Behind the Highball with Masahiro Urushido at Katana Kitten

Katana Kitten is the perfect blend of New York City neighborhood bar and Japanese isakaya. Helmed by Masahiro Urushido, the West Village bar has quickly become known for highballs that seamlessly combine American and Japanese ingredients. “The highball is very popular in Japan,” says Urushido. “Growing up, it was kind of everyone’s working-class drink, and very approachable so you can enjoy it in many different settings.” While many of today’s Japanese highballs feature whisky, Urushido says that brandy was actually the base spirit of choice for highballs in the late 1800s, and that history has inspired him to use the spirit on Katana’s menu for drinks like the Haru #1, which combines BERTOUX brandy with white port, cucumber, peach, lemon, chamomile, ginger and salted cherry blossom. Watch the video above to learn how to make the perfect Japanese highball.