Rising Star Bartender George Kaiho of Jettison - Biography

Dallas, TX

November 2021

Born in Dallas and raised in Japan, George Kaiho wanted to be a bartender before he could even drink. After getting his hands on his sister’s cocktail book, Kaiho became enthralled by the vibrant colors and playfulness of bartending. He turned to YouTube to study the classics, watching an endless stream of his favorite Japanese bartenders mixing flawless martinis, old fashioneds, and gimlets. Kaiho returned to the States at age 18 to study at the University of North Texas, but his passion for cocktails persisted. 

In 2010, Kaiho started as a server at Lava 10 and worked his way up to pilot their cocktail program. Three years later, a bar manager position at the fine dining Japanese restaurant, Tei-An, brought him from the suburbs to Dallas. The opportunity brought him into the world of high-end spirits and wine, selling bottles of Japanese whisky and decades-old vintages to their member-only clientele. He left in 2016 for a manager role at the second location of Dallas cocktail destination, Parliament. When the bar shuttered, Kaiho connected with Houndstooth Coffee Founder Sean Henry, who was in search of the right person to lead his speakeasy-style cocktail bar. With an adventurous spirit and a drive to create a variety of sophisticated, coffee-, mezcal-, and Sherry-centric cocktails, Kaiho was perfect for the job. At Jettison, Kaiho has been able to draw from Japanese cocktail culture, infusing the technical precision and ingredients of his home-country with American flavors. When he’s not mixing drinks at Jettison, Kaiho helps run Ka-Tip Thai Street Food with his wife and business partner, Yuyee.