Historic Libations

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A new cocktail bar in Soho, Thirsty Shaker is dedicated to both modern takes on classic punches and the revival of past classics.

 When we think of punches – the drinks rather than the painful consequences of remarks about your wife’s sister – we tend to think of vast glass bowls of overly-sweet rocket fuel. However, punches have a rich cocktail tradition that traces its way back to 17th century India and are considered to be some of the earliest libations ever crafted. Oh, and the word punch means ‘five’ in Sanskrit and refers to the five traditional ingredients – fruit, spices (or tea), citrus, sugar and alcohol, so there’s that.

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Celebrating modern interpretations on classic punches of all descriptions is Hong Kong’s newest innovative cocktail destination, Thirsty Shaker. Located in Soho and boasting chic interiors – think warm lighting, brass and rattan – a semi-private lounge, and its own outdoor terrace, Thirsty Shaker is the creation of Sandeep Hathiramani, one half of the duo behind favourite tea-themed watering hole Tell Camellia, and fellow veteran Himson Lam.

Thirsty Shaker’s drinks menu comprises two key elements: Punches and Revived Cocktails. The punches are served in large bowls with a ladle for groups to share and range from the Bombay Royale Punch, a blend of raspberry, apple, rose, kaffir lime leaf, oleo-saccharum, firewater tincture, ginger and gin; through to the Coco Colada, a medley of coconut, pineapple, citrus, and spiced rum.

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Also lookout for the likes of Lost Dynasty, a refreshingly fruity blend of green grapes, rosemary, cloves, citrus, Aperol, vodka and sparkling wine; and the Dicken’s Punch, with Darjeeling tea, nutmeg, rum and brandy.

A new cocktail bar in Soho, Thirsty Shaker is dedicated to both modern takes on classic punches and the revival of past classics.

The bar’s Revived Cocktails breathe new life into past classics. The section features six cocktails with rotation every month. Highlights include the Lai Zi Martini with jasmine, fortified wine, gentian, lychee, and gin; the Oaxacan Sunrise, with tequila, mezcal, Campari, habanero bitters, and orange; and the Double or Nothing, a drink with history linked to Hong Kong’s nightlife scene in the 90s that’s been brought back to life with new twists of papaya, melon, mascarpone cheese foam, and vodka. 

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