The Japanese have perfected many processes including everything from cooking techniques, product packaging, to denim production. They’ve also perfected the art of bartending, bringing the spotlight back to simplicity and classic cocktails. It’s no surprise then that the Japanese have also taught us how to enjoy our spirits, served mizuwari.

Mizuwari 水割り means mixed with water and is a popular way of consuming spirits such as whisky and shochu. Usually, this style is served as one part alcohol mixed with two parts cold water, and sometimes accompanied with ice. Although the water is used to dilute the spirit, it also helps balance the alcohol by drawing out other nuanced flavors. Spirits that are fruit forward and mellow (as opposed to peaty) are best served mizuwari since the water will complement these flavors. And while some say that the highball style of drinking whisky is comparable to mizuwari, the main difference is that highballs use carbonated water instead.

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