Cocktail Hour: From India with Love by Manabu Ohtake

World champion bartender Manabu Ohtake from Japan brought his mixing magic to MO Bar througout the summer of 2012. We savor one of his iconic concoctions


The poignantly named From India with Love calls for a jig of Ketel One vodka, a dash of cardamom vermouth, a splash of Kahlua liqueur and a few drops of Angostura orange bitters. Combine all ingredients with ice in a lowball glass, gently stir and strain into a chilled martini glass. The glass rim is coated with muddled espresso beans and brown sugar to give the drink its visual dimension.


From India with Love is an elegant adaption of Vodka Espresso – invented by London barman Dick Bradsell in 1984 – and one of Manabu Ohtake’s proudest concoctions at the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year contest in 2011. A distinct ‘gentlemen’s cocktail’, the drink was inspired by the 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love - a particularly apt tribute since Bond, who famously coined the catchphrase ‘shaken, not stirred’, is a voracious martini imbiber. Besides Ketel One, Ohtake has also experimented with Belvedere and Ciroc vodkas. Unsurprisingly, vodka is his favorite spirit to work with. “It’s very clean and smooth,” the chatty barman opines. 

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Rich, aromatic and resolutely smooth, From India with Love makes for a robust digestif.


Hailed for his ability to meld Asian precision with Western theatrics, Manabu Ohtake is obviously a cut above the rest. Case in point: the head bartender of Cerulean Tower Tokyo Hotel’s Bellovisto bar was the first non-European to be crowned Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year. A fixture on the Japanese cocktail scene for the past 17 years, Ohtake first snagged a bartending job at the Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo at the age of 20. While he started with gin and tonic and some drink which involved “whisky mixed with soda water”, his concoctions took an experimental turn in 1997, leading to such sublime creations as Blanc Neige and Green Salad Margarita – two of the drinks served alongside From India with Love at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s annual Masters of Mixologists showcase in June.

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MO Bar, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental,
15 Queen's Rd. Central, The Landmark, Central,
Hong Kong
Tel: 852 2132 0077

MO Bar

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