In Japan, lemon sours (remon sawā) are ubiquitous simple cocktails made from shochu (Japan’s answer to vodka), soda water and lemon juice. They’re a classic standby order at an izakaya, especially in the warmer months, and you’re guaranteed to find them at convenience stores, right next to the whisky highballs and beer. There are different types of canned Lemon Sour, from bitter to sweet, strong fizzy, or different ABV levels to enjoy at home in Japan, but, it’s so easy to make Lemon Sour at home!
Lemon Sour Day was established by a brewery based in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, which manufactures and sells a variety of products including shochu, sake, and alcoholic beverages. The date was set on the 30th of each month to encourage people to drink sours with colleagues, friends and family at the end of the month. In Japanese wordplay, 3 can be read as "sa" (3), and 0 can be read as "wa", hence the date. The anniversary was recognized and registered by the Japan Anniversary Association in 2019.
Make Lemon Sour at Home!
Making the best Japanese “lemon sour” requires good lemons, your favorite bottle of distilled liquor, and a little patience. Follow the recipe below for the best result!
How to make Lemon Sour
50 ml shochu
130ml sparkling water (add less if your prefer it stronger)
Squeeze the lemon into a glass. Fill with ice, add shochu and sparkling water and mix with a muddler.
Kakushigura Mugi Shochu is one of the best choices for mixing in drinks such as highball and lemon sour.
It is made from the pure spring water of the Shirasu plateau in Kagoshima and carefully selected barley. The result is a clean, crisp, unadulterated barley shouchu. It is then slowly matured in barrels, which adds incomparable richness of flavour and a mellow, vanilla-like aroma. A luxurious retreat where you can savour the depths of time, this shochu will take the lemon sour to the next level!