''Bartender'' is the title of a Japanese manga series written by mangaka Araki Joh and illustrated by Kenji Nagatomo. Its focus is a genius bartender who uses his talents to ease the worries and soothe the souls of troubled customers. There are also anime (2006) and live action (2011) adaptations.

''Bartender'' follows the nightlife of Ryu Sasakura, a bartending prodigy who is said to mix the best cocktails anyone has ever tasted. Sasakura bides his time in his bar, Lapin (or Eden Hall in the anime), hidden in a nook of the Ginza district in downtown Tokyo. Over the course of the series, various figures of high and low stature, all of who share unusual troubles and heavy burdens, are "invited" in and are treated to Sasakura's fine drinks, which, with guidance from the young bartender, lead the customers to reflect on their lives and decide on a course of action to tackle with their problems.

A prequel, showing Ryuu's return from Paris, and two spin-offs, following a different protagonist, were released somewhat recently as well.

!!This series provides examples of:
* ArtisticLicenseLaw / ArtisticLicenseEconomics: A minor tequila-related error appears in chapter 59. Ryuu states that Mezcal and Tequila are virtually the same drink, the only difference being that Tequila is manufactured in Jalisco. This is both true and false. Mezcal and Tequila are both made from Agave, but only a specific type of Agave (Blue Agave) is used in the manufacturing process for Tequila, and while Jalisco is the major producer of Tequila, other regions within Mexico, [[SeriousBusiness by Federal Law]], can also manufacture the liquor and be legally recognized as Tequila, that is, certain regions within the states of Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Michoacan. Any Blue Agave based liquor manufactured outside the sanctioned areas by the Mexican Government, including other countries, cannot be called "Tequila", this is because Mexico holds the exclusive global trading rights to the word "Tequila".
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: Ryu, thanks to his SherlockScan. [[spoiler:It has backfired on him a couple of times.]]
* BarbieDollAnatomy: Used in the only instance of nudity in the manga so far, involving Miwa.
%%* TheBartender: Unbelievably enough!
* BillyElliotPlot: Only hinted at. Ryu comes from a very privileged family, and his father is a powerful figure in Japan, most likely a high-ranking Diet member, since he's nicknamed "The Monster of Nagata-cho", and yet he gave up everything to follow his dream.
* CaptainErsatz: Kuzuhara is most likely based of Kazuo Ueda, one of Japan's most famous bartenders.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: [[spoiler:Horribly subverted with poor Kyoko]].
%%* {{Beergasm}}
* CompressedAdaptation: The animated series. In fact, they compressed about 46 chapters, and three arcs, into 11 episodes.
* ConMan: Ryu has a battle of wits with one.
* ContemplateOurNavels: The ''entire series'' is rife with philosophical discussions on everyday problems.
* CreditsGag: The credits for each episode includes the recipe for the main drink featured and a bartender showing how it is prepared.
* CreativeClosingCredits: The closing credits feature a video of a live-action bar, where a bartender prepares a drink (the drink varies depending on the episode). [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T9WaLsTCxc]].
* {{Deuteragonist}}: The series spends as much time to develop Tsubasa's progress as an aspiring bartender as it does explore Ryu's far more skilful exploits in dealing with their customers.
* DrowningMySorrows: Most of the customers who come to Sasakura are troubled people who orders drinks to ease their pain.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Miwa's grandfather in the last volume.]]
* FriendlyRivalry: The bartending industry generally don't bother to outdo each other, as each bar offers their own unique style of service that may cater to different clients. Some bars may even recommend their rivals if the clients is not pleased with their style.
* GenerationXerox: Miwa looks just like her grandmother did in her youth.
* GoodOldWays: Bartending, in general, in the series. They make a point distinguishing traditional "cocktail" bartending over the more commercial "club" bartending.
* GreekChorus: Seen mostly in the anime. The best example has several clients of Ryu's explain his backstory to each other in "The Face of a Bar"; it is also used in other episodes to a lesser degree.
* HardDrinkingPartyGirl: Kyoko. Miwa, to a lesser degree.
* HiddenDepths: Many of Ryu's customers, who appear as {{Jerk Ass}}es at first, are later shown to either have [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold more tender sides]] to them or nagging insecurities that made them appear that way, usually both.
** [[TheStoic "Mr. Perfect" Kuzuhara]] learned the philosophies that underlie his mode of bartending during months spent as an acolyte in a Buddhist monastery.
** Ryu is smooth as ice and slicker than a silver bullet behind the bar. Outside of his professional setting, he is TheDitz, TheKlutz and apparently completely obsessed with eating gyoza.
* InadequateInheritor: Ryuu turns out to have been disinherited by his family.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Being an {{Iyashikei}} series, the manga focuses on people taking time off to ponder life's challenges over a cocktail or two.
* {{Jerkass}}: [[spoiler: Miayu Emi, a nurse, acts like a complete JerkAss to others in the service industry just so she can feel better about herself. This has caused her to be blacklisted from several hotels.]]
* JobTitle
* JustFriends: Ryu and Miwa, for the time being. Some ship tease moments have been scattered here and there, and Kyoko even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] that they could become more than that.
* LetThemDieHappy: Kase gets to bartend one last time days before passing away of old age.
* LikeASonToMe: How the senior Kurushima sees Ryu.
* ManOfWealthAndTaste: Several of the clients fall in this category. [[spoiler: Including one who is broke.]]
* MasterApprenticeChain: Kaze Gorou -> Ryu Sasakura -> Wakui Tsubasa. Being Kaze Gorou's first grand-apprentice opens a lot of doors for Tsubasa.
* MyGreatestFailure: Failing to dissuade one of his bar customers from committing suicide was this for Ryuu.
* ObliviousToLove: Ryu
* OffModel: The anime tends to run into this, due to its low budget.
* {{Ojou}}: Miwa is a downplayed version of this. Despite being the granddaughter of Kurushima Company [=CEO=], she rather have a normal life than inheriting the company.
* OldMaster: Kase Gorou, Ryu's first master. Kitagata, Ryu's senior, gives off the vibe, but isn't more than a couple of years older than Ryu.
* OldNewBorrowedAndBlue: A rare non-wedding example in chapters 136 to 143 features "Treasures of the Bar" which uses the the same wedding criteria for the purpose of collecting specific mementos to as good luck charms for reopening a new bar.
* ParentalNeglect: Apparently, Ryu went thru this as a kid.
* PersonaNonGrata: Two undesirable guests tried to skip on paying their bills. [[spoiler:The third undesirable guest just liked to create problems in order to release stress]].
* RealMenWearPink: Creator/ErnestHemingway loved daiquiris. It's his love for daiquiris that gave birth to the Hemingway Daiquiri (also known as the Papa Double). His love for Mojitos is also mentioned.
--> '''Hemingway''': ''My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita''
* SecretTestOfCharacter: The Martini competition [[spoiler:for Kyoko, and possibly, the whole manga, up to the Eden Hall arc, so far for Ryu]].
* SelfMadeMan: Ryu, the second son of a powerful man in Japan, most likely a high ranking diet member, yet he decided to run away from home and start working at restaurant and bars in France. It was there where he got his first big break.
* SeriousBusiness: Some people are ''way'' too impressed by Ryu's skills.
* SherlockScan: Ryu has something similar just by looking at people's hands.
* ShipTease: Some moments in the manga, here and there, for Ryu and Miwa.
* ShoutOut: Hemingway, The Luck of Edenhall, amongst other things -- mostly references to the story of several spirits, famous cocktails and some real life celebrities.
* ShownTheirWork: At least when it comes to how drinks are prepared and the history behind the featured spirits and cocktails.
** They completely avoided failing computational fluid dynamics forever.
* SkilledButNaive: Ryu is at times shown to be this, in spite of his experience.
* SliceOfLife: The manga doesn't have a specific plot, or really any goal to accomplish, and deals with the everyday experiences at a bar.
* StealthMentor: ''Mister Perfect'' Ryuichi Kuzuhara and Master Saito Higashiyama to Ryu. And Ryu, and Minami-san, to Kyoko, a young bartender girl. Ryu becomes a proper mentor to Tsubasa Wakui, although some of his mentorship is stealth.
* StepfordSmiler: A good deal of Ryu's clients. It's considered a sacred duty of the bartender to allow this facade to be perpetuated, at least as long as the customer's still in the bar. However, Ryu will make some exceptions to the rule, such as when a con man tries to marry a girl for her money, after which he will presumably skip out on her; Ryu considers adding such trauma to a proposal, which is supposed to be the happiest moment of a young woman's life, to be [[MoralEventHorizon unforgivable]].
** Ryu himself is one. Lampshaded by a client that says that no matter how bad or rude the client is, or how depressed and troubled the bartender is, its the bartender's duty to keep smiling as part of his job. Ryu confirms this in a later mini-arc.
---> "No matter how much pain you feel inside, a bartender can never wear a painful expression on his face in front of the customers."
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Ryu, mostly when he's not on the job.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Bartenders are just as good, it seems.
* TheReliableOne: In this manga, bartenders are one of the two professions (other than a pharmacist) which are not allowed to betray a customer. As a drink of a bartender can be a medicine or a poison.
* ToBeAMaster: Subverted. Ryu Sasakura travelled the world, learning his craft from the best bartenders in the world, and has reached such a level of skill that he is known as "The glass of God". That is all in the BackStory. The manga begins as he has returned home and begins to apply his skills.
* WalkingTheEarth: An interesting variation. Ryu moves from bar to bar on recommendation of his seniors, in order for him to improve even more. At this point, arriving back in Japan after spending 8 years in France, he starts in Bar Lapin, then moves on to Bar Saito, under the apprentice of Master Saito, later moves into Bar Eden Hall, [[spoiler: and, later moves to Kurushima-san's new bar at Hotel Bishop, also called Bar Eden Hall]].
* TheWatson: Tsubasa Wakui (Ryu's apprentice) is quite a newbie in the bartending world, and he asks many questions regarding the technical jargons associated with the industry that the Audience would otherwise not know about.