The allure begins with the cocktail waitresses, dressed for the occasion in modern-chic Japanese-inspired dresses, while serving four styles of exclusive Japanese whisky for an intimate tableside experience. Ice is front and center: stored in a cedar insulator, waitresses methodically carve ice to ensure a smooth, slow melt, which magnifies the complex aromatics. For non-purists, whiskey cocktails are available upon request.
“When whisky is served in Japan, there is a refined ritual as with all the country’s native treasures,” said Kanat Gurel, Director of Food and Beverage at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. “We are honoring that tradition with a presentation both graceful and enlightening.”
The heritage and tasting notes of Yamazaki, Toki, Hakushu and Hibiki—the liquid gold of Japan known for their lush balance of fruit, spice and smoke—are shared with guests not yet familiar with the nuances. These acclaimed Japanese whiskies, often-aged 12 years or more, are matured in barrels made from mizunara oak, a fine-grained wood that creates a silky texture.
While their on-screen debut arrived in “Lost in Translation” with Bill Murray’s character famously toasting “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time,” Japanese high-end single malts have become a phenomenon ever since, contending with Scotland and America’s deep South.
Similar to the praised sourdough of San Francisco, Japanese owe the multi-layered richness of their product to water, climate and yes, people. The tradition dates back a century to the 1920s, when the trailblazer behind Yamazaki distillery, owned by Suntory, introduced the spirit to the sake-drinking nation. Kanpai!
The Whisky Hour is offered every Friday and Saturday from 7-9 p.m.
Visit website: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/miami/south-beach