Shortlisted in the Time Out Love Tokyo Awards 2017
Run by Yuki Umemoto, this Kita-Senju bar gets its epithet from a Scottish liqueur that’s made from a whisky blend, honey, herbs and spices. That label itself combines the words dram (to drink) and buidheach (satisfaction or gratitude) – fittingly enough, as the owner says his calling is to satisfy the hearts and minds of his customers with fine drinks.
After honing his craft at bars up in Utsunomiya, known in some circles as a veritable cocktail town, Umemoto broke out on his own and set up shop in September 2010. When visiting, your eyes will inevitably be drawn to his handsome 6.5m bubinga counter. In fact, it was the availability of this Cameroonian wood that eventually convinced the good bartender to open Drambuie – even the sign outside is made of the same material.
And the attention to detail doesn’t end there: the heavy Chesterfield sofas are a particular highlight, while Umemoto’s trove of Baccarat ware and other antique glasses took 20 years to collect. Even the lamps at the entrance and in the back are Baccarat-made. With the appetiser selection extending to Casalba jamón Ibérico de Bellota aged for 48 months and cheese from French master Hervé Mons, you’ll have a hard time finding anything wrong with this gem up north.