Winner of Time Out Hong Kong’s Best Bartender Award 2018, Antonio Lai is also the pioneer of the Multisensory Mixology (MM) concept — a drinking experience that engages all five senses through innovative and highly technical cocktails. Based in Hong Kong, Lai is the founder of the world’s first multisensory bar, Quinary, but his reputation is so internationally renowned that he is frequently invited to showcase his talent at prestigious venues across the world. Adding to this venue list, from June 6-8, will be Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, which will be hosting Lai as a guest bartender at the Rooftop Bar.
Crowning the 52nd floor of the hotel, Rooftop Bar is the highest in Tokyo and offers breathtaking views over Tokyo Bay and Odaiba. In line with its philosophy to embrace local and seasonal ingredients in cocktails crafted by award-winning mixologists, Lai will be offering a selection of his creations that use fruits at the peak of their season, as well as premium-quality tea.
One of these drinks will be Lai’s signature earl grey caviar martini. The mix of vodka, Cointreau, lemon, lime, cucumber, apple juice and elderflower syrup gets a dose of inventiveness as Lai tops it off with earl grey tea caviar and earl grey tea foam. As with many of his drinks, this martini requires complex techniques that Lai has mastered over his 20 years of experience. The caviar droplets are individually made with a syringe and an algin water bath, and the foam is created using an air pump in freshly-brewed tea.
Although the components of these other-worldly drinks can take hours of preparation beforehand and months of practice to perfect, Lai prides himself in being able to whip up any drink on the menu in an impressive 90 seconds while sticking to his perfectionist standards. To reach this level, Antonio has trained at some of the world’s most renowned bars where he challenges himself to learn evermore complex techniques such as rotavapor distillation, vacuum and sous-vide.
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills claim that visitors should expect the unexpected at the Rooftop Bar during Lai’s three-day stay. The menu choice will reinvent old classics such as the sour Collins and refreshing gin and tonic, and will introduce some of Lai’s own more avant-garde creations. Cocktails will be priced at ¥2,300 each, although Rooftop Bar also offers a selection of sake, champagne, premium spirits and non-alcoholic drinks, in addition to a selection of savory and sweet snacks.
Q EARL GREY CAVIAR MARTINI
Vodka, Cointreau, lemon, lime, cucumber, apple juice, elderflower syrup
OOLONG TEA COLLINS
Vodka, oolong tea cordial, soda, plum, oolong tea, citric acid
Shiso gin, green apple juice, homemade tonic
Chai tea mix, whisky, watermelon juice, watermelon syrup (Monin)
Pear brandy, pear juice, green tea, cardamom tincture, champagne, spice and peppercorn syrup
Date: June 6 – 8
Time: 7pm – 11pm
Price: ¥2,300 per cocktail*
Tel: (+81) 3 6830 7739
Address: Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, 1-23-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku
*Prices are subject to consumption tax and a 15 percent service charge.