In a city of predominantly small bars and restrained decor, the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi goes full throttle in the other direction with Virtù, a towering, opulent destination where the cocktails are as decadent as the caviar-and-burrata bar snack. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer a 39th-floor view of the Japanese capital, but most eyes are focused inward on the striking Art Deco interior and local textiles, and on the drinks in delicate Kimura glassware. A 10-metre, 16-seat communal table that runs down the middle of the room creates a convivial feel that’s rare for a super-luxe hotel bar.
Virtù’s theme is the intersection of French and Japanese drinking cultures, and the cocktails are built around the best spirits of both nations — most successfully in the after-dinner Takara (“treasure”), which uses Japanese whisky, French vermouth, Chartreuse and quirky Japanese liquor-of-the-people Denki Bran. The crushable crowd favorite Yuzu Nagi pairs cognac with yuzu gin, yuzu juice, yuzu liqueur and yuzu bitters. Head bartender Keith Motsi, veteran of Soho House and Four Seasons bars in Beijing and Seoul, brings charismatic hospitality and a scrupulous eye for detail. Virtù opened in the first year of the pandemic, which meant a quiet start, but it’s roaring now and already one of the essential stops on the Tokyo cocktail circuit.