The Jealous Crumpet

A sweet little blog

Violet Sake and Vending Machines


2While I was visiting Kyoto I had the pleasure of staying at the Sakura Terrace.  There were many great amenities at the hotel, not the least was a free happy hour where guests got a free cocktail of choice each evening.

My plan was to try a different cocktail on each of our 4 nights at the hotel and on the very first night I got a violet sake cocktail. I LOVED it!! I’d never even thought of making a cocktail with sake, but it was delicious, perfectly balanced, refreshing and beautiful (I am a sucker for pretty libations).  123On the second night I got the violet sake again.  By the third night both my husband and I got the violet sake and by the end of the trip I had never branched out.  When we got back to the states I make it my mission to create my own violet sake.  4For months I played with various sakes, syrups and sodas to create the best possible drink.  It was a fun project and my husband especially enjoyed the position of official cocktail tester.  So here is the recipe!1Y2B2228 copy1 oz Monin Violet Syrup

2 oz Nigori Sake

3 oz La  Croix Lime flavored sparkling water

Mix syrup and sake. Add  water and ice and stir. Enjoy simple perfection!

You may have noticed the uniformed little ladies gripping the rim of the glass.  They were vending machine purchases.  One of the many things that I loved about Japan was the large amount of toy machines that contained the most bizarre little toys.  For 1 or 2 yen you could buy the craziest figurines and I bought many of them.  Far more than is acceptable for a full grown adult, but they were so interesting!! They had machines that sold nothing but old men sitting on benches, peeing dogs and even cute animals made into foods, such as a puppy made into a hamburger.  You can see what I’m talking about on the far right below. Untitled-11 I bough my flexible little ladies, a squat toilet, a woman serving sake, but the weirdest machine I bought is below!Untitled-1How weird is that!!! It is a baby head with an alien inside.  I didn’t have any coins when I spotted it so I dragged my husband into a cafe to get change so I could buy it! The best 2 yen I’ve ever spent!1

Author: Sarah Bélanger

I am a freelance photographer and writer, working for various magazines, cookbooks and blogs. I love what I do, but I have a lot of restrictions depending on which brand and publication I'm working for. This blog gives me the opportunity to have fun. I'm also a pretty terrible cook, so this blog is forcing me to learn some kitchen skills, which is both thrilling and infuriating. I hope you enjoy reading the blog, half as much as I enjoy making it.

8 thoughts on “Violet Sake and Vending Machines

  1. These look beautiful, and so unique! Ok, I have to try one!

  2. A lovely drink! I had the pleasure of drinking vilote champagne but this is new for me! Yummm!

  3. Sitting at the Samurai Terrace Gallery and my wife is enjoying a Violet Sake right at this minute on our last night in Kyoto. Will attempt the recipe when we get home. Cheers!

  4. Sitting at the Samurai Terrace Gallery and my wife is enjoying a Violet Sake right at this minwute on our last night in Kyoto. Will attempt the recipe when we get home. Cheers!

    • It’s the best!! I’m so excited that you guys are there. We had a lot of fun ‘testing’ the recipe! Cheers and have an amazing trip!

      • Dear Sarah, Thanks again for your wonderful tip and recipe for the Violet Saki. Totally addicted to the drink and ignoring my inability to metabolize alcohol. I am on a mission to get the ingredients.. so far as to have the violet syrup delivered from US to Canada as not available in our city. There is a recipe to make the syrup from scratch but growing violets may not fair well as I do not have a green thumb! Japan was amazing, including my transformation into a Geisha which was as much a highlight as the Violet Saki! A pleasure connecting with you!

      • Hello Nellie!! I’m so happy that you loved the Violet Saki in Kyoto. We were crazy for it (still are!). I’m technically not supposed to have alcohol either, but it is something I’m willing to cheat a little for. I had to order the Violet syrup online as well. The color was a bit different from the cocktail in Kyoto, but the taste was the same. Please let me know if you make it from scratch. I’d love to know how it turns out.
        We LOVED Japan and would go back in a second. That is fun that you dressed as a Geisha. I saw so many people doing it, but we ran out of time. Plus I lost my nerve a bit. It looked fun though. My pleasure connecting with you as well. Happy travels!

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