It’s sweet, briny and umami, and it’s a key ingredient in sushi. Here’s how to make nori seaweed syrup and use it in cocktails.

Nori is a type of edible seaweed that is finely chopped and turned into sheets commonly used in Japanese and Korean cuisine particularly sushi. It is not the seaweed found washed up on our beaches. Nori sheets have a briny flavour, a crunchy texture and an umami note reminiscent of the sea. When combined in a syrup to be used in cocktails, it marries sweetness with umami and a touch of maritime salinity.

To make the nori seaweed syrup, water and sugar are brought to the boil and nori sheets are left to steep before the syrup is fine strained and bottled. The recipe is easy to remember as it is equal parts sugar, water and nori sheets. The length of the infusion is up to individual taste. In our trials, a three hour infusion was the optimum to provide a good balance of sweetness and umami.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 nori sheet, roughly cut into 2cm pieces

Equipment: small saucepan, fine strainer, swing top glass bottle


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add sugar and water, stir until completely dissolved.
  2. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
  3. Add the nori sheet pieces and leave to steep.
  4. Taste every hour until the desired flavour is reached as it gets intense over time. We left it to infuse for 3 hours and the result was a good balance of sweet and umami.
  5. Fine strain into a swing top glass bottle and keep in the fridge.
  6. The solids can be discarded or dehydrated and used as garnish.
Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars with extensive experience writing about bars, spirits and the food scene. She is named in the prestigious Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, has judged numerous cocktail competitions, was nominated in Icons of Whisky Australia, is an Australian International Spirits Competition Judge and is published in several media. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV's Gardening Australia. She's a guest contributor to Real World Gardener on 2RRR FM and was awarded Best Edible Garden as well as Eco Champion in Randwick Council Garden Awards. Read the full bio here.