Jerry Thomas invented the Japanese Cocktail in the 1860s, but nothing about this cocktail is Japanese. None of the ingredients are from Japan or have any association with Japan. Some sources say it is named this to commemorate the first representative of Japan coming to the United States in the 1860s after the United States forced them to open their borders in 1853, but who the hell knows.
I like to imagine the name came about because the faint almond/cherry flavor the orgeat adds conjures up images of cherry blossom trees, but I am entirely making that up and in no way claim this to be true.
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