How to drink whisky, Japan-style


How to drink whisky, Japan-style

The favourite way to mix whisky in Japan is in the Mizu-wari, which means whisky and water. Simple, right? As master Japanese bartender Hidetsugo Ueno has told Bartender before, you “simply add one and a half times more water than whisky and serve in a tumbler with ice — the Whisky Highball is also popular.” He explained that generally, the Japanese don’t enjoy high proof spirits, but you’ll see it on a hand-carved ice sphere as well.

But which whisky to drink? We’ve got four top Japanese drops to get you started…

Four top Japanese whiskies


Yamazaki 12 Years Old


Pours gold, giving aromas of persimmon, honey, clove, candied orange, peach and vanilla. The palate has notes of spiced wood, coconut, cranberry and butter and finished with a long, sweet, oaky finish. Perfect for the Whisky Highball. Suntory

The Hakushu 12 Years Old

Pouring a pure gold in the glass, it has a nose of fresh green leaves, green apple, pear and a soft smoke. The crisp palate sees sweet pear, butter cookie characters leading to a dry, pleasantly smoked finish. Ideal for Mizu-wari. Suntory

Hibiki 17 Years Old

A shiny amber colour, citrus, rose, peach and melon aromas lift from the glass. The palate has caramel, a hint of butter, oak and vanilla flavours, which leads to a sweet, elegant, fruity, sour citrus finish. Best savoured neat or on ice. Suntory

Taketsuru 12 Years Old

This pure malt whisky is characterised by a deep and flavourful richness and excellent balance unique to whisky matured for 12 years. Asahi Premium Beverages

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