Katana Kitten

New York City

Dive bars serving craft cocktails are nothing new, but Masahiro Urushido’s Katana Kitten takes the concept to the next level. Welcome to a Japanese dive bar serving some serious drinks. Walking into the space, one is surrounded by Japanese posters of 80s US blockbusters and the sounds of upbeat music. Behind the long bar, the hospitable staff broadly smiles at each guest. Don’t be fooled by the jovial atmosphere; the team is fanatically serious about their craft. Their menu is divided between highballs, boilermakers and signature cocktails along with a healthy assortment of sake, beer and wine.

An otherworldly command of Japanese techniques and ingredients merge to produce familiar cocktails as you’ve never tasted before. The Hinoki Martini starts with both vodka and gin and then takes a twist with the addition of fino sherry, junmai daiginjo and hinoki tree essence. The trademark Megroni #2 features shochu, genever, aged umeshu, caffo red bitter and kinome. The kitchen raises the concept to another level. Crispy pork skin is served with pickled mustard greens and jalapeno, miso maple glaze, tonkotsu butter toast and even the humble crinkle fry is kicked up with ao-nori and a curry dipping sauce. Kanpai!