With the fifth wave dragging on for over three months, this COVID period has got to be the toughest of them all, with the highest number of restaurants and bars closing down in Hong Kong.
A bar launch that recently caught our attention is Thirsty Shaker, adding to the Central/SoHo scene with a vibrant interior and spacious patio.
With restrictions easing, Sandeep Hathiramani, owner and founder of Thirsty Shaker (and co-founder of award-winning HK bars The Wise King and Tell Camellia), tells us that the crowds are already flocking in for a tipple and it will only get busier with time.
The chosen location and design of Thirsty Shaker are of strategic importance. “We envisioned a bright, versatile space,” Sandeep adds. In case the rules change instantly, they can improvise and introduce different business lines to stay afloat and keep up with the fast-paced changes in the community. “It’s time to move away from dark bars and the speakeasy style and add in more light – keep an open space with fresh air coming through the patio and into the open-concept bar.”
A drink that helped us settle in during our time at Thirsty Shaker was the delicate and light Double or Nothing ($120), which focuses on melon with its touch of sweetness. This vodka-based drink is topped with fluffy, creamy mascarpone foam.
At Thirsty Shaker, inspiration for the selected cocktails and punch bowls comes from the piece of artwork to the right of the entrance; it features a bygone era, when men drank and smoked behind closed doors and when Indian-influenced punch bowls were commonly served and shared. Today, Thirsty Shaker adds a touch of nostalgia from this period by offering shisha outside and crafting cocktails using boutique liquors and spirits.
A punch bowl is great for sharing amongst friends, especially as sunset approaches. Here we have the gorgeous Bombay Royale punch bowl ($420). This punch originates from Surat, India, and is recorded as one of the earliest punches in history, dating back to 1632. It’s supremely fruity, containing apple, raspberry, rose, kaffir lime, firewater tincture, gin and ginger.
If you’re not in the mood for a punch bowl (or sharing), I recommend Mango Number Five ($120) – a well-deserved holiday in a glass. This deconstructed mango sticky rice turned cocktail contains black sticky rice, which gives a red hue to the drink as well as a clean, crisp flavour. The sips are filled with the aromas of mango and coconut.
Most people in Hong Kong are excited for the return of nightlife, and the last thing that Sandeep has to say to his future guests is to be ready for what is to come and be adventurous. With its flexible, forward-thinking approach, Thirsty Shaker is laid-back yet gives guests a refined cocktail lounge experience. We like the punch bowls and fruity cocktails with their bold and distinct flavours.
3/F, Hilltop Plaza (entrance via Graham Street), 49 Hollywood Road, Central, 9880 5997 (WhatsApp)
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.