Built with the hospitality community in mind, the DOJO programme will immerse bartenders in the art of Japanese bartending through culturally immersive and educational sessions
London, 5th May 2022 – The House of Suntory has announced the return of its highly successful advocacy programme for the third year running, set to educate bartenders on their premium portfolio of Japanese premium sprits: Roku gin, Haku vodka and Toki and Hibiki whiskies. Kicking off in June 2022, the DOJO programme aims to deepen bartenders’ understanding of the philosophies behind the art of Japanese bartending.
The DOJO Academy and DOJO Senpai together form the full programme for DOJO this year. The DOJO Academy will provide 50 bartenders with insights from Japanese Craft Masters which can be applied to strengthen any hospitality career. Authentic Japanese Masters of Craft will host four modules over two “Monozukuri Masterclasses” in July and September, led by James Bowker, House of Suntory’s Brand Ambassador, which will immerse bartenders the craftsmanship, techniques and culture of bartending in Japan.
James and the Masters will also offer 25 bartenders a unique opportunity to take part in the DOJO Senpai program. This separate, elevated program provides bartenders with growth and development opportunities across a six-month period. A Senpai welcome lunch will be held in May 2022 to introduce the program and the House of Suntory spirits portfolio before a series of “Monozukuri Masterclasse”s which will run from June until September.
Each masterclass will take place at Japan House in London and the bespoke Japanese inspired sessions will be centred around the three pillars of House of Suntory: WA (being in harmony with Japanese nature), Monozukuri (traditional Japanese principles of craftsmanship) and Omotenashi (authentic Japanese hospitality). The “Monozukuri Masterclasses” will focus on:
Additionally, inspired by the concept of Kaizen – “continual improvement” – participants will apply this concept via Kaizen Challenges over the duration of the summer. This will involve participants showcasing their newfound skills and applying them to a classic cocktail, selected prior to the first masterclass.
As part of this challenge, those who demonstrate the art of refinement and continuous improvement during the masterclasses will be invited to the DOJO Finale, taking place in November. The finale will bring together finalists from the DOJO Academy and DOJO Senpai programmes to take part in one last competition, hosted by James Bowker and famed Bar Master Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five in Tokyo. At the end of the Masterclass, the group will present their Kaizen Classic to Hidetsugu Ueno, James Bowker and peers, with two lucky bartenders winning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan.
Throughout the year there will also be several Japanese inspired DOJO mini events held in different London locations, including Japanese tea tasting and a Kanpai sake brewery tour.
Commenting on the return of DOJO for the third year running, James Bowker, Brand Ambassador for the House of Suntory, said: “We’re extremely delighted to bring back DOJO for a third year, and this time, we’re back in person after two years of virtual sessions. Japanese food and drink remain the UK’s fastest growing sector in hospitality (CGA Report 2021) and following a challenging period in our industry, the programme aims to motivate bartenders through incomparable experiences and authentic Japanese bar training.
Those taking part will develop new ways to bring creativity to the art of Japanese bartending and gain unique insights into creating better guest experiences. I am really looking forward to welcoming the future DOJO ambassadors to our close-knit, yet growing community.”
For more information on DOJO, please visit www.suntorydojo.com
Since its arrival on Netflix a couple of weeks ago, The Queen’s Gambit has attracted a staggering 62 million viewers worldwide.
If you’ve seen it, or even heard about it, you’ll know that The Gibson cocktail is featured throughout, and now its inspiring people to make their own version of the classic at home.
Made using Gin, vermouth, and fresh ginger with a pickled onion garnish, it’s an interesting and delicious take on its cousin, the ubiquitous Martini. Now, James Bowker, House of Suntory Brand Ambassador, has released a recipe for people to try themselves, using Japanese gin, Roku.
Indeed, with more people than ever drinking cocktails at home (according to CGA, 50% of cocktail drinkers now make serves themselves at home, up significantly from 37% pre COVID), sales of spirits are booming. With us 6 weeks into the Christmas trading period, Roku gin has seen sales grow an incredible +69% YoY.
The Roku Gibson:
50ml Roku Gin
10ml Dry Vermouth
1 Slice Fresh Ginger
1 Drop Sushi Vinegar
Martini / Cocktail Glass
Roku is available to purchase Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose.
Monday 19th October 2020: Waitrose is introducing a new interactive service with its exclusive ‘Cocktails at Home’ Experiences Boxes, in partnership with John Lewis and premium craft spirits brand, The House of Suntory.
The two limited edition boxes, which launch on the 21st October, include the key ingredients and kit to make either gin cocktails with a bottle of Roku gin, or whisky cocktails with Toki whisky.
The kit includes two John Lewis high ball glasses, cocktail spoon, jigger and a booklet containing two cocktail recipes and a range of garnishes. Inside each box is an invitation to an online masterclass with a Waitrose drinks specialist, where the recipient can find out more about their chosen spirit and learn to mix House of Suntory cocktails like a pro.
The House of Suntory in Osaka, Japan, has a long history in crafting exceptional quality premium spirits, carefully crafted by Japanese artisans with skilful precision and meticulous attention to detail in creating the perfect balance of flavours in harmony with nature.
The boxes are part of the extensive programme of virtual events hosted by John Lewis and Waitrose experts, including online wine tastings, cookery school classes, personal shopping and home styling. They have proved incredibly popular during lockdown; our experts have hosted over 583 virtual experiences and customers have bought over 23,000 tickets to online events.
Andrew Riding, Waitrose Drinks Experience Manager says: ‘Gin and whisky are the two biggest spirit categories at Waitrose – gin is still our customers’ number one spirit and imported whisky is in strong growth, with sales up 50% year on year. We love sharing our knowledge and experience with customers, and cocktails are the perfect online masterclass as everyone can deepen their understanding of their favourite spirit from the comfort of their own home.’
Shelley Maddock, Brand Manager for The House of Suntory, says: ‘We’re thrilled to be bringing this unique at-home mixology experience to Waitrose customers with our range of premium Japanese craft spirits. Both Roku gin and Toki whisky have perfectly balanced and refined flavours which make them an ideal choice for enjoying in cocktails. We also look forward to seeing customers perfect their cocktail-making craft in the series of online masterclasses, and enjoying a taste of Japan in the process’.
The Experience Box: Gin Cocktails at Home (£69)
The Suntory Roku gin is made with six Japanese botanicals, each one harvested at the peak of its season to capture the best flavour. The result is a gin with the essence of Japan: floral and sweet on the nose, smooth and silky to taste, with citrusy top n es and a spicy finish.
Ingredients included: Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Pink Peppercorns, Yuzu Juice and Dried Rose Petals, San Leo Prosecco, FeverTree Tonic Water, Boudoir Cherry Brandy and Bonne Maman Honey.
Cocktail recipes: Roku Spritz – an elegantly effervescent gin serve with a subtler and more floral bitterness than traditional spritzes
Roku 75 – a delightfully refreshing yet sweet serve, complete with a teaspoon of honey and a touch of cherry brandy, topped with Prosecco
The Experience Box: Whisky Cocktails at Home (£69)
Made by Japan’s renowned Suntory distillery, Toki whisky brings together old and new – traditionally crafted, but with grain whisky lifted from its usual supporting role to create perfect balance and harmony. The result is silky-smooth and exquisitely refined, with a subtle sweet and spicy finish. Cocktail recipes:
Toki Highball – the most popular drink in Japan, outselling beer, this serve brings the bright orchard flavours of Toki to the forefront
Toki Old Fashioned – a classic whisky serve with the addition of yuzu juice and honey, finished off with a dark chocolate garnish for added indulgence
Ingredients included: Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Yuzu Juice and Dried Lime Leaves, Waitrose No1. Single Origin Spiced Orange Dark Chocolate, FeverTree Ginger Ale, Angostura Bitters, Bonne Maman Honey
The House of Suntory and Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch have announced their partnership this springtime to celebrate the annual bloom of the Japanese Cherry Blossom, or Sakura, transforming the bar terrace into a tranquil city escape.
Launching on Friday 5th April, Hanami will showcase contemporary Japanese craftsmanship with a menu of exclusive cocktails, bespoke dishes and Afternoon Tea.
Inspired by the ancient practice of dining beneath the blossoming Sakura, Hanami will bring together the two globally recognised luxury brands in celebration of the artistry of modern Japan at the heart of both companies. Hanami will bring the spirit of this tradition to London, inviting guests to step through London’s newest Nobu restaurant into an oasis of calm inspired by Sakura’s distinctive pink foliage, with aromatic scent diffusers adding to the sensory experience.
The bar team at Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch, led by Beverage Manager Wilfried Rique, have worked closely with The House of Suntory to create an exciting original menu inspired by their unique range of premium Japanese Craft Spirits –Toki and Chita Whisky, Roku Gin and the newly-launched Haku Vodka.
Created from Japanese ingredients by the master artisans at the House of Suntory, the range of premium liquids embody Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii’s philosophy of monozukuri craftsmanship: a relentless pursuit of perfection, meticulous attention to detail and commitment to quality.
Showcasing a creative range of Japanese ingredients, teas and housemade infusions, the menu of seven bespoke cocktails will draw on a range of inspirations and is split into two sections: JAPANESE”MATIC” and HIGHBALLS.
The menu at Hanami will offer a selection of distinctive new dishes inspired by the creativity and vibrancy of the local area, alongside Nobu-Style bar snacks and world class sushi.
As part of The House of Suntory’s ongoing partnership with the renowned Japanese ink painting artist, OhGushi will be creating a bespoke art installation exclusively for the partnership. OhGushi will work with ink and water to create a free-hand design inspired by the elegance of Roku Gin and the urban landscape of Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch’s surroundings. The piece will be on display throughout April and May.
Nick Temperley, GM at Edrington-Beam Suntory, says “The House of Suntory is proud to partner with Nobu London to showcase the best of our Japanese Craft Spirits portfolio. We hope that customers will love the new cocktail menu created by The House of Suntory and the talented Wilfried Rique at Nobu. We also look forward to welcoming OhGushi to London for the partnership to capture our premium gin, Roku, and the spirit of Sakura season with his skilled and unique artistry”.
The House of Suntory presents Hanami at Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch will open to the public on Friday 5th April until Sunday 2nd June
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