Japanese Cocktail – Make The Original 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

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Japanese Cocktail Pre-Prohibition
Japanese Cocktail Pre-Prohibition

Jerry Thomas invented the Japanese Cocktail in the 1860s, nothing Japanese about this cocktail. 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.

This is the original recipe for this cocktail as it uses Boker’s/Cardamom bitters; once Boker’s went out of business, bartenders started using Angostura bitters which taste entirely different.

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Japanese Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American






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Learn how to make a classic Japanese cocktail from the 1862 edition of the Bartenders guide by Jerry Thomas.


  • 2 dashes Cardamom Bitters

  • 15 oz Orgeat

  • 2 oz Brandy


  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.



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