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Makin' it with Maren: The Cherry Blossom Cocktail

The Cherry Blossom Cocktail from

Cherry Blossoms have always intrigued me; they are beautiful, delicate, cultural and symbolic. One of my favorite scenes in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha is at the end when Sayuri and the Chairman meet near a pond surrounded by myriad cherry blossoms. The amazing cinematography in the movie enhanced the beauty of the cinematic surroundings, but there's no denying that the soft pink and white blossoms made the their moment even more magical and meaningful.

Captivated by it's colors and brushwork, I purchased a print from ebay awhile back by artist Yokoyama Taikan called Cherry Blossoms at Night that shows Sakura (cherry blossom trees) illuminated in the dark sky by surrounding camp fires. After some research online, I discovered the artist's name was actually a pseudonym for a major figure in pre-World War II Japanese painting, Sakai Hidemaro. Yokoyama's artistic career was legendary in his day and he left a legacy of work that honors it (with special attention to cherry blossoms).

Yokoyama Taikan: Cherry Blossoms at Night
Farmers market cherries
Nigori Sake

I wanted a drink that captured the spirit of Sakura, so I created my last cocktail: The Cherry Blossom. I used fresh Farmers Market cherries and Nigori Sake, along with a few other ingredients to make this drink and I hope you love it. Kanpai!

The Cherry Blossom Cocktail Recipe

The Cherry Blossom Cocktail Recipe on


  • 3 cherries (pitted)
  • 2 oz Nigori Sake
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • 1 drop of almond extract
  • Ice


    Muddle cherries with grenadine in your Premium Cocktail Shaker Set - 24 oz Stainless Steel shaker tin. Next layer ingredients in the shaker tin with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over ice or into a martini glass. Garnish with cherries and mint sprig. Enjoy.

    Here's my video recipe:

    Follow me on Twitter: @MarenSwanson for more mixology tips!

    By: Maren Swanson • June 9th, 2014

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