16th Annual Yokohama Cocktail Cruise

16th Annual Yokohama Cocktail Cruise

On September 11, 2016, I went down to Yokohama to once again enjoy the Cocktail Cruise. Now in its sixteenth year, the Cocktail Cruise is always great way to get a sampling of what Yokohama has to offer from local bars. Read on to hear more about this year's event!

Yokohama has a long history with cocktails. In fact Yokohama is home to Japan's very first Western-style bar -- at the Yokohama Hotel, which opened in Yokohama's "Foreigner District" on February 24, 1860. Obviously in 1860 they wouldn't be serving anything like the cocktails we get these days. But why Yokohama? Commodore Perry arrived just south of Yokohama in 1853 demanded that Japan open ports up for commerce. The Tokugawa shogun ended up agreeing to open Yokohama for commerce: Perry was pretty convincing. The Port of Yokohama opened in 1859, meaning there was less than a year between when the port opened and when these foreigners were able to drink in an actual bar. The bar was influential; within a couple decades, Yokohama was home to Japan's first beer brewery, Japan's first ice maker, and where imports of gin, whiskey, other spirits, and wine also began. These days this particular area of Yokohama (today called Motomachi) is home to several bars just oozing history.

Getting to the Cocktail Cruise. This year the Cocktail Cruise featured signature cocktails from 16 different bars throughout Yokohama or nearby:

At 13,500 yen per person the Cocktail Cruise doesn't come cheap. However considering there's a full Chinese dinner buffet (Yokohama is also famous for its Chinatown) and the cocktail samples are unlimited, you're pretty much guaranteed to have a great time for that price. If you were to actually go to each of the above bars and order these drinks you'd probably be paying at least double that, not to mention the hassle of getting there.

 

boarding boat
Boarding the vessel. Normally Royal Wing just does dinner cruises.

The setup of the Cocktail Cruise is fairly simple. You're free to roam around any of the decks. On each deck you'll find bartender stations where one of the sixteen bars are represented. Grab a cocktail and enjoy!

Reso Terrace
Yeahman's Reso Terrace bar booth
Recipe for Yeahman's Terrace "Amber Season" frozen cocktail: -10ml Nikka Dompierre VSOP -20ml Yomeishu Amber Ginger liqueur -10ml Monin Apple Pie syrup -1/8th of an apple -pinch of chia seeds -pinch of cinnamon powder
Recipe for Yeahman's Terrace "Amber Season" frozen cocktail, probably my favorite of the night:
-10ml Nikka Dompierre VSOP
-20ml Yomeishu Amber Ginger liqueur
-10ml Monin Apple Pie syrup
-1/8th of an apple
-pinch of chia seeds
-pinch of cinnamon powder

The cruise leaves and returns from Yokohama's Osanbashi, and was roughly 3 hours long.

Getting molecular
Getting molecular. Molecular cocktails never really caught in Japan.
This one features Darjeeling tea foam! Recipe for Newjack's "Beyond" cocktail: -28ml Bushmills -20ml Fanchon tea liqueur -10ml fresh lemon juice -7.5ml Monin Pear syrup -2 dashes Newjack house bitters -Darjeeling tea foam head
This one features Darjeeling tea foam! Recipe for Newjack's "Beyond" cocktail:
-28ml Bushmills
-20ml Fanchon Tea liqueur
-10ml fresh lemon juice
-7.5ml Monin Pear syrup
-2 dashes Newjack house bitters
-Darjeeling tea foam head
"Twilight" by ZET the bar & grill: -20ml Viru Valge Classic -15ml Marie Brizard Watermelon liqueur -15ml Marie Brizard Mango liqueur -1tsp Calpis -Top off with Del Monte Cranberry juice
"Twilight" by ZET the bar & grill:
-20ml Viru Valge Classic
-15ml Marie Brizard Watermelon liqueur
-15ml Marie Brizard Mango liqueur
-1tsp Calpis
-Top off with Del Monte Cranberry juice
D.jr's "Artemis" cocktail: -20ml Viru Vilge Classic -15ml Marie Brizard Peach liqueur -15ml fresh grapefruit juice -10ml Monin Blue Curacao syrup
D.jr's "Artemis" cocktail:
-20ml Viru Vilge Classic
-15ml Marie Brizard Peach liqueur
-15ml fresh grapefruit juice
-10ml Monin Blue Curacao syrup

As the night goes on, like any drinking event in Japan, you're likely to make a lot of new friends very quickly.

Plenty of room to mill around. Seating in other rooms that were open for the event.
Plenty of room to mill around. Seating in other rooms that were open for the event.

 

"Venus" by Bar Aquarium: -20ml Appleton White -15ml Bols Mango liqueur -25ml Monin Passion Fruit Mix -Orange juice to taste
"Venus" by Bar Aquarium:
-20ml Appleton White
-15ml Bols Mango liqueur
-25ml Monin Passion Fruit Mix
-Orange juice to taste

 

Bar Norge's "Yokohama Soul" -20ml Viru Vilge Cherry -20ml Marie Brizard Charleston Blue -10ml lime juice -5ml Marie Brizard Coconut liqueur -5ml Monin Vanilla syrup
Bar Norge's "Yokohama Soul"
-20ml Viru Vilge Cherry
-20ml Marie Brizard Charleston Blue
-10ml lime juice
-5ml Marie Brizard Coconut liqueur
-5ml Monin Vanilla syrup

For some other recipes see the full list! Hope to see you there next year.



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