House of Suntory launches digital on-trade programme

9th June, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

The House of Suntory has created a new virtual on-trade programme that teaches bartenders about traditional Japanese hospitality and mixology.


James Bowker is House of Suntory’s first UK brand ambassador

The new Dojo programme is described as the first of its kind and was due to begin in March 2020 with Japanese bartenders Hidetsugu Ueno of High Five in Tokyo and Hisashi Kishi of Star Bar in Tokyo, but was postponed because of Covid-19.

Dojo, which translates as ‘place of the way’ in Japanese, aims to help on-trade workers improve their skills and understanding of the culture, philosophy and customs that embody The House of Suntory.

The House of Suntory’s UK brand ambassador, James Bowker, will offer participants his insight into the art of Japanese bartending. The virtual masterclasses will also include a tasting of The House of Suntory’s Japanese spirits, Roku gin, and Toki, Haku and Hibiki whiskies.

“We are extremely proud to be launching The House of Suntory Dojo programme virtually during this uncertain time,” said Bowker. “It is our goal at The House of Suntory to continue to inspire the on-trade as the industry prepares for a new normal.

“Characterised by unrivalled technical mastery and unfailing attention to detail, Japanese bartending is an object of fascination and is imitated around the world.

“As such, these techniques and concepts need to be taught by best-in-class ambassadors of the Japanese bartending culture and we are confident that bartenders all over the globe will welcome this programme with excitement.”

The session will also explore the concept of Kogei craftsmanship and hengaku and haiku writing.

Viewers can join the masterclass through a private Zoom meeting and will receive a tasting pack ahead of the session.

The first workshop will take place on 23 June with a further two sessions scheduled to be held 24 June and 25 June. Visit to sign up to the programme.

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