Translated by Andrew J Tinkler
Ginza's SAKE HALL HIBIYA BAR - Try The World's Only Sake Cocktails
If you're talking about Japanese alcohol, you need to talk about sake. This time we will introduce the second stop at Ginza's pub crawl, the world's first shop specializing in sake cocktails, SAKE HALL HIBIYA BAR.
Written by yohei matsui
If you’re talking about a Japanese alcohol that is famous world-wide, you must be talking about Japanese Sake, the rice based drink. Recently, the unique sweetness and mild flavor of sake has become quite famous, and has been receiving attention from people all over the world.
In Ginza, you’ll find a store which teaches all about the greatness of sake. This time we will take you to SAKE HALL HIBIYA BAR, the world’s first store that specializes in sake cocktails.
The Sake Cocktail Store Established by 7 Different Sake Breweries
The truth is, the popularity of Japanese sake in Japan dwindled in the early 2000’s, causing the number of sake producers to fall as well. Amidst these circumstances, the ones who decided to try a new approach to spreading sake culture around the world were those at SAKE HALL HIBIYA BAR.
Without compromising the integrity of the sake while still making drinks that are easy to drink for all, they devised the idea to offer sake in the form of cocktails.
There are a number of private rooms in the store, each named for a different brewery.
Here we have the Tsukasabotan room. Tsukasabotan is a brewery with over 400 years of history in Kochi prefecture. The inside of the room is decorated with pictures of the creator and sake bottles. The room is fit for 6-14 customers.
The store gives off a calm, chic atmosphere. There are a number of seats outside the private rooms as well where you can kick back and enjoy your meal.
What Do the Cocktails Taste Like?
I received permission from the bartender to take photos of the cocktails. I ordered an Oriental Sunrise with sake foam for 745 yen.
Using the sake as a base, they add orange juice and raspberry liqueur.
Lastly, they add on the sake foam and the Oriental Sunrise is completed. The mixture of red, orange and white makes for a beautiful cocktail.
Two Easy to Drink Sake Cocktails
One is the Oriental Sunrise, which we just introduced. At first sip, you’ll be able to experience the wonderful aroma and sweetness of the unique sake.
Next is the most standard sake cocktail, the Sakenic, priced at 723 yen.
These two different sakes are used to make this cocktail. The Motozake is a sake specially created to be used in cocktails. With its refreshing taste, it is perfect for those who’ve never tried sake before.
The Store’s Pride and Joy - Shiokojikojoyaki
Shiokojikojo is a three item combination dish seasoned with sake kasu (sake lees) priced at 1296 yen. Sake kasu is the sap or juice of the rice that is produced when making sake. If you grill meat marinated in this sake kasu, it becomes quite tender. The three items included in the dish are pork, chicken and squid.
The more you bite into this perfectly cooked meat, the more you’ll be able to taste its deliciousness.
In the sake kasu, the proteins are broken down, creating amino acids which have the power to bring out the latent deliciousness of the meat. Since it is made by using the same raw materials as the cocktails, their compatibility is exceptional.
At SAKE HALL HIBIYA BAR, where they offer a new way to drink Japanese sake, they are trying to create the chance for people from all over the world to get in touch with the attraction of sake and this new way of enjoying it.
At the store, you’ll not only be able to drink these new sake cocktails but also sake from all over Japan. So how about coming to visit this elegant space to enjoy sake, sake cocktails and cuisine made with sake kasu?
SAKE HALL HIBIYA BAR
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza 5-6-12 – Miyuki Building B1
Closed: Open year-round
Credit Cards: Available (VISA、MASTER、JCB、AMEX、Diners)
Nearest Station: Tokyo Metro’s Ginza Station
Access: 2 minute walk from B3 Exit of Ginza Station
Price Range: 3000-6000 yen
Website: SAKE HALL HIBIYA BAR