Bar High Five
Add: B1F Efflore Ginza 5 Bldg.,5-4-15 Ginza, Chuo Ku / 中央区銀座5-4-15 エフローレギンザ5ビル B1F
Price: cocktails ~2200 yen
Visited: Oct 2016
Bar High Five is no newcomer to Asia’s 50 Best Bars, and this year it’s ranked #3. (On a related note, Shanghai’s Speak Low is ranked #2). The location is in the basement of a building in Ginza, with about 10 seats at the bar and a couple of small tables on the side. No reservations. We arrived a little before 9pm on a Thursday, and luckily got the last 3 seats at the bar.
銀座的 Bar High Five 是“亞洲50最佳酒吧” 的常駐軍，今年也毫不意外的出現在榜單上，名列第三（順帶一提，上海的 Speak Low 是今年的第二名）。地點在銀座某建築的地下一層，只有吧台10個位子加上後面幾張小桌，不接受訂位。我和朋友八點多抵達，幸運的拿到了吧台最後三個空位。
Bar High Five’s founder Hidetsugu Ueno began his career in 1992, and is kind of a big deal in the cocktail world both in Japan and abroad. He previously worked at another Japanese cocktail institution – Star Bar – before starting out on his own, moving location once before settling in Ginza. There’s no menu here, his drinks changing according to the mood of his customers – whatever makes them happy.
Bar High Five 的創辦人上野秀嗣在 2004 年獲得了世界 Martini 大賽冠軍，現在也是日本調酒師協會國際部總監。他的酒吧裡沒有酒單，調酒隨著顧客的心情而變：“我調不同的酒，希望客人可以有一段美好時光，這是我的工作。如果他們快樂，我也快樂。”
Unfortunately Mr. Ueno was not there when I visited, perhaps the busy man was doing a pop-up or workshop somewhere around the world. Taking care of us that night was Kaori Kurakami, the Japanese representative for World Class 2014. After a few questions – Which base liqueur do you prefer? Do you like refreshing? Citrusy? Creamy? Strong in alcohol flavor? Etc., she got started on the mixing.
很可惜我到訪的當晚上野先生不在，可能在世界的某地做 pop-up 或講座吧？留著當家的是 2014 年 World Class 日本代表倉上香裏，在遞上了熱毛巾之後，她問了我們幾個問題 － 喜歡什麽基酒？喜歡偏好帶柑橘清新口味的、creamy的，還是酒味比較強及直接的？Etc. 然後就開始了。
I asked for a gin-based, refreshing cocktail on the acidic side. Upon being served my drink, I was surprised to see that the cocktail looked very simple – a plain class with no fancy decorations – but it was indeed delicious, pretty much what I was in the mood for. A little snack came with the cocktail too, a cracker topped with brie cheese and roasted mango, yum.
我選了琴酒爲基酒，並要求了清爽、偏酸的口味。調酒上桌時，我有點驚訝的發現 Bar High Five 的出品一點也不花俏 － 杯子造型簡單，也沒有任何裝飾 － 不過酒的確好喝，是我想要的樣子。隨著調酒還上了一份小點心，是芝士搭配些許烤過的芒果肉，味道很好。
Ice cubes are important for cocktails as their flavor and the speed of melting both affect the experience of drinking the cocktail. Bar High Five uses special ice-blocks that take 2 days to make in factories, which are extra hard and melts slower in the drink. You can take a look at this video if you want to see Mr. Ueno’s superb ice-carving skill.
冰塊的味道和溶化的速度都會影響調酒的風味，所以 Bar High Five 使用每天從工廠運來，花兩天制成的特殊冰塊，硬度高，溶化的也比較慢。另外也聽說上野先生的冰雕工藝了得，只要兩分鐘酒可以將一塊四方體的冰變成鑽石形冰塊。他有一把已經用了12年的雕冰刀，每天磨到現在已經只有原來1／3的長度了。
My second glass was an Old Fashioned, joined by a friend’s grape-flavored cocktail and a Yoichi on the rocks (where’s the diamond-shaped ice cube though?!)
我的第二杯是 Old Fashioned（左一），右邊是朋友的葡萄口味調酒以及威士忌 on the rocks（可是沒有鑽石形狀的冰塊，啧）。
Bar High Five is definitely on the hot list, and people kept getting turned away (politely) through out the evening as it was completely packed. While the staff offered good service, I heard the ambience is much more alive when Mr. Ueno is personally there as he loves chatting with customers (speaks very good English, too). Perhaps you will have better luck when you visit.
Bar High Five 雖然人氣極高，不過調酒師們還是把每位客人照顧的很好，沒有絲毫自傲的感覺。希望你去的時候可以很幸運的碰到上野先生本人，聽說他是爲非常健談的大叔（英語也說的非常好），應該很有意思。
Bar High Five
地址：中央區銀座5-4-15 エフローレギンザ5ビル B1F
價位：調酒 ～2200 日幣