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Toshiaki Aizu, The Man Who Seeks the Ultimate Tea Liqueur, at Party House One in Bangkok



Toshiaki Aizu with his six Returner cocktail creations at Party House One, Siam@Siam Hotel, Bangkok

Famous Japanese mixologist Toshiaki Aizu paid a brief visit to Bangkok last week, to introduce his range of tea based liqueur cocktail creations.  Party House One at Siam@Siam Hotel served up a special menu to accompany the drinks.

Photo by Paul Hutton, Bangkok Scene.


Toshiaki Aizu is welcomed by Party House One staff.  Photo provided by Siam@Siam Hotel.


The Cocktail Menus


Returner Oolong

Returner    30ml
Oolong tea   proper amount
One sixth part of lemon

Lemon is extracted to a tumbler and put into it with its peel into a glass. Pour the returner into a glass with ice, and pour oolong tea and mix it.

It is a taste of ice lemon tea as it is. Please enjoy the scent of lemon and Earl Grey.

The Returner

Returner           30ml
Grapefruit Juice     30ml
Tonic Water

Mix the Returner and Grapefruit Juice. and pour it into a tumbler with ice after that pour Tonic Waterand mix it.

The Returner was a name of the cocktail. The cocktail with which the liqueur which marinated the tea leaves of Earl Grey to vodka, and a grapefruit were mixed. It called Aizu special. And then one of customer named the cocktail The Returner.

Returner Mojito

Returner           45ml
One sixth part of lemon
Mint leaves proper amount

Mint leaves are put into a tumbler and it crushes with a wooden pestle or spoon. and lemon is extracted to a tumbler and put into it with its peel into that with ice. after that, Pour the returner into a tumbler and mix it.

Mojito of a famous cocktail becomes a different taste by using a returner instead of rum. This is a cocktail which suits well, when smoking a cigar, when you would like to refresh.

Returner Straight

Returner   30ml

Pour the returner into a glass of a straight glass, tasting glass, a small glass.

First of all, please enjoy a pure scent for the Earl Grey in the Returner straight up.

Returner and Milk
Returner   30ml
Milk      60ml
adjust the amount of milk according to one's taste

Mix Returner and Milk. after that pour it into a old fashion glass with ice.

Even if the Returner puts in milk,
It is only one liqueur in the world which can enjoy the flavor of tea.

The Bar
Returner   10ml
Calvados        30ml

Pour the Returner and Calvados into a old fashion glass with ice and mix it.

You can relax by the scent of the apple of Calvados and the scent of Earl Grey.
This is a male-oriented cocktail.

Siam@Siam Returner
Returner 3 0 ml
Tonic water 20 ml
Peach 1 piece
The Mixture of Tonic water , peach and Returner blended together decorate with a piece of lemon.


The Story of Returner

The Returner Tea Liquor was developed after the concept of “beloved for 100 years”, Liquor to be thought about today, and 100 Years after.

The Returner was born when Toshiaki Aizu met Mr. Anncerah Perera, a world famous Sri Lankan tea sommelier and the most talented known within the region of Asia itself. Two persons' talent and passion turned out what has become known as the best Tea Liquor of the 21st Century.
The liqueur which can make real cocktails while retaining full flavours of tea leaves.

Only the tea leaves of the flowery broken Orange Pekoe from Nuwara Eliya, the Central Hill Province of Sri Lanka, known to tea connoisseurs as the ’champagne’ of tea are used for liquor marination. Spice is carefully selected to natural spices of the Givaudan region of Switzerland approved by WHO (World Health Organization). The highest quality liqueur was able to be made by using the material which ignored the concept of profit, rather the lingering of the taste.

The returner was the name of the cocktail Mr. Toshiaki Aizu had invented and won the championship with. The cocktail process started with the marination of Earl Grey tea leaves infused by vodka, with a splash of grapefruit mixed in to make the perfect "Returner."  Needless to say, this cocktail was only able to be made originally by Mr. Toshiaki Aizu himself. 


By developing The Returner liqueur containing the skill of the bartender of his stature, Returner cocktails can now be enjoyed even without his presence at homes and bars throughout Japan, and soon it will be available in household homes and bars in Bangkok.


In His Own Words:


“No matter how much one searches, the liqueur notes never appeared on the taste buds. I had no choice but to make one that does.” 
One day, I found a refreshment tea in the famous tea specialty store in Yokohama. The upper half was grapefruit juice and the lower half was tea. The tea was fresh tea and there was a scent of a grapefruit. The drink as served with a straw.

Although I wanted to reproduce this exact taste in a liqueur, and during those times I did order tea liqueur from all over the world and tried in different proportions and concoctions to mix with grapefruit juice ,but I couldn't get satisfied and reproduce the taste that I had longed to. Since there was no liqueur that I needed to reproduce the taste even if searched among the world, I decided that I would make one myself.
As a result of manufacturing using the most wonderful materials like the selection of tea leaves, spices and grapefruits, the highest liqueur in the world was completed.

The Grand Master Key is a key which can unlock the door of all the rooms.

I opened a Bar called The Grand Master at the age of 31.  It was my third store.  The Bar was perfect, with a membership system, and was a Returner store without the signboard in a residential street.

The name of this bar "Grand Master" derives from the idea of the person holding the master key of a hotel. The grand master key is a key which can unlock the door to all the rooms.

With this bar, I am helping in opening the key of the heart of the visitors who come to the 'Grand Master'.  Everyone uses this bar to communicate with friends or simply just to relax.

The event that triggered me to become independent was when I won the Bartender Championship

I stayed and worked with the bar called the Rebul of Shimokitazawa and the Early Boston club of Futako-tamagawa to sharpen my skills after resigning from the Monde bar.  At that time I won the TV bartender championship in 1993, when I was 29 years old.

When I was working, I was also in charge of the management of the store, a subordinate's education, and the circulating fund of a store in addition to my skills. I was able to do bar rental contract just before my 27th birthday, and was able to open my own bar. By the time the bar was opened, I was going through many painful things in life. But after the bar had opened, it was a full roaring business every day. A 6 million yen monthly turnover had been recorded.

A gin and tonic is precisely this simplicity that makes it difficult.

Because a gin and tonic is simple, the difference in a bartender's skills comes out in play the most. I worked with the Monde bar in Ginza, after resigning the Cradle. Even as I remember it now, it was one seriously tough year. But I learned seniors' skills during that time, and it also taught me the knowledge and the skills heavily associated with alcohol in relation to cocktails.

A gin and tonic changes the taste depending on how one uses a lime.  I adjust the quantity of other materials, in consideration and according to how the lime was used. One customer came to The Grand Master Bar and he decided to change his daily lives after drinking the gin and tonic which I had made. While I felt that its soul got across to him which made me very happy, I realized also that responsibility is also a serious matter.

I changed my life from the day I met the 30000 days calendar.  I worked with a restaurant and bar called the Cradle of Roppongi with the hope of becoming a bartender.  I couldn't learn a bartender's foundations here but the chef's foundations were learned. In the beginning, the frequenter was not satisfied with my dish. but cooking skills also went up gradually and they were ,at the end, satisfied.

One day, I got the "30000 days calendar" which a frequent visitor bought me from the United States. The calendar had three sheets, with each sheet having 10000 days. 30000 days means a human's lifetime. In the United States, because many people who bought this calendar committed suicide one after another, there was a ban on sales.  I promised myself to become independent by the time the 1st sheet of this calendar finishes.