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Tōji Moon

Toji Moon Cocktail
Image: / Tim Nusog

In Japan, the winter solstice, known as tōji, is observed by sitting in yuzu-infused baths and eating auspicious foods such as red beans and lotus root. This cocktail, created by Shaun Dixon, a bartender at 200 South, Taco Agave and Blend Lounge, all in Pensacola, Florida, aims to pay tribute to those rituals. 

“This cocktail combines the snowy appearance and velvety texture of Nigori sake with dark and herbal Benedictine, tart and bittersweet yuzu marmalade and the nutty depth of adzuki red beans,” says Dixon. Note that adzuki red beans can be easily found in Asian supermarkets and online, but if you can’t get your hands on any, you can substitute demerara syrup instead.

“Benedictine is full-bodied, multilayered, honeyed, spiced and delicately herbal,” says Dixon. “It plays off flavors that are sturdy enough to maintain their agency when paired with its relatively bold flavor profile.” It certainly has found those strong flavors in this drink.


  • 3/4 ounce Benedictine

  • 1 ounce yuzu juice

  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/4 ounce red bean syrup*

  • 1 barspoon yuzu marmalade

  • 1 1/2 ounces Nigori sake

  • 1 egg white

  • Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated

  • Garnish: lotus root wheel (optional)


  1. Add the Benedictine, yuzu and lemon juices, red bean syrup and marmalade into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Double-strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice.

  3. Add the sake and the egg white into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  4. Strain the sake and egg white mixture into an empty shaker and vigorously dry-shake (without ice) until frothy.

  5. Top the Benedictine mixture with the sake froth.

  6. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and lotus wheel, if desired.

*Red bean syrup: Combine 1 cup mashed adzuki red beans and 1 cup simple syrup. Let steep for 2 hours or until desired flavor is achieved, then strain out solids. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.