Stir up memories in bars of yore

| Oct 24, 2008

Stir up memories in bars of yore

In hard times such as these you can always find solace in a drink; just make it one that reminds you of better days. Here are eight great Tokyo bars that ooze nostalgia. Some serve classic cocktails, some survived the war, and most of ...

Red Carpet treatment

| Sep 26, 2008

Red Carpet treatment

Like Da Vinci or Mozart, every bartender wants to make something that lives on after they die,” says Takahiro Watanabe of the Keio Plaza Hotel’s Polestar bar. “A bartender’s dream is to make a cocktail that appears on every bar’s menu.” Of course, Da ...

The perfect gin and tonic

| Aug 22, 2008

The perfect gin and tonic

“A gin and tonic is an entry-level drink,” said the ladyfriend recently. It’s easy to understand, she said, easy to drink. Like Kahlua milks and Moscow mules. A drink for people who haven’t graduated to whiskeys or rickeys. But enough of her snobbery. The ...

Ten things you never knew about gin

| Aug 22, 2008

Ten things you never knew about gin

1. Gin derives its name from jenever, the Dutch word for juniper. 2. Gin’s invention is usually attributed to a Dutch chemist working in the 1650s who distilled grain and infused it with juniper as a remedy for kidney and stomach ailments. However, English ...

Cooling it down with Tokyo's best

| Jul 25, 2008

Cooling it down with Tokyo's best

“Go around the beaches and let’s have a list of the best seaside bars,” said my editor. In this heat? Not a chance. But here’s something better: five refreshing cocktail recipes from a quintet of great bartenders. Each of these invigorating drinks was designed ...

Bottled water: It's naughty, but nice

| May 23, 2008

Bottled water: It's naughty, but nice

I know, I know, bottled water is terribly unethical these days. Pinching a natural, life-sustaining resource and flying it to rich people in faraway lands is a bit naughty, all that packaging is trashing our planet, and our taps dispense safe water for less ...

Japanese malt scotches rivals

| May 23, 2008

Japanese malt scotches rivals

If you know Nikka Whisky only as the producer of the extraordinarily cheap peatless Black that fills the nether regions of Japan’s whisky market, you might be surprised to learn that the company makes around 40 other styles — and one of them has ...

Judgment by mojito-ability

| Apr 25, 2008

Judgment by mojito-ability

Two of Tokyo’s one-time landmarks reopened last month: one literally rising from the rubble, the other sporting a little cosmetic trim. Las Chicas was the first to reappear. The old Chicas had been a fixture on the Aoyama nightlife scene for 20 years. It ...

Vodka: not so plain and simple

| Mar 28, 2008

Vodka: not so plain and simple

Vodka is often described as the world’s most versatile spirit, which is a nice way of saying that it doesn’t taste of much. Globally, it outsells every other spirit, but outside of Eastern Europe, nobody drinks it for its flavor. That’s the argument I ...