Nominated for the 2022 James Beard Foundation Beverage with Recipes Award
The first cocktail book from the award-winning mixologist Masahiro Urushido of Katana Kitten in New York City, on the craft of Japanese cocktail making
Katana Kitten, one of the world’s most prominent and acclaimed Japanese-American cocktail bars, was opened in 2018 by highly-respected and award-winning mixologist Masahiro Urushido. It recently earned the #10 spot on The World’s 50 Best Bars list, making it the Best Bar in the U.S. Before Katana Kitten, Urushido honed his craft over several years behind the bar of award-winning eatery Saxon+Parole. In The Japanese Art of the Cocktail, Urushido shares his immense knowledge of Japanese cocktails with eighty recipes that best exemplify Japan’s contribution to the cocktail scene, both from his own bar and from Japanese mixologists worldwide. Urushido delves into what exactly constitutes the Japanese approach to cocktails, and demystifies the techniques that have been handed down over generations, all captured in stunning photography.
About the Author
Born in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture and based in New York City, MASAHIRO URUSHIDO is one of the most recognized and beloved unofficial “ambassadors” of Japanese bartending techniques and drinkways in the US. An ace bartender with twenty years of experience, he is managing partner, head bartender, and director of deliciousness at Katana Kitten, a groundbreaking Japanese-American cocktail bar in New York City’s West Village co-created with Cocktail Kingdom Hospitality Group’s Greg Boehm and James Tune.
Michael Anstendig is editor in chief at Hanna Lee Communications, an award-winning, international hospitality and travel PR agency based in New York City. He is also a freelance writer who has reported for the New York Times, New York Observer, Time Out New York, Nation’s Restaurant News, and others. Michael has reviewed more than 200 restaurants for New York magazine’s website and is a contributor to David Wondrich’s Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. In addition, he co-hosts Hospitality Forward with Hanna Lee, a podcast dedicated to the hospitality and travel industry. Michael is a founding board member of the Museum of Food & Drink (MOFAD).
Like the New York bar he joyfully presides over, Katana Kitten, a drinking den that effortlessly balances high and low aesthetics, Masahiro Urushido embodies both the precise artistry of Japanese bartending and the sunny generosity of pure hospitality. He is, in other words, both the diamond and the shine. You couldn’t hope for a better guide through the intricacies and delights of Japan’s many contributions to artful drinking. — Robert Simonson, The New York Times
Masa says he’s obsessed with serving ‘surprises’ to his guests. That’s certainly my experience at Katana Kitten, where the Hinoki Martini arrives cradled in a wooden box, garnished to the hilt, and misted with a final aromatic spritz. He’s delivered the equivalent with this book: These aren’t standard drinks, but surprises, informed by deep dedication to craft and illuminated by Masa’s crinkly megawatt smile. — Kara Newman, spirits editor for Wine Enthusiast, and author of Cocktails with a Twist
…It’s definitely worth picking up a great cocktail book, like The Japanese Art of the Cocktail, by Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig—the recipes are delicious, and the photography is stunning. — Brian Freedman, Forbes
One of the most celebrated of these drinking establishments is New York’s Katana Kitten, run by Masahiro Urushido. Now, Urushido and veteran writer Michael Anstendig have teamed up for a book, The Japanese Art of the Cocktail that gives you great insight to the country’s singular and detailed approach to cocktail-making. — Charles Passy, Dow Jones’ MarketWatch
The Japanese Art of the Cocktail is more than just a cocktail book...Mixologist Masahiro Urushido’s debut recipe book, co-authored with drinks writer Michael Anstendig, is part cocktail book, part memoir. It tells Urushido’s story while introducing readers to the cocktail recipes he’s created along the way. — Isoke Samuel, Food52
...just having this on your shelf, bar cart, or coffee table will increase your cocktail game exponentially. Y'all spotted it in our list of the best cookbooks of 2021. — Rec Room Staff, VICE
This is the ultimate cocktail book for the man who's ready to take his drinking-making skills from great to sublime—and it's written by the bartender of an Esquire Best Bar winner, Katana Kitten in New York. — Esquire Editors, Esquire
Japan has long been a haven for ultra-precise, artful cocktail making, but don't let that reputation fool you into expecting anything stuffy or staid. Instead, Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig fill this book with as much whimsy and surprise as the lauded NYC bar Urushido helms, Katana Kitten. Perfect for the home mixologist who loves the classics and also craves the chance to express themselves through a glass. — Lauren Hubbard and Sam Dangremond, Town & Country
His book takes you inside a world grounded in the classics, but popping with eye-catching color and intense flavors that borrow from Japanese gardens and forests, as in his bracingly fresh Hinoki Martini, made with a tincture fashioned from cypress tree oil. A chapter on highballs displays a penchant for supercharging populist formulas with seasoned salts, infusions and an engineer’s concern for achieving maximum coldness. — Christopher Ross, PUNCH
Masahiro is the best bartender I know. Scratch that, he’s the best bartender any of us know. Ask any bartender who their favorite is, and Masa’s name will always come up first. Every time I’m fortunate enough to be in his presence, I am constantly taking notes in an attempt to be a better bartender myself. In this book, he generously shares with us a few of the tricks that make him the best of the best. — Jeffrey Morgenthaler, bar manager of Clyde Tavern, co-author of The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique and author of Drinking Distilled
Masa has taken the concept of bartending and elevated it into his own unique art form. You will surely enjoy this unforgettable sensory trip. — Mike Miyamoto, Suntory Whisky Global Brand Ambassador