Koyo Front, Japanese Whisky Cocktail Recipe | Wine Enthusiast Magazine
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Courtesy of Timothy Koenig, general manager, Yusho, Chicago

This drink is named for the dramatic way leaves change color in Japan. “It’s a red front that sweeps over the countryside,” says Koenig. He sources Okinawan black sugar from Asian markets to add an earthy note to simple syrup, but says Demerara sugar will also add a desirably deep flavor and hue.


2 ounces Akashi White Oak Blended Whisky
¾ ounce Laird’s Applejack
½ ounce Okinawan black sugar simple syrup (see below)
2 bar spoons Varnelli Amaro Sibilla
1 piece orange peel


In a mixing glass, stir together first four ingredients with ice. Strain into chilled coupe glass. Twist orange peel above the drink to express the essential oils, then drop in as garnish.

For Okinawan Black Sugar Simple Syrup

In a saucepan, bring ½ cup water to boil. Stir in ½ cup Okinawan black sugar (or Demerara) until the sugar dissolves. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate in a container with lid. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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