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How to make Japanese Style Lemon Sour at Home

how to make Japanese style lemon sour at homeFood & Drinks
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I talk about Japanese style sour is different from the authentic “sour“.

Japanese style sour is using distilled spirit such as vodka, shochu, carbonated water, fresh fruit juice, or syrup.

It’s so popular drink in Japan, especially “lemon sour” has been trending recently among Japanese people.

It’s so easy to make and there are several recipes around,

It has taken me far too long to discover my favorite one, in this way, the lemon sour will keep lemony and never be thinner.

Just need some good lemons, a bottle of your favorite distilled spirit, and a little patience.


For 5 – 6 time drinks

  • 3 organic lemons (non-waxed preferred)
  • 2 cups of Distilled spirit (Vodka, Gin, Shochu)
  • Carbonated water or sparkling water or Club Soda
  • Sugar syrup (if needed)

Peel Lemon


To infuse distilled spirits (Vodka, gin, or Japanese shochu), standard lemons are just fine, though I recommend using organic lemons.

Since non-organic lemons are usually coated with wax, and alcohol will pull everything from those peels, including any pesticides or insecticides used on the lemons.

Wash lemons well.

If you can’t get non-waxed lemons, wash well acrubing surfaces with warm water.

I usually soak in the soapy warm water for about 10 – 15 minutes, scrub surfaces with a brush or a sponge and rinse really well with running water.

Peel Lemon skins.

remove lemon peel, knif

I do remove skins with a knife, but you can use a vegetable peeler too.

Try peel outer yellow skins as much as you can because white parts will give a ‘bitter” taste to the alcohol.

Trim away any large pieces of pith with a knife if you see thick white parts.

Infuse Lemon peels and sprits

transfer lemon peels into the jar, vodka

Transfer the lemon peels to clean jar and cover with your favorite distilled spirits ( I used “Stolichnaya vodka” this time).

Let it sit in a refrigerator from overnight up to a month.

pour vodka into the jar

The flavor changes depending on how long being infused. Overnight, the scent of lemon slightly extracted. After a week or a month, you’ll also get a stronger, lemony flavor the longer you let it sit.

Freeze Lemon

cut lemons into wedges, freeze lemons

We use lemons for this recipe, don’t make lemonade yet.

Cut the lemons into a half or wedges, whatever you like.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and freeze cut lemons in a single layer.

Once the lemons are fully frozen, pop them into a freezer bag.

Make Lemon Sour

make a lemon sour

Place frozen lemons instead of ice, pour infused spirit, and carbonated water (or sparkling water) into a glass.

The perfect ratio is the infused spirit 2 : Water 1.

Do not stir well.

To keep the fizz in the lemon sour, do not stir well. Gently insert a bar spoon down to the bottom and stir once or twice.

If it’s not icey enough, add ice cubes.

Make another one!

make another one

When you make another one, keep frozen lemons and add the infused sprit and carbonated water.

Need Sweeten?

When you follow the recipe, the taste of the lemon sour is very lemony and nice dry flavor. It’s so refreshing.

You may like sweeter, you can add “sugar syrup” or “lemon syrup” into the jar or mix it in the glass directly.

Make own sugar syrup

Dissolve the 1-2 cup of sugar in the boiling water, simmer it until the sugar dissolved. Stirring constantly and let it cool.

Buy Professional syrup

Simply you can buy professional syrup such as cane syrup, flavored syrup for the cocktail online.

If you like gingery, the ginger syrup can twist the lemon sour!

yuzu, korean honey and citrus tea, lemon sour

I like the dry lemon sour, but sometimes add “Korean honey & citrus tea” as sweeter which adds unique Yuzu flavor.

My List of Syrups

At Last…

It takes a little time but it will be worth because you make own.

You can’t stop watching the infusing color every day.

The frozen lemon is good idea the lemony flavor last forever,

and in this way, it will not goes thinner taste of cocktails.

I am going to cut bigger wedges next time though.

I cut too small pieces so it didn’t keep cold for long.

how to make Japanese style lemon sour at home

Do you need to know about SHOCHU?

Other Alcoholic Drinks.

Need Nibbles???

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