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My Home Izakaya! How To Make Japanese Style Lemon Sour

homeizakaya, cocktails, how to make Japanese-style lemon sour, at home Food & Recipes
Food & Recipes
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Lemon sour has been booming in Japan since around 2017 and has still been getting attention.

New lemon sour can-drink products are being released one after another from each company, and recently, the number of lemon sour specialty stores has been around throughout Japanese metropolitans.

Due to the pandemic, many people enjoy lemon sour at home.

My favorite lemon sour recipe that I am going to tell you today, you can keep a lemony taste in the drink until the end.

How?

The key is using lemon-infused vodka and using frozen cut lemons instead of ice cubes.

Making the best Japanese “lemon sour” requires good lemons, your favorite bottle of distilled liquor, and a little patience.

Wash And Rince Lemons Well

To make infused distilled spirits (Vodka, gin, or Japanese shochu) with lemon, highly recommend using organic unwaxed lemons.

When using waxed lemons, alcohol can pull toxic into the liquor out of peels, including the pesticides and pesticides used in lemons.

If you can’t get non-waxed lemons, wash well with s scrubbing brush with warm water.

Soak in the soapy warm water for about 10 – 15 minutes before scrubbing, and then scrub skins and rinse really well with running water.

Another method is to scrub lemons with baking soda (with a little water if needed), and soak lemons for a few minutes in the water added some tablespoons of baking soda. Rinse them under tap water once you are done.

You can clean a sink and water tap with baking soda solution before dumping away! 

Peel Lemons

remove lemon peel, knif

I prefer using a knife to peel lemon skins, but you can use a vegetable peeler too.

Try peeling outer yellow skins as much as you can because white parts will give unpleasant bitterness to the alcohol.

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

How To Infuse Vodka With Lemon Peels

Transfer the lemon peels to a 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.

The lemony flavor depends on how long you infuse them in the liquor.
You can start tasting it the next day, it’s a slight lemon scent will be extracted. It will get more lemony and more beautiful yellow after a week.

Keep Lemon Flesh To Make Fresh Lemon Ice Cube

cut lemons into wedges, freeze lemons

We need lemon flesh to make fresh lemon ice cubes.

Because ice cubes are made from fresh-cut lemon, so you can enjoy lemon sour without watery.

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

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

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

Finally Make Lemon Sour

make a lemon sour

Taste lemon-infused vodka after 3-5 days later and determine whether more steeping is required or not.

If your homemade lemon-flavored vodka is completed, fill a glass with frozen lemons instead of ice. Pour infused- vodka and carbonated water.

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.

Use chilled carbonated water (sparkling water, club soda) to keep Lemon Sour cold longer.

Be Picky On The Carbonated Water

As well as making Whiskey highball, be picky on the carbonated water if you use no-cheap vodka or Shochu.

Avoid using natural sparkling (hard) water, it can eliminate original alcohol flavor.

Do You Need A Sweetener?

It is the reason why I call this Japanese-style lemon sour.
Generally, lemon sour in Japan is not a sweet cocktail.

If you like sweeter, you can add “sugar syrup” or “lemon syrup” when infusing vodka or you can add syrup after making Lemon Sour in your glass.

Homemade Sugar Syrup

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

Homemade Lemon Syrup

simple homemade lemon syrup

This simple homemade lemon syrup is so easy and so good.

AND, you need only two ingredients-lemons and sugar.

This natural sweetener also goes well with a cup of tea!

Korean Honey Citron & Ginger Tea

yuzu, korean honey and citrus tea, lemon sour

I like the dry lemon sour itself, but sometimes add “Korean Honey Citron & Ginger Tea” (yujacha) as sweeter. Which adds a unique Yuzu flavor.

Korean honey citron and ginger tea is a traditional Korean tea made with Yuzu fruits and honey, so it is not a tea itself even it is called a tea.

The Yuzu flavor is like bitter lemons, limes, orange peels, or grapefruit, but not like them, it’s unique.

This thing called Yujacha tea is quite popular in Korea & Japan especially as the winter hot drink because of the rich in vitamin C to fight colds and flu.

Also, Ginger helps make your body warm.

Of course, the cold Yujacha is also refreshing especially when mixed with fizzy water. It’s little pain to dissolve in the cold water, but it can add a unique sweet fruity flavor to Lemon Sour.

It’s also said to relieve hangovers…

Japanese Lemom Sour Recipe

yuzu, korean honey and citrus tea, lemon sour

Homemade Japanese-style Lemon Sour

Authentic Japanese-style lemon sour using homemade lemon-infused vodka!
Course Drinks
Cuisine Japanese

Equipment

  • A clean and sanitized bottle or jar

Ingredients  

  • 3 Organic non-waxed lemons
  • 2 Cups Vodka
  • Carbonated water or sparkling water or Club Soda
  • Sugar syrup Optional

Instructions 

Make Lemon-Flavored Vodka And Lemon Flesh Ice

  • Wash and rinse lemons well.
  • Remove Yellow skins with a knife or a vegetable peeler.
  • Trim away any large pieces of pith with a knife if you see thick white parts.
  • Transfer the lemon peels to a clean jar and cover them with your favorite Vodka.
  • Let it sit in a refrigerator from overnight up to a month.
  • Cut the flesh of lemons into half or wedges.
  • 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 Japanese-style Lemon Sour

  • Fill a glass with frozen lemons instead of ice. Pour infused- vodka and carbonated water.
Keyword Alcohol

Lemon Sour And Chu-Hi In Japan

When the Japanese think “Sour drink”(サワー), it generally means “casual cheap booze” at Izakaya chain restaurants (NOT authentic Izakayas and classic bars) or Karaoke rooms.

Those are definitely not the fancy sour cocktails that you order at stylish classic bars.

Indeed, Japanese sour is a mixed drink made from distilled liquor and carbonated water or club soda and fruit-flavored soda. Distilled liquor for Japanese-style sour is included vodka, shochu, and cheap distilled liquor called “white liquor” often used in izakaya chains.

However, when it is called “Lemon Chu-Hi”, generally, it is lemon Chu-Hi made of Shochu and carbonated water.

But, it’s still tricky. Some casual Izakaya-chain restaurants serve lemon sour (white liquor and yellow syrup) as lemon Chu-Hi.

In fact, there is no clear definition between lemon sour and lemon Chu-Hi, but generally, the drink is called lemon Chu-Hi only when using Shochu.

I don’t talk deeply anymore, but it’s different when we talk about Chu-Hi can-drink and lemon sour can-drink.

Conclusion

Isn’t it fun to watch the color getting yellowish every day?

When using normal ice for cocktails, it makes the flavor thinner, but
frozen lemons can keep the lemon flavor in Lemon Sour.

Only the thing to say last, I am going to cut bigger wedges next time, because I cut too small pieces so it didn’t keep the Lemon Sour cold enough.

how to make Japanese style lemon sour at home


Highball Glass For Japanese Lemon Sour

To make the best Japanese lemon sour, he needs thin wall highball glass.

The taste of lemon sour changes greatly depending on the glass you use.

The thin glass is the best for Japanese lemon sour (sawa). It can provide the delicacy of the taste, and you can directly enjoy cold refreshing lemon sour.

KROSNO Highball Crystal Glass | Perfect for Home, Restaurants, and Parties | Dishwasher and Microwave Safe

My Other Drink Recipes


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