A couple nights ago, my friend and I went to an unfamiliar place in Buckhead. Neither one of us had heard of this Himitsu. I did some research and found that it was a Japanese Sushi and Cocktail Bar. Nice! I was excited I was able to get a reservation as well as the opportunity to interview another competitor in the High Museum of Art’s mixology competition, Highball.
Before that could happen, we had to find the place. GPS was not letting us be so great. Finally we were guided in the general direction, “go through the courtyard.” That we did and still couldn’t find it. It was super cold last night too! We asked someone and nope, they had never heard of Himitsu. Just as we had given up in frustration, a very sharp dressed gentleman was walking very quickly up the walkway. We asked him. Yes! He was going to Himitsu! He walk up to a building that we had passed several times and put in a code. At that point, I had a feeling that this was the person I was there to speak with. So I asked if he was Ben. And he was Ben! We confirmed our reservation at the door, then proceeded to the bar.
I formally introduced myself and told Ben the details of why I was there. First we order some cocktails. I asked if you knew what he was making for Highball. He said didn’t have all the components but could recreate it with what he had. As he gathered everything to make the cocktail, I enjoyed watching the other bartenders making beautiful cocktails, the romantic atmosphere with the sounds of hip hope quietly playing in the background. It’s a really too spot.
Ben was ready to wow me, but it didn’t know that yet. His cocktail for the Highball is inspired by the dessert. I’m not going to spoil the rest by telling you exactly what that means, but please be assured that this cocktail is something that you have never tasted before. The presentation is pretty awesome too. His international travels and apprenticeships under some of the best in the industry was strongly reflected in this amazing cocktail. At one point I asked why he gravitated towards bartending. He answer, “it was a way to show my creative side.” Well Ben, I definitely appreciate your talents.
Come see Ben in action this Saturday at the High Museum of Art for Highball! Do not miss it!!
Rapid Fire Q & A
What time did you get up this morning?
What did you have for dinner last night?
1st alcohol that touched your lips.
Green Apple Smirnoff
Describe your job in one word.
Describe your job in one cocktail.
Name a historic person you would like to make a drink for.
What would you make?
Other than a daiquiri? A corkscrew#2
Popcorn or potato chips?
What’s your mixologist superpower?
If you were ice cream, what flavor would you be?
Mint Chocolate Chip. Not because I like but it’s a flavor that people either love or hate.
Ginger ale or ginger beer
What color is your toothbrush?
Teal and white.
Cocktail that represents Atlanta.
Mimosas or Bloody Mary
Favorite menu item at Himitsu.
Best midnight snack.
Advice for aspiring bartender.
Find someone to work under. Study a lot. Stay humble.
Where: Margaretta Taylor Lobby, High Museum of Art
1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
When: February 18, 2017, 7:30pm-11:00pm