Sandeep Hathiramani has always kept his finger on the pulse of Hong Kong’s thriving bar scene. An award-winning mixologist and the co-founder of Asia’s Top 50 Best Bars Tell Camellia and The Wise King, Hathiramani keeps within Soho for the launch of Thirsty Shaker, his newest bar and cocktail lounge that marries old with new. Joining Hathiramani is Himson Lam, who cut his teeth at some of Hong Kong’s hottest bars including Foxglove, COA and Dr. Ferns.
The drinks menu is segmented into two key concepts: revived cocktails and sharing-style punches. The former sees a fresh take on old classics, while the latter brings a sense of communal warmth, with a choice selection of ingredients that make for more complex and layered beverages than your run-of-the-mill jungle juice. Take the Bombay Royale Punch, for example, which dates back to Surat India, 1632. Comprising raspberry, apple, rose, kaffir lime leaf, oleo-saccharum, firewater tincture, ginger and gin, the punch offers a mildly saccharine hit from the fruits while kaffir lime leaf adds delicate aroma and firewater tincture and ginger bring the heat.
Nostalgic iterations of iconic cocktails are also brought to life at Thirsty Shaker, with the Lai Zi Martini bringing a refreshing take on a classic Lychee Martini. The addition of jasmine, fortified wine and gentian balance the flavour of lychee and gin with heightened depth. A traditional Hong Kong cocktail, Nothing, is born anew as Double or Nothing, where a mascarpone cheese foam layer is complemented with flavours of papaya and melon. Less acidic than the original drink thanks to the omission of lemon and pineapple juice, the foam lends a creamier mouthfeel while melon notes round out the drink.
Intimate interiors spill over to an outdoor terrace that overlooks Soho’s vibrant streets and bustling nightlife. The entire venue is awash in a deep, electrifying blue, with brass hardware details bringing an elegant feel while rattan accents keep the venue grounded and approachable. A semi-private lounge with its own separate terrace offers a more private dining experience for those looking for it.
With sharing-style punches dished out from ladles and the intimate layout of the venue offering an ideal atmosphere for convivial gatherings, Thirsty Shaker is a much needed reminder of Hong Kong’s electric dining scene. A light at the end of the tunnel, look forward to many rounds at this likely neighbourhood staple, signalling many other such openings to come.
3/F Floor, Hilltop Plaza, 49 Hollywood Road, Central; thirstyshaker.com
The Best Restaurants In Hong Kong Right Now