In Japan's bar culture,the greatest importance is placed on high-quality liquor and ice. Why are Japanese people so insistent on high quality ice? The answwer to this question can be found in Japanese history. Since long ago in Japan, storage areas for ice had been controlled by powerful pepple. During the extremely humid peak pf Japanese summers, natural ice was presented to the Emperor and shoguns. This ice was made during the winter by drawing underground water from the base of mountains into a pool-like enclosure.
The natural water was slowly frozen over a period of 2to3 weeks. The ice was then cut into an appropriate size and stored for a year in caver. In summer, the ice was carried from the mountain villages to the city where the Emperor resided. Ice was not available to normal citizens. Only a handful of the privileged class were able to cool themselves with cold ice during Japan's hot summer. As a result, Japanese people viewed ice as a noble commodity and a symbol of power. This history has been ingerited by today's bar culture.
The aesthetic consciousness of Japanese people contains the philosophy that man-made objects should be created to resemble natural objects. This philosophy pays respect to nature, discards the arrogance of mankind, and states that creation needs to be modest. For example, Japanese gardens and flower arrangement feature designs which are made by people. However, the ultimate goal of such design is to express an appearance which is extremely close to nature. This value of WABI/SABI exists in the spirit of all Japanese people, including the production of whisky. My bartending philosophy is also influenced by WABI/SABI.
Suzuki graduated from the NY International Bartender School and has studied the essence of cocktails at hotels and bars both in Jpan and overseas. He gives cocktail seminars for self-development and is the director of Suzuki Takayuki Bartender School, proposing new lifestyles. He is also a
cocktail designer known as "Mr. Ice Man" for he has shocked the world by using ice balls which express the aesthetics of Japan. Suzuki works to spread Japanese bartending philosophy through seminars in countries across the world incluing the London Bar Show, Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, and Whisky Live in Taipei