Last week, when I interviewed Colin Field, he said he asks bartenders to consider the message they are trying to convey with the drinks they make, as one would with a traditional work of art. His creations were beautiful and straightforward, and good introductions to the art found in Hawaii Cocktail Week.
Earlier this week, Japanese bartender — or bar master, as some have referred to him — Takayuki Suzuki led a seminar on Japanese bartending and took that art to a new level. After educating us on Japanese whisky, he made four drinks, each with precision and purpose.
Bonus: If you want to re-create these cocktails at home (as if you could really do it), the recipes are below. Watch the video, below, to see his technique.
Cocktail 1: Imagined between the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Make a martini style cocktail with a bamboo leaf
Hakusyu, 12 years – 20 ml
Natural water – 30 ml
White mint liqueur – 5ml
Bamboo leaf syrup – 2 tsp
Cocktail 2: Imagined a forest breeze in the beginning of summer.
Make a long drink cocktail that is piled up with a taste with “Ice ball”
Hakusyu, 12 years – 30 ml
Tonic water – 30 ml
Club soda – 90 ml
White mint liqueur – 5 ml
Cocktail 3: Imagined rainy season in Japan.
Hibiki 12yrs – 30ml
Pickled Japanese plum “ume”
Fresh grapefruit juice
High quality crushed ice
All ingredients put into a bar blender
Cocktail 4: Sunlight pours to Japanese style room in late autumn.
Make a short cocktail expressed the scent of “Tatami” by lemongrass.
Yamazaki 12 yrs – 20 ml
Dark Cacao Liqueur – 10 ml
Apricot brandy – 5 ml
Pineapple juice – 20 ml
Fresh lemon juice – 5 ml
For more information on Cocktail Week, click here.