A Craft Cocktail Tasting in Ikebukuro: Craft Cocktail Tokyo!

  • FOOD
  • TOKYO
  • Craft Cocktail Tokyo, located 8 minutes walk from Ikebukuro station, offers a wide range of cocktails that you will not be able to see, taste or experience anywhere else. If you want to visit Craft Cocktail, you can go yourself, but for your first time I highly recommend making a reservation through the Airbnb Experience page for Craft Cocktail.

    The Airbnb Experience

     

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    If you don’t know what an Airbnb Experience is, here is a simple explanation – instead of the usual Airbnb system where you rent a place to stay from locals, Airbnb Experiences allow the visitor to take part in a certain “experience” orchestrated by the Airbnb host in whatever their field of expertise is. The Airbnb Experience at Craft Cocktail is a 2.5 hour experience spent at Craft Cocktail, featuring a series of six “craft cocktails” especially catered towards your liking by the bartender. The experience costs $67 USD (or ¥7000) per person for the night which is a great deal for six full size cocktails.

    Please note that these experiences are fully reservation based, as is any other Airbnb service, so please check out the link below if you are interested in booking one! The bar is open from 5PM to midnight every day, so there is quite a wide window that you can book your experience in. The first time I went to Craft Cocktail was through the Airbnb Experience as well, as a friend was visiting and wanted to try something different. I am so glad she took me there as I have most definitely become a regular at the bar now and fell head first in love with the people, drinks, and atmosphere.

     

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    The cocktails that are offered during the experience vary depending on a specific combination of what is in season, what the bartender is feeling that day, and the kind of cocktail the guest would like. For example, if you prefer fruity cocktails over sweet ones, one word to the bartender and they will cater to whatever wishes you have and serve a series of cocktails perfect for you. I can assure you that the types of cocktails available as a part of the experience are ones that you have never seen before. The Airbnb host prides himself in offering obscure yet no less delicious sake and liquors in the cocktails, making sure there are eye-opening and surprising elements to even the most versed in their booze. A lot of the cocktails feature liquors and sakes made in small artisan breweries not known or sometimes not available to the common public.

    Not only does the experience allow you to have delicious cocktails in a cozy yet chic bar in the heart of Tokyo, the Airbnb Experience is extremely friendly to English speakers visiting Japan. The bar owner hosting the experience has experience studying abroad in Canada and speaks English, allowing for any foreign guests to feel at home and enjoy the night scene in Tokyo as well. He is an extremely friendly and wonderful human who has captured the hearts of many of the people visiting the bar, so I recommend getting to know him and the delicious cocktails he makes through the Airbnb Experience, especially for your first time.

    Craft Cocktails Website

    Airbnb Link

    The Drinks

    Here are a few of the drinks that you may come across at Craft Cocktail. Please pardon the translations as the Japanese names of the cocktails are somewhat exotic in and of themselves and a bit strange to translate into English. I will leave the descriptions to a minimum as I think part of the charm of the experience is getting to learn/taste first hand the singular cocktails available at this bar. 

    -Duck Lake
    One of the bar’s staple menu items, Duck Lake is an adorable drink that I definitely see more than once every time I visit.

     

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    – A 3D Water Bubble Cocktail After the Rain

    A foamy, bubbly drink made with blue curaçao.

     

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    -“Chikkuri”
    A fruity cocktail featuring bamboo and chestnut.

     

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    -A Tea Room at Hand
    A matcha liqueur based cocktail offered in traditional Japanese tea room fashion.

     

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    -Popping Cinema
    A coca-cola flavored cocktail featuring a heap of delicious caramel popcorn on top. The true movie theater experience, in cocktail form. I am not going to lie and say that I don’t order this every time I go. The combination between the sweet popcorn and the cola-based cocktail is highly addicting.

     

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    This is only a small selection of the creative cocktails available at Craft Cocktail Tokyo, so I highly recommend going there yourself to see what kind of unique and Insta-worthy drinks they have to offer. A longer list of what kind of drinks Craft Cocktail has is available on their Instagram. The Instagram also features seasonal updates on menu items and events taking place at the bar so be sure to check it out!

    Apart from the photogenic “craft cocktails” available, both as a part of the Airbnb Experience or as not a part of it, the bartenders are extremely good at their craft and will whip together pretty much any kind of cocktail or drink you would like to have. I usually go in and immediately order a whiskey on the rocks or a Black Russian (vodka and Kahlua) before branching out to some of the more adventurous drinks. As the bar prioritizes atmosphere, there is a limited number of seats available. If you are planning to visit Craft Cocktail sometime between Friday and Sunday, I highly recommend making a reservation before visiting to ensure that you can get a seat.

    If you are in the Tokyo area and have any interest in drinks or the bar nightlife in Tokyo, Craft Cocktail is the perfect place to visit. I personally could not recommend a place more and I’m sure you will feel the same once you step foot into this wonderful bar.