5 Japanese Whisky Terms You Need To Know

Japanese whisky owes its global popularity to 2 Japanese whisky pioneers Masataka Taketsuru and Shinjiro Torii who founded the most recognized Japanese whisky brands: Suntory and Nikka. Here are five Japanese whisky terms you need to know.

Mizunara Oak Cask

This is a species of oak indigenous to Asia, from Mongolian oak quercus mongolica. Mizu means water and nara means oak in Japanese. The oak is said to lend rich, spicy and sandalwood flavours to the whisky.

Japanese Oyuwari

Oyuwari is a hot whisky drink made of 2 parts boiling water and 1 part Japanese whisky. Enjoyed in the cold months just like a hot toddy, oyuwari means “mixed with hot water”.

This is the sister drink to Oyuwari. Mizuwari means “mixed with cold water”. Just like Oyuwari, it is made with 2 parts cold water and 1 part Japanese whisky. According to Nonjatta, Mizuwari is a very common way of enjoying Japanese whisky.

This is the name for Japan’s popular cocktail, the Japanese Highball. But it is not just a whisky soda. As with all things, the Japanese put a meticulous spin on the norm, making the Japanese highball an art form with specific ingredients including carved ice.

Ji-whisky is a special name given to smaller Japanese distilleries that produce whisky for their local market. You may think of these as craft distilleries.

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