The Travelling Cocktail Drinker: The Best Bars in Tokyo

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With the Rugby World Cup due to kick off in Japan later this week, it seems only fitting that our next cocktail drinking destination is Tokyo, the capital city famous for very tall buildings and really tiny electronics. While Japan might not seem like a typical place to sip on a mixed beverage, it is the home of Sake, an alcoholic rice wine that offers many health benefits alongside its delicious taste. The Japanese absolutely know how to create a good cocktail and here are some of our favourite bars in Tokyo.

Another8, Yokokawa Bldg

Our first bar is dedicated to the finest alcoholic beverages that Japan can produce, with eight
beer taps churning out different varieties of Japanese beer and Sake brewed on
site. The vibe is relaxed, yet elegant, while the food menu offers plenty to
help soak up the drink.

The Open Book, Golden Gai 5-Ban Gai

If you are the kind of person who likes to indulge in a good book when you are sampling the local delicacies, The Open Book might well be the venue for you. Step through the rather low doorway and you will be greeted with rows and rows of books. Head to the bar and you will find a menu filled with a variety of sour cocktails. If you only have time for one drink, try the Lemon Paradise – the bar’s signature beverage.

Bar Trench, 1-5-8 Ebisunishi

The bartenders at Bar Trench really know their stuff, mixing up custom cocktails based on the tastes
of each visitor. They also love to throw in a little Asian healing, offering a
cocktail that is intended to revive the mind and body after a long, hard day at
work. The bar is small and becomes very crowded in the evenings, so it is
recommended you arrive early in order to get the most from your visit.

Gen Yamamoto, 1-6-4 Azabu-Juba

If you have the time to spend at Gen Yamamoto, then make sure to order the cocktail tasting menu. A real treat for those who know their cocktails, barflies are served a number of miniature cocktails, all delicately
created and artfully mixed. None are particularly strong in terms of the
alcohol content – the focus is on the flavours and the result is delightful.

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Ben Fiddich,
1-13-7 Nishishinjuku

There is no such thing as a boring spirit at Ben Fiddich, as each and every liqueur is
upgraded with the use of fresh botanicals grown on-site. Before the mixing of
the cocktails is even discussed, ingredients are smoked and infused to create
magical tastes. Instead of a menu, each drink is a bespoke offering, created
based on the likes of the guest.

There is so much to see and do in the lively city of Tokyo, but if you do get a chance to stop
and enjoy a cocktail, any of the above would not disappoint.


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Bartender's top tip

Understanding and mastering the classic cocktails provides a solid foundation for your mixology skills. Classics like the Martini, Old Fashioned, Margarita, and Daiquiri have stood the test of time for a reason. Once you know these staples, you can start tweaking them to your taste or using them as a base for more creative explorations.

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