America’s Japanese Bar Boom Is Here

America’s Japanese Bar Boom Is Here

America’s Japanese bar boom is here, and it’s here to stay.

Japan is one of the world’s great drinking destinations, boasting a long history of impeccable sakes and whiskeys and an incredibly diverse bar culture, including Tokyo’s Ginza bars. These hidden cocktail temples pioneered techniques of hand-cut ice and were among the first to treat the simple act of mixing drinks with the dignity of a sacred tea ceremony.

It was also their influence that spurred much of the American mixology renaissance in the 2000s. Today, nearly every major U.S. city has a Ginza-inspired cocktail bar. And a new wave of Japanese-American outposts is loosening things up a bit, drawing on a broader range of influences from the island nation.

“The settings are more care-free,” says Masahiro Urushido of New York’s Katana Kitten. “No pretensions. You don’t need … Read the rest