Japanese drinks

7 Popular Japanese Drinks You Have To Try

Japan is home to some of the world’s favourite food and beverages, with amazing non-alcoholic and alcoholic Japanese drinks to sample. From matcha green tea to Sake, there’s a delicious drink for all tastes here.

If you can’t visit here right now, you can still learn more about how the must-try coffee styles, tea, sodas or what cocktails locals are ordering in bars – and maybe even try making some of these authentic tipples at home!

Popular Japanese Drinks

1. Matcha Latte

This famous and relatively modern drink is made from green tea powder and milk.

The matcha latte has become a staple of every cafe in Japan! Matcha also has the ability to boost your immunity, control your stress, and assist with weight loss.

Recipe is by Oh, How Civilised.

2. Shochu

This iconic hard alcohol in Japan can be made from rice, sweet potatoes, barley, brown sugar, or buckwheat.

Shochu has an average alcohol content of 25% to 37%. Because of its higher alcohol content Shochu can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as; served straight, on the rocks, mixed with soda, served at different temperatures, and also as a cocktail base.

3. Genmaicha

Genmaicha is a Japanese brown rice green tea consisting of green tea mixed with roasted popped brown rice.

Sometimes referred to as “popcorn tea” because of the few grains of rice that pop during the roasting process and hence the name popcorn.

4. Sake

You can find this well-known drink at your local sushi restaurant and it comes either hot or cold, depending on your preference.

Sake is a fermented rice beverage although it is referred to as a wine. It has been enjoyed since the 8th century throughout Japan.

5. Umeshu Plum Wine

Umeshu consists of plums that have been soaked in shochu or brandy, and is a popular alcoholic drink in Japan due to its sweetness and low alcohol content.

This drink is typically served on the rocks and enjoyed cold, however, some people mix it with hot water in the colder months. You can make it yourself at home.

Recipe is by Matcha and Tofu.

6. Aojiru

This vegetable drink is most commonly made from kale or young barley grass. The drink is also known as green drink or green juice in English.

The taste of aojiru is famously unpleasant, so much so that drinking a glass of it was a common punishment on Japanese TV game shows. However, new variations of aojiru have managed to minimise the bitter taste.

7. Sakura Tea

Sakura tea is a tea from edible cherry blossoms: the literal translation is “cherry blossom tea”.

It is created by seeping pickled cherry blossoms with boiled water. The combination becomes a type of herbal tea and many generations of Japanese love this tea. It also has many health benefits it cleanses the skin of toxins to leave brightened, healthy skin.

Siobhan McKenny