This cocktail isn’t the least bit Japanese – two of the three ingredients are French! Sadly, we can’t go back to 1887 to ask Jerry Thomas what the story was behind the drink when he was writing his seminal “Bar-Tenders Guide.” Given the date, we might assume it had something to do with the opening of Japan to outsiders several years prior – an exotic, inspiring event to those in the West. Try it with your fancy special bitters – we especially like it with chocolate bitters.
Stir with ice until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a wide lemon twist, twisted over the glass first to release the essential oils.