Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chuo City, Ginza, 8-chōme−2−１５, MEIKO BLDG., 地下1階
Bar Apollo: Master Mixologist Hidenori Komatsu at WorkApollo Bar, an unassuming basement speakeasy somewhere in Ginza, is known for its Whiskey Highballs. Once we'd settled into the cozy space,Tom Waits playing in the background, that's what we ordered. Bartending is an elevated art in Japan, and often a show is put on for the creation of a new drink. Lights dim, a spotlight appears on the bar and the hands of the bartender, and the spectacle begins. You come for the performance as much as for your cocktail.
A Whiskey Highball consists of Whiskey, Soda, and ice. Ice is where the entertainment starts. Master Komatsu carved rectangular pieces of ice into sparkling diamond shapes before filling the glasses and serving these beautiful, refreshing Highballs to us. This was just the start. To really experience this master at work, we asked for three different cocktails, based on Roku Gin. Mind you, Roku Gin with its complex and slightly bitter taste makes it a challenging mixing gin–so we would've thrown any bartender a bit of a curve ball. Master Komatsu was up to the challenge and presented us with some of the most incredible cocktails I have ever tasted, each an experience in itself. We shared them amongst us, and it is fair to say, every one of our group was blown away.
We had some connoisseurs with us, who had to try the 30 year old Hibiki Whiskey. I only stuck my nose into that one ; )
My warmest thank you – domo arigato gozai masu – to the @SuntoryGlobal team, who went above and beyond, introducing me to Japan's food and drink culture. I'm forever in your debt. #SuntoryTime #SuntoryTimeTour