Spring Sake Sangria

April 28, 2016

If my office isn’t asking me to prepare a banquet menu, order desserts, bake sweets, book banquet reservations at “cool, hip, international” restaurants,  it’s WHAT?! To prepare jugs of sangria in our kitchenette for our in-office shinjin kangeikai party. Yes, for all 58 employees to go straight from preparing final construction documents on one desk to go _____ on another desk on a Thursday night.

Why? Well, April marks a month of several celebrations: the beginning of spring, new school year, and initiation ceremonies for university graduates who join their first new companies. Traditionally, several new employees begin their  first day of work on April 1 and walk in as a pack into the office, all studly in their full suits. After a bit of training, Japanese offices like mine formally welcome and introduce our new employees to everyone by pairing them with senpais (elder mentors) and hosting a 新人歓迎会 (shinjin kangeikai party) As an employee who’s on a second year in the company, my doki/colleagues who joined my year and I were appointed to organize and prepare all major party-related events of this year. Fun, right?

Although red wine seems like a more popular choice for sangria, I decided to make a “lighter” sangria to celebrate spring that weekend and use sake. After sake tasting at the sake store just down the street of my house,  I found this fukumasumune sake a perfect choice for sangria. Light. refreshing. DAZZLES in your mouth. Using a bottle of this, a bit of simple syrup, and fresh citrusy fruit swirled in, my Barcelona buddy architect Fernando and I quickly consumed my whole test liter. Oops.

When preparing your sake sangria, stir in some club soda and lots of ice to lighten if the alcohol is too strong and buy plenty of  sake bottles so your guests can actually enjoy them too!


  • 1 Litre Preferred sake, preferably chilled
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • 1/2 Grapefruit
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 handful Mint leaves for garnish (optional)


Step 1.

Prepare simple syrup by boiling 6 tbsp of water with 6 tbsp of sugar over a stovetop. Remove and set aside to cool.

Step 2.

Slice 1/2 grapefruit, one orange, one lime, one lemon, into thin slices.

Step 3.

Pour the entire bottle of sake into a glass pitcher along with the simple syrup. Stir together.

Step 4.

Stir desired amount of slices of fruit into the pitcher of sake. Stir well. Add club soda or more ice to taste.

Step 5.

Chill in refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours.

Step 6.

Garnish with extra slices of fruit and/or mint leaves just before serving!