The options are endless when you’re looking for the best bottle of Japanese Vodka.
You’ll find plenty of top shelf options, one more expensive than the next. But what you won’t find a guide to really help you break down and understand which brand of Japanese Vodka you never knew you wanted.
This is that guide.
Japanese Vodka might not be your first choice for an on-the-rocks sipper.
But on this list, you’ll find absolutely divine flavors, and you will learn to enjoy Japanese Vodka like you never have before.
And of course, if you prefer a nice cocktail instead, our recommendations will work brilliantly with all your favorite mixes.
Below, you’ll find our list for the top brands in the world and a buyer’s guide to Japanese Vodka, as well as answers to how it’s made and what types are there.
Finally, we’ll round off this article with tips on how to drink and really enjoy Japanese Vodka, as well as the key tasting notes and vocabulary you’ll need to become a true aficionado.
Best Japanese Vodka Brands to Savor
Here’s a list of the top 5 Japanese Vodka brands you can buy. We have also explained the other brands that offer Japanese vodkas to try.
|Best High-End Option
|Best for Brand Prestige
|Most Easy to Drink
This is an in-depth explanation of the top Japanese vodka brands, including a list of 8 brands and a brief description of their company, products, and popularity:
Suntory is the oldest spirit brand, which is a family-owned business started in Osaka, Japan. It makes a premium rice vodka named Haku, meaning white in Japanese.
Haku Japanese Craft Vodka is made with a hundred percent Japanese white rice, a clean and luminous vodka. This has an unparalleled softness and sweet taste with delicate rice and sweetness aromas that give the drink a smooth finish.
This super clean and soft vodka specialty is the bamboo charcoal filtration process, which is a traditional technique followed in Japan.
Kissui is a pure Japanese Vodka that is made from one ingredient that is, Japanese rice, and mixed with the purest spring water source from Japan. This is the first and only Japanese vodka available in the United States.
This exceptional vodka is produced in the Takara distillery in a unique distillation process called super-allospas. Japanese rice is distilled and mixed with crystalline water sourced from Fushimi, Kyoto, giving a smooth and elegant well-polished vodka that offers a silky finish.
AO is one of the best Japanese Vodkas made with white rice and blended with pure water sourced from a volcano. The brand name AO describes the shades of blue-green paddy fields where the Japanese white rice is grown.
This pure quality vodka is distilled and filtered through a bamboo filtration process for crystal, clarity, and crisper flavors. It has subtle aromas and flavors of rice that give softness and unique sweetness to the drink.
This transparent vodka has hints of coconut, mint, and vanilla that provide a warm finish with notes of rice pudding.
Nikka Coffey is a premium Japanese vodka that is one of the first products released by this brand. It is distilled using a special distillation unit known as the Coffey unit, custom-made for precise distillation and blending.
The company uses corn and barley to distill their extremely smooth vodka. These grains are separately distilled into various batches, with variations in the alcohol content for different taste profiles.
These batch distilled spirits are carefully blended by experts and then filtered using white birch charcoal to remove impurities and create an extremely clear and smooth spirit.
This crystal-clear vodka has a perfectly sweet taste and silky mouthfeel with zesty notes.
Okayama Craft Vodka is Japanese vodka distilled in the famous Okayama distillery. This vodka is distilled from Nijo Barley, locally sourced from the fields near the distillery.
The spirit is distilled in pot stills and filtered through birch charcoal to create a fresh-tasting spirit.
This Japanese Vodka has a full-bodied aroma with a rich and balanced taste that gives a long-lasting finish to the drink.
Wa premium Japanese craft Vodka is one of the best vodkas made using sake as a base. This is one of the first vodkas created from Sake, a Japanese rice wine.
This is created in Mito city, also known as the Water City, because of its fresh springs. It is distilled at Meiri Shurui distillery.
Wa is one of the incredibly clean vodkas with a crisp flavor profile. In addition, the finish has a creamy texture.
Buddha Zen is handcrafted premium Japanese vodka distilled using roots of the lotus flower. The brand follows Buddha’s spiritual principles and enlightenment in crafting a pure spirit.
They use unique filtration processes to remove the impurities and create a perfect tasting vodka with sacred purity. They used Zen stones to purify the vodka, which was blessed by a Buddhist monk in the home of the great Buddha, Kamakura. These gemstones represent the five elements of the Buddhist universe: earth, water, fire, wind, and sky.
This unique vodka has a depth of flavor from the lotus root with a mellow roundedness and sweetness. It blends perfectly with green tea, sake, and Yuzu citrus juice.
Fujimi is one of the finest Japanese Vodkas produced at the Asahikawa distillery in Hokkaido. Fujimi represents immortality in the Japanese language.
This super-premium Japanese Vodka is made by distilling pure spirit from Japanese molasses and blending it with high-quality water sourced from Taisetsu mountains on Hokkaido Island. This spirit is distilled three times and filtered through white birch charcoal.
This clean vodka has wonderful aromas of licorice and cane, which gives a sweet, rounded, and buttery finish with nutty notes of grain.
Is Vodka Popular in Japan?
Japan is famous for making plenty of unique alcoholic beverages. While Japan is well known for its rice wine-sake or traditional whisky or beer, Vodka is slightly lesser known among people in Japan.
However, many Japanese distilleries have begun crafting Japanese vodka with traditional craftsmanship and quality. As a result, you can find many top Japanese Vodka brands in the markets today.
They traditionally used white rice to produce clean, crisp, and refreshing vodkas. These Japanese Vodka brands are also popular for using special filtration processes such as bamboo and stones to filter impurities from the distilled spirits.
What Does Japanese Vodka Taste Like?
Most Japanese Vodka brands use traditional Japanese white rice to distill clean and smooth vodka. When you compare grain-based Vodka with rice vodka, it has sweet and light flavors and a refreshing texture. These do not give an oily mouthfeel.
Are Japanese Vodkas Rare to Find?
No, Japanese Vodka is readily available in most of the popular liquor stores all over the world. You can even buy Japanese Vodka from online shopping websites and grocery stores. In addition, they ship to many places in popular countries like the US, UK, Asia, and Europe.
The Best Ways to Enjoy Japanese Vodka
You can enjoy Japanese vodka in the following ways:
Japanese Vodka Martini
Mix Japanese vodka with dry vermouth and garnish with a lemon peel.
Blend Japanese vodka with orange liqueur and lime juice to make a refreshing cocktail.
You can make a citrus flavor drink by mixing Japanese vodka with club soda, simple syrup, orange bitters, and Yuzu citrus juice.
Japanese Vodka Soda
Blend Japanese vodka with lemon juice and soda water to twist a sour cocktail.
Blend Japanese Vodka and ginger beer to make a tasty mule cocktail.
Mix Haku Japanese vodka with club soda and garnish with a lemon peel.
Mix Japanese vodka with ice cubes, Midori liqueur, and pineapple juice to create a tropical cocktail.
Japanese Bloody Mary
Make a bright red Cocktail by mixing Japanese vodka with soy sauce, lime juice, celery sticks, tomato juice, salt, and pepper.
Mix Japanese vodka with orange liqueur, unsweetened green tea, lime juice, honey, and cranberry juice with ice cubes.
Blend Japanese vodka with matcha powder, lime juice, mint leaves, powdered sugar, and lemon soda with ice.
Mix Japanese vodka with lime juice lychee syrup, and garnish with whole lychees.
Blend Japanese vodka with coconut pulp pineapple juice, ice cubes, and melon liqueur to create a frosty cocktail.