keanu reeves - high five - hidetsugu ueno

High Five for Keanu Reeves!

Recently in Japan for work, Keanu Reeves enjoyed a mixology experience at Tokyo’s High Five bar, tasting his new favorite cocktail.

He revealed this in an ‘ask me anything’ on the Reddit forum, after being asked “What’s your favorite cocktail?

I was recently in Tokyo working and was taken to a bar owned by a master cocktail maker named Ueno-san, called High Five, and he made me some sort of sublime concoction with a smoky mezcal and green tea and a mysterious sweet liqueur, well chilled. my god!“.

The cocktail looks like one of the house specials, called Japanese Garden, which is a blend of J’s whiskey, Midori, and green tea liqueur. It looks like the bartender swapped out the whiskey for mezcal to give it the smoky kick that Reeves liked so much.

The High Five bar, run by the celebrated Hidetsugu Ueno, makes the list of the world’s best bars year after year.

In an interview with South China Morning Post, Ueno reveals how he became a bartender, despite not drinking alcohol:

No, I don’t drink at all. I’m super weak on alcohol. If I drink this much [indicates a small amount] of beer, it will give me a headache. I’ve never had experience going to bars. So I had to go to bartending school to learn how to prepare alcoholic drinks, and I started bartending after school. I realized that learning how to make cocktails is never-ending.

Ten years ago, I would taste the cocktail to check the balance. I would shake, stir and pour the cocktail, and ask, “How’s the drink?” because my perfect balance may not be yours. Maybe you prefer something more acidic, or sweeter, or with more alcohol. I have to ask about every drink. I do the same thing now, and ten years later, I’ll still be doing it.”

Tucked discreetly away in the basement of an office building in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district, High Five has established itself as a must-visit destination for cocktail enthusiasts from around the world.

Famous for its Japanese whiskey and dry gin cocktails, High Five has gained popularity in recent years for its signature ice diamonds for Instagram.

In existence for more than a decade, this famous cocktail bar in Tokyo’s swanky Ginza district is something of a pilgrimage for cocktail aficionados from around the world.

In an intimate space, its back bar features hundreds of spirits and as many infusions, bitters and ingredients to find the perfect drink for each customer.

High Five has no menu and relies exclusively on customer interaction to perfect the drink, from the brand of liquor to the garnish of choice.

There are no language barriers to worry about, as the bar is now staffed by an international staff.

Photo: The High Five Bar


High Five Bar

Address: B/F, Efflore Ginza 5 Bldg., 5-4-15 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Opening hours: 5PM – 1AM (Monday to Saturday), closed Sundays

Contact: +81 3-3571-5815 +81 3-3571-5815

Instagram @barhighfive


More Cocktail Bars to Visit In Tokyo

1. Bar Benfiddich – Drinks that employ exotic flora, spices & herbs

Address: Japan, 〒160-0023 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Nishishinjuku, 1 Chome−13−7 大和家ビル 9F


2. Bar Orchard Ginza – Popular cocktail bar in Ginza run by a couple

Address: Japan, 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo City, Ginza, 6 Chome−5−16 三楽ビル 7階


3. Bar Trench – Ranked no. 23 in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019

Address: Japan, 〒150-0021 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Ebisunishi, 1 Chome−5−8 DISビル


4. Gen Yamamoto – Book months in advance to get a seat here

Address: Japan, 〒106-0045 Tokyo, Minato City, Azabujuban, 1 Chome−6−4 アニバーサリービル1F


5. Mixology Salon – Cocktails infused with Japanese tea

Address: Ginza Six, 6 Chome-10-1 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan


6. The SG Club – Featured in World’s 50 Best Bars 2019

Address: 1 Chome-7-8 Jinnan, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0041, Japan




Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.

Join the community on Reddit

Spirits Hunters is a community dedicated to spirits and the world of mixology. Feel free to talk about the world of mixology and bartending here!