Mizuwari, a whiskey bar serving more than 40 varieties of Japanese whiskey, has only opened a month ago in London, but reception has already been great. In recent years, Japanese whiskey has garnered quite a number of fans, not only in Britain but also in other European countries. This new whiskey bar is evidence of that.
Mizuwari—the Japanese word for a whiskey and water drink mix—serves only Japanese whiskey, as well as yakitori from the restaurant found upstairs that had opened in concert with it called Bincho Yakitori, a chain based in London. Bar manager Niya Martin said that business has been good. There’s been a healthy mix of customers, he said. They would either go for the ambience or just to try something completely new. “Forty to 50 percent probably haven’t tried Japanese whiskey before or perhaps have only tried one, so we make them make reference points between what they usually drink.”
Since its establishment in 2007, the World Whiskey Awards have recognized Japanese products every year. Sales outside of Japan have also been steadily climbing. Japanese whiskey giant Suntory said that its 2012 sales in Britain are three times as much as in 2006, from 700 cases to 2,300 cases. In all of Europe, the increase for the same period is an astounding 1,800 cases to 15,000 cases. In fact, according to trade statistics from the Finance Ministry, more and more potential buyers from Europe and the United States are actually coming over to visit Japanese distilleries.