes of strawberry and rice wine vinegar.

Pink cocktail being poured into glass, Japanese whisky bottle in background

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Pink cocktail being poured into glass, Japanese whisky bottle in background

What is Japanese Whisky?

As the name says, Japanese whisky is whisky made in Japan. The Japanese have been distilling their own whisky for close to two centuries.

Pink cocktail being poured into glass

The taste of Japanese whisky to us is similar to the taste of Scotch whisky. This seems not to be a coincidence since the Japanese set out to imitate Scotch.

Strawberry cocktail with berry on pick, hand holding pick

With their unique and intriguing flavors, we love to create interesting cocktails with Japanese whisky.

Pink cocktail with strawberry, Japanese whisky bottle

Hatozaki Whiskey

Hatozaki Whisky is a product of Kaikyo Distillery, in Hyōgo Prefecture. It is owned by the Akashi Tai Sake brewery.

Pink cocktail, strawberry on cocktail pick. Whiskey bottle behind

The Yonezawa Family has been brewing since 1856, but they did not start distilling until 1917. For celebrating 100 years of spirit production, they decided to replace their stills with new copper twin pot-stills.

Pink cocktail in glass with berry on pick, Japanese whisky bottle in background

The new facility has been designed to produce Japanese Single Malt Whisky as well as other spirits and has been named The Kaikyō Distillery after the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge that lies in front of the distillery.

Pink cocktail in glass with strawberry on pick, whisky bottle in backgroun

What Ingredients are Needed for the Strawberry Samurai?

  • Hatozaki Whisky
  • Strawberry Syrup
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Strega
  • Cardamom Bitters

Strawberry cocktail with berry on pick

Vinegar in Cocktails

Vinegar is an indispensable kitchen liquid (at least in our house!) It adds brightness to salad dressings, is great in marinades, and breaks up richness in fatty dishes. It can also make a great  cocktail.

Pink cocktail in glass, strawberry on pick, hand holding glass

Though drinking vinegar sounds like something you would not want to do, there are ways to use vinegar that makes a refreshing drink. Think of it as another type of acid you would drink, aka lime juice, orange juice. It opens up a whole world of options in your ingredients!

Pink cocktail, with berry on pick, Japanese whisky bottle in background

You can make a shrub as a cocktail base, or you can add some directly in the cocktail.


Strawberry Samurai Cocktail

As with any drink, when you add a strong ingredient, it requires some restraint! So, be careful how much you use generally, but we definitely like the flavor it adds in this one!

To balance the acidity from the rice wine vinegar, we added in some strawberry simple syrup, cardamom bitters for spice, and then Strega.


What is Strega?

What is it you ask? Strega is a liqueur, and has an in depth flavor with minty or piney tones. We thought it added so well to the Japanese whisky, and then the acid and sweet we had added before.

Strawberry on pick in glass cocktail, wood background

Strawberry Cocktail

We loved this drink, and felt it was a great early spring and summery cocktail, especially with making fresh strawberry syrup for this one. A great porch sipper in our opinion, we hope you give this Strawberry Samurai cocktail a try!

Pink cocktail being poured into glass from shaker



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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

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Other Japanese Whisky Cocktails

Pink cocktail in glass with berry on pick, Japanese whisky bottle in background
Yield: 1

Strawberry Samurai Japanese Whisky Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This Hatozaki whisky is full of flavor, and we added it to strawberry syrup, rice wine vinegar, strega and cardmom bitters!


  • 2 ounces Hatozaki Whisky
  • 1 ounce strawberry syrup
  • .50 ounce rice wine vinegar
  • .25 ounce Strega
  • 3 drops cardamom bitters


  1. Combine all ingredients with in shaker with ice. Shake to combine.
  2. Strain into glass.
  3. Cheers!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Sodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 23.8g

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