Join Sake Gumi

Genshu Cocktails: Rob Roy + Bamboo

When Yoko told me that this month's Sake Gumi theme was genshu sakes, I was so excited. This was a prime opportunity to develop some new cocktails! Since genshu sakes are tank strength, they have not been diluted (most sakes are diluted with water to bring down the ABV) –...

Happy Hour

Happy Hour: The Mother-In-Law Cocktail

I found this cocktail inside Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails book that we carry at Umami Mart. Aptly named the Mother-In-Law cocktail, it is indeed a stiff enough drink to prepare you for a visit with the in-laws. There's nothing...

Bar Owl in Niigata City

When we mentioned to Mr. Akio Watanabe, owner of Bar EST! in Tokyo that we were heading to Niigata, he recommended that we visit Bar Owl. It was one of those things that we told him we would do but Yoko and I didn't actually...

Postcard

Postcard from Shanghai: Speakeasy Secret

*Yoko is in China for 10 days! And with no access to Facebook or Instagram, she is sending us photos the old school way — via postcards. We’ll be featuring these snapshots from Yoko in Chengdu and Shanghai all week here on the blog. Enjoy!...

Akio Watanabe of Bar EST! (Tokyo)

Looking back on our trip to Japan in February, the most memorable cocktail was at Bar EST!. A short distance from the Yushima train station in Tokyo, EST! is a dark, tavernous space filled with men drinking a scotch on the rocks and smoking cigarettes.

Meet Louis Anderman of Miracle Mile Bitters Co.

Louis Anderman is a scientist. Born from a true passion for bitters, Miracle Mile Bitters Co. started out as a hobby (just like us!), as Louis concocted potions from days of yore, right in his kitchen. Miracle Mile now leads the west coast bitters revolution...

Meet Masako Ikegami of Bar Shake (Ginza)

We met the gracious Masako Ikegami in 2010, before we opened our shop in Oakland, at the Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon we helped host at Prizefighter. A few bartenders from Japan who had won the coveted Suntory Cocktail Award, presented cocktails and exchanged tricks of...