Opened in July 2013, Bar Ben Fiddich in Shinjuku, ranked 21 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars, is helmed by absinthe specialist, Hiroyasu Kayama. It is stocked with his vast collection of bottles (some approaching 100 years old), including homemade chartreuse and absinthe. The bitter liqueur is served from a traditional absinthe fountain, which is little more than a glass globe of cold water on a narrow metal stand, releasing a steady drip that allows for precise dilution of each drink.
Hiroyasu Kayama’s atypical tools include the mortar and pestle and his ingredients span the gamut from nature’s best botanicals to a 20-litre tank of pressurised gas. His dream is to open an absinthe distillery in Japan, but for now, he’s making do with a counter-top still and jars of home-grown wormwood, angelica, anise and fennel. He also makes his own quasi Campari, coloured the old-fashioned way with the blood of crushed bugs. Kayama also has his own farm for herbs for his cocktail making.
MEET THE BARTENDERS
HEAD BARTENDER AND OWNER OF BAR BENFIDDICH