Japanese cocktails workshop at Pantechnicon

What do you know about traditional Japanese spirits and Japanese cocktails?

By Anna Purpurpurpur

Japanese cocktails at the Pantechnicon, a five storey shop, restaurants and cafe area that opened not that long ago in Belgravia, London^ what can be better? By the way, you’ve probably already seen my photos from the Kitsune Cafe and the Roof terrace that are situated there.

Now I’m happy to share my coverage from the Japanese workshop in anticipation of the London Craft Week where I was lucky to be invited to! The spirits we leant about during this workshop from the left to the right are: Ryukyu Ocha by Taragawa; Long matured Kusu Kuon 10-year-old blend by Taragawa; Ryukyu Bijin by Helios; Kura 3-year-old Kusu by Helios.

Japanese cocktail with Awamori

First spirit to learn about was Awamori, the oldest spirit of Japan originating in the Okinawa islands. It’s made with Indica, long grain rice, and black koji mold, unique to Okinawa, and this method of fermentation is believed to be five centuries old!

Awamori can be stored for a long period of time allowing the spirit to mature. Once Awamori is three years old or older, it’s called ‘kusu’, or literary ‘old spirit’ in Japanese. Are you tempted to give it a try now? You can purchase the awamori exclusively at the Pantechnicon: Ryukyu Bijin by Helios and Kura 3-year-old kusu by Helios (both £25). Our cocktail with awamori was Marimo Cocktail. See its recipe below!

Marimo Cocktail
  • 40ml Snap Pea awamori infusion
  • 20ml Mancino Sakura Vermouth
  • 20ml Campari

Japanese cocktail with Shochu

Shochu is a Japanese distillate which usually contains about 25% of alcohol so it’s stronger than rice alcoholic beverage sake. It can be distilled from almost everything: rice, barley, chestnuts, sweet potatoes. We tried kokuto Shochu: kokuto is often translated as brown sugar in English but it’s quite a different thing. It’s a dark sugar that is considered more healthy. But the imo Shochu – from the sweet potatoes – can be used as well!

Pomegranate cooler cocktail
  • 40ml Nagakumo kokuto shochu
  • 10ml Merlet Triple Sec
  • 30ml Cold press pomegranate juice
  • 5ml Lemon juice
  • 5ml Sugar syrup

SGHR Sugahara

Suhagara is a glassware company founded in 1932 in Tokyo with a mission to capture the beauty of glass. We were lucky to observe the exclusive vases, chopstick stands, sake glasses sets, plates, etc. Every item of their collections is made by hand!

You can purchase the glassware from SGHR Sugahara glass in Pantechnicon store and in its online shop. They also created matte thin black glass that looks absolutely incredible. Can you imagine that this is a glass?

Suhagara has provided us with two glasses for the workshop: Kudamono glass shaped as a fruit and Cocktail glass that looks like chopped ice. They accompanied the cocktails perfectly!

I wanted to add a special thank you to Kylie, the head of Japanese experiences of Pantechnicon,
for providing me with extra information on the issue.

Hope you enjoyed my blog,




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