Sake Grapefruit Cocktail is what you make for happy hours or a romantic evening with your lovers! Made with sake, grapefruit juice, gin, and a touch of ginger, this elegant sake cocktail recipe is super refreshing and dangerously easy to drink!

Sake grapefruit cocktail served in a glass
Super Refreshing and Easy to make!

Sake Cocktail with Grapefruit and Ginger

Refreshing happy hour drink for you and girl friends and lovers! 😀 If you are a Japanese food aficionado, this sake grapefruit cocktail recipe is made for you!

Sake and grapefruit juice make a great flavor combo. It’s easy to make, super refreshing, and gorgeous looking! In this post, I share how to select sake and my favorite sake to make a gluten-free sake and grapefruit cocktail, plus pairing dish suggestions for a romantic dinner with your loved ones!

Different Types of Sake

There are many types of sake and you can classify them by several factors – type of rice used, rice polishing ratio, ingredients, brewing and filter processes, and more. To keep it simple, here are the four types of sake of which I like the most:

  • Daiginjo (Daiginjo-shu) – classified by rice polishing ratio
  • Ginjo (Ginjo-shu) – classified by rice polishing ratio
  • Junmai (Junmai-shu) – differentiate by the brewing ingredients
  • Nigori Sake – by brewing technique

Daiginjo

Daiginjo is ultra-premium sake that’s slowly fermented at low temperatures. The flavor is very delicate with aroma and mild flavor. The rice milling ratio is 50% or less.

Ginjo

Ginjo is also a premium sake that’s carefully fermented to create a refreshingly fruity aroma and mild flavor. The rice milling ratio is 60% or less.

Junmai

Junmai-shu literally means “pure rice sake”. Junmai is made only from rice and water. The flavor profile ranges from light and mild to full-body. The ingredients are rice and water.

*Daiginjo or Ginjo brewed without additional alcohol are called Junmai Daiginjo or Junmai Ginjo.

Nigori Sake

Nigori means “cloudy sake”. It’s under the Junmai category. It’s my favorite type of sake. Nigori Sake is roughly filtered after fermentation. Nigori has white and milky appearance. The flavor profile is subtly sweet and the appearance is white with a cloudy look.

This is a great chart for reference and more info on sake.

Ingredients to make the sake cocktail
Nigori Sake, Gin, Ginger, Grapefruit Sparkling Water and Juice

Ingredients for Sake Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe

  • Sake – Junmai Nigori Sake (cloudy sake) or Junmai sake (clear sake) that’s either daiginjo or ginjo
  • Gin – pure, distilled gin
  • Grapefruit juice – Tropicana
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit sparkling water
  • Ice cubes
  • Shaker with a strainer
  • Ground nutmeg (optional)
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)

How to make Grapefruit Cocktail with Sake At Home Easily

You can use chilled or non-chilled sake as long as you have ice cubes ready.

  1. In a shaker, add the sake, gin, grapefruit juice, ginger, a tiny dash of ground nutmeg powder, and 4-5 medium size ice cubes. Shake 30-40 seconds.
  2. Pour the cocktail through a strainer filter into two cocktail glasses.
  3. Add a splash of grapefruit sparkling water. Garnish with rosemary sprigs. Add more ice cubes to the serving glass or without.
Pour the cocktail drink into a glass

Is Sake Gluten-Free?

Premium sake is gluten-free. Premium here means pure rice sake with no additives – starches or sugars other than rice added to the fermenting mixture – were used, and that no brewer’s alcohol was added either.

Daiginjo, ginjo, junmai sake, junmai daiginjo, junmai ginjo, junmai nigori are all considered gluten-free. (Source)

Which flavor should I choose? Junmai Nigori, Ginjo, or Daiginjo Sake

As we discussed above, junmai sake means pure rice sake and it’s considered a premium sake that’s gluten-free. Pure here means there are no additives – starches or sugars other than rice added to the fermenting mixture – were used, and that no brewer’s alcohol was added either. Look for Junmai sake if you are sensitive to gluten. Now let’s talk about the taste and flavor.

Nigori Sake – Nigori style of sake is my personal favorite. Nogori sake is roughly filtered from the fermented rice grains. The “cloudy look” comes from the rice sediment which remains in the sake after it has been passed through a special coarse-mesh filter. The tradition of rough-filtering sake has been used in Japan for many centuries. The flavor is milky, creamy, smooth, and subtly sweet. Best serve chilled and great for cocktails. Shake well before serving.

Daiginjo Sake – Daiginjo is the ultra-premium sake that’s slowly fermented at low temperatures. The flavor is very delicate with beautiful aroma and mild flavor. The rice milling ratio is 50% or less. The appearance is clear.

Ginjo Sake – Ginjo is also a premium sake that’s carefully fermented to create a refreshingly fruity aroma and mild flavor. The rice milling ratio is 60% or less. The appearance is clear.

In my opinion, both daiginjo and ginjo sake have a clean after taste with subtle aroma and are less sweet and not milky, compared to nigori sake. I love all three types of sake and you can use either one for my sake grapefruit cocktail recipe.

Adding rosemary and grapefruit slice to sake cocktail

Pairing Dishes that go well with the sake cocktail

Grapefruit Sake Cocktail tastes light and super refreshing therefore it pairs well with a wide variety of dishes either savory or sweet.

Holding the cocktail glass with drinks

More Beverage Recipes

Serve the sake grapefruit cocktail chilled in 3 glasses
Sake grapefruit cocktail served in a glass
5 from 2 votes
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Sake Grapefruit Cocktail (gluten-free, refreshing!)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 2 serving
Author: ChihYu
Sake Grapefruit Cocktail with a touch of gin and ginger is an elegant sake cocktail recipe that’s super refreshing and gluten-free!
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Ingredients

  • 3 oz Junmai sake, Nigori or Daiginjo or Ginjo Sake
  • 2.5 oz gin, pure, distilled. We use Breckenridge gin.
  • 3 oz grapefruit juice, Tropicana preferred
  • tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • Tiny pinch ground nutmeg, optional
  • 4-5 medium size Ice cubes, plus extra for serving
  • Splash grapefruit sparkling water, chilled
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary , garnish, optional
  • 2 slices fresh grapefruit, garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Shaker with a strainer

Instructions

  • In a shaker, add the sake, gin, grapefruit juice, ginger, a tiny dash of ground nutmeg powder, if using, and 4-5 medium size ice cubes. Shake 30-40 seconds.
  • Pour the cocktail through a strainer filter into two cocktail glasses.
  • Add a splash of grapefruit sparkling water. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and grapefruit slice, if using.

Notes

You can use chilled or non-chilled sake as long as you have ice cubes ready.
My husband prefers to enjoy the beverage with an ice cube in the glass and I prefer not. It’s up to you. 🙂
Sake flavor profile and which one to use:
  • Junmai Nigori Sake (cloudy sake). I prefer this type of sake. I use either Kamoizumi brand “Summer snow” or Hakutsuru brand “Sayuri”
  • Junmai daiginjo sake or ginjo sake (clear sake).
Nigori sake tastes more milky, smooth, and a little sweeter.
Daiginjo and Ginjo sake taste very clean, more dry, and less sweet than Nigori.
Why use tropicana grapefruit juice:
Tropicana grapefruit juice tastes naturally sweeter than fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. If you use fresh squeezed, you’ll need a touch of simple syrup to balance the drink.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 159kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 82mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 6IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Grapefruit cocktail, nigori sake cocktail, sake cocktail, sake grapefruit cocktail, sake recipe
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Sake the sake cocktail until frothy