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Home-Bartending 101: The 5 Spirits You Need to Build Your Bar

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There’s never been a better time to learn how to make cocktails on your own, and if you need to start building your home bar supply, there’s no better place to start than Japanese spirits, which offer a high level of craftsmanship at a reasonable price. Here are five of our favorite spirits from across the Pacific.

Roku Gin

Price: $29.99  |  Size: 750 mL  |  Code: 98412

Crafted by Japanese artisans with meticulous attention to detail, Roku is the perfect balance of flavors. In Japanese, Roku translates as “six”. Roku follows the concept of shun—the tradition of enjoying every food and drink in its proper season, only when those foods are at the peak of their flavors. Inside every bottle of Roku are six very special botanicals sourced in Japan. Each of the Japanese botanicals are harvested in their ideal season and from the best growing areas in Japan to ensure the utmost freshness and flavor. The six Japanese botanicals are combined with eight traditional gin botanicals for an authentic gin taste.

Roku Sonic


1 oz Roku Gin

1 ½ oz chilled premium tonic water

1 ½ oz chilled premium soda water

1 lemon peel


1. Fill a highball glass to the brim with ice.

2. Add Roku and tonic water. Top with
chilled premium soda water.

3. Stir and garnish with lemon peel.

Haku Japanese Vodka

Price: $29.99  |  Size: 750 mL  |  Code: 98106

The name Haku means “white” in Japanese and refers to the Japanese white rice that is the origin of the liquid. Moreover, it can also be read as “brilliant,” a tribute to the craft of mastering a clear, clean and luminous vodka. Haku is made with 100 percent Japanese white rice in three distinct steps in the distillation process: First, Japanese rice is fermented and distilled through a pot still to create a rice spirit. Then, the rice spirit is distilled a second time through two different processes in a pot still and column still. Finally, the liquid is blended and then filtered through bamboo charcoal. The resulting taste profile is clean, soft and smooth with a sweet rice flavor.



1 oz Haku Japanese Vodka

3 oz soda water

1 lemon peel 


1. Fill a highball glass to
the brim with ice.

2. Add Haku and top with
chilled soda water; stir.

3. Garnish with
lemon peel.

Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky

Price: $32.99  |  Size: 750 mL  |  Code: 1330

Suntory Whisky Toki features the quintessential characteristics of a Suntory blend: exquisite balance, harmony and oneness. The selection of Hakushu Distillery American white oak cask malt whisky and Chita Distillery heavy-type grain whisky as the blend’s two pillars overturns the old relationship between malt and grain and creates a blend that is both groundbreaking and timeless. Overseen by third-generation master blender and great-grandson of the founder, Shingo Torii, and developed by fourth chief blender Shinji Fukuyo.

Toki Highball


1 oz Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky

3 oz chilled premium soda water

1 grapefruit peel 


1. Add first ingredient into a highball glass
filled with ice.

2. Top with club soda; stir.

3. Garnish with grapefruit peel.

Hibiki Suntory Harmony Blended Whisky

Price: $84.99  |  Size: 750 mL  |  Code: 49006

Hibiki Japanese Harmony encapsulates the harmony that exists between Japanese nature and people. Inspired by the riches and subtleties of Japan’s 24 seasons and mastered by Suntory’s Art of Blending, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a meticulous blend of the finest select whiskies from the House of Suntory Whisky. It’s a symphony of at least 10 malt and grain whiskies, aged in five different types of casks, from Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries. This delicate blend creates a oneness unfolding a full orchestra of flavors and aromas.

Serve neat or over a large ice cube.

The Yamazaki Single Malt Japanese Whisky 12 Year Old

Price: $124.99  |  Size: 750 mL  |  Code: 30981

Spiritual and deep, it’s made at Yamazaki Distillery, the soul-place of Japanese whisky. Peach, pineapple, grapefruit, clove, candied orange, vanilla, and Mizunara (Japanese oak) on the nose. Coconut, cranberry and butter on the palate, with sweet ginger and cinnamon on the long finish.

Serve neat or over a large ice cube.