First appearing in Jerry Thomas’s 1862 How to Mix Drinks, the Japanese Cocktail is accompanied with no explanation of its namesake, nor do its ingredients lead one to believe it is of any Asian persuasion. However, as David Wondrich surmises in Imibibe!, it perhaps had something to do with a visit (or four) paid to Thomas’s New York City bar on Broadway by a member of Japan’s first diplomatic mission to America, Tateishi Onojirou Noriyuki, or “Tommy,” as he was known among the ladies.
2 oz Cognac
1/2 oz Orgeat
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Optional Garnish: Lemon Twist
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled.
Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish if you wish.