Nikka Whisky is bringing award-winning Japanese bartender Hiroyasu Kayama to Australia for a series of special events over the coming days.
Kayama, who was recently named in the Drink International Bar World 100, is from Tokyo’s Bar Benfiddich, and his unique approach to cocktails has earned the bar a place on the World’s 50 Best Bars List, placing number 49 in 2018.
On Saturday 14 September, Kayama will take part in a foraging session with the Nikka Whisky team in Melbourne where they will source ingredients specific to Victoria and the winter climate.
Following the foraging session on Sunday 15th September, Kayama will host an exclusive bar takeover over three sessions at Above Board in Collingwood. Kayama will guide guests through a cocktail experience, showcasing a selection of Nikka whiskies, all carefully paired by him in a series of complex and fascinating flavour combinations some of which will use the ingredients foraged the day before.
Moving to Sydney on Monday 16 September Kayama will host a cocktail flighting experience at Maybe Sammy with tickets and a limited number of walk-in spots available.
Then on Tuesday 17 September Kayama will host his ‘kochuchomi’ masterclass for a special selection of attendees.
The guided masterclass will involve using a selection of Nikka whiskies that will be carefully and consciously paired with different flavours intended to create quasi-cocktail-in-your-mouth, a process known as ‘kochuchomi’ in Japan. Kayama will highlight how he “sees flavour and integrates flavour” into the cocktails.
The concept of ‘kochuchomi’ is a Japanese dining tradition that traditionally takes place with rice and a selection of side dishes. Kayama has selected to use this traditional technique because the concept of building on flavours works very well with cocktails.