The Good Ship Liefde Recipe

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Created by: Katy O’Donnell, Bartender, The Nice Guy, West Hollywood, CA.


  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce shiso ginger syrup (see recipe below/page 00)
  • 1/2 ounce filtered sake
  • 2 ounces Ketel One vodka
  • Sparkling cucumber juice, to top
  • -juice a cucumber, and charge with CO2. If you don’t have a CO2 charger at home, simply combine soda water and cucumber juice at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Citrus peel, for garnish


  1. Add all ingredients, except the sparkling cucumber juice, to a shaker tin.
  2. Dry shake with one cube, add ice, short shake, then strain over ice, and top with sparkling cucumber juice.
  3. Garnish with citrus peel boat.

Shiso Ginger Syrup:

  • 16 ounces water
  • 35 ounces sugar
  • 6-8 shiso leaves, with stems
  • Bring water and sugar to a boil, add shiso leaves and simmer for 10 mins. Place in a blender and liquefy.  Fine strain and store in a refrigerator.


My inspiration for this cocktail came from the desire to use sake in a mule. I wanted to use Ketel One, a Dutch vodka, so I researched the history of The Netherlands and Japan, trying to find a link between the vodka and sake, and I found a rich history. In 1598, five ships left Rotterdam loaded with trade goods heading to the far east, and the only vessel to make the daunting journey successfully was a ship called Da Liefde. Its arrival opened up trade lines between The Netherlands and Japan, paving the way for the future of the spice trade. I used the shiso leaves to incorporate the idea of trading traditional Asian goods, and I added the cucumber for its refreshing flavor, which pairs well with both sake and vodka. The drink is refreshing, and also celebrates the strong trade relations that the Dutch have with countries all around the world.