It’s 8 p.m. on a Friday night, and Keith Motsi is working the room at Bar Virtu in the Otemachi branch of Tokyo’s Four Seasons. Sporting his signature Campari-red jacket, the new head bartender stops by each table to flash a kilowatt smile and banter with guests.

“I only drink on days that end with ‘y,’” he quips, eliciting a roar of laughter from the customers. “You see, I don’t actually work here; it’s just my hobby.”

Born in Zimbabwe and raised in Britain, Motsi got his start working part-time at a bar in Yorkshire when he was a high school student. There, he fell in love with the bar’s atmosphere of bonhomie and was drawn to the world of cocktails. Later, a visit to London and its flourishing bar scene showed him that he could spin his hobby into a sustainable occupation. After honing his skills in Leeds, he landed a job at London’s swanky, members-only Soho House, where he mixed espresso martinis and Negronis for Tom Cruise, Stephen Fry, Jude Law and other celebrity clientele