Through the Woods and into an Oasis!
There is just something about the HK heat that makes a girl want to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cocktail or two… or four. But for those of you on a bit of a health kick, enjoying an evening tipple can end up causing anxiety. After all, ‘healthy’ and ‘alcohol’ are two words we don’t find together, like… ever! But as usual, the game changers at The Woods have got you covered. A bottomless source of unique cocktail concoctions since it opened, The Woods has done it again with their holistic pairing menu, The Oasis. I don’t know about you, but I feel healthier already!
The Oasis pairing menu consists of four extravagantly delicious cocktails coupled with a few fresh nibbles. Comprising of palate cleanser, appetiser, main, and dessert, the cocktail “courses” mimic a traditional prix fixe menu. Disclaimer – this is the only conventional part of the entire experience!
Read our review of the first Prix Fixe menu at The Woods here.
Surprisingly, the novel menu is inspired by one of the earliest applications of alcohol – to heal. It is said that the first pharmacies made use of spirits in medicine, as alcohol was believed to be the best vessel through which to introduce the healing properties of plants in to the body (cheers to that!). In keeping with the theme, all of the drinks are (gorgeously!) served in vessels that mimic particular alternative medicine treatments.
The first ‘course’, the Amuse bouche, is designed to cleanse the palate and prepare the taste buds for what’s to come. This drink – titled Cleanse – consists of Tanqueray no. 10 gin, Sake, and homemade beet kvass (a traditional Ukrainian fermented drink, similar to Kombucha). The ruby-red liquid, encased in delicate glass, is served floating within the bar’s ‘tablescape’ featuring a pond of flowers and candles. At first sip, the drink is slightly salty, but this sensation quickly fades to reveal the prominent flavor of fresh beet tinted with gin – yum.
Next up is the appetiser known as Refresh, which includes Ketel One Vodka, chlorella granita terranium, green chartreuse, chia seeds, and Taboocha Jasmine bloom kombucha. The chlorella imparts a pleasant, earthy taste, while the chia seeds lend texture. The ingredients arrive in four separate vessels, which puts tests your mixology skills by making you mix it all together! You sip the final brew out of a unique, lollipop shaped glass, specially designed to capture the aromas of the drink. To top it off, this drink is partnered with a delectable vegan moneybag dumpling.
And now on to the mains! This course, titled Revitalize, consists of Bulleit rye whiskey and oatmeal with maca root powder lining the rim. A homage to the traditional hot stone massage treatment, this refreshment can be enjoyed either hot or cold. Searing hot or freezing cold stones are dropped in the glass before you take the first sip. This soothing broth-like drink had gentle flavours, but packed a serious punch in terms of alcohol content – Whisky haters, beware! However, to absorb some of that alcohol, the Revitalize comes paired beautiful vegan sushi.
What’s better than holistic, healthy cocktails? Holistic, healthy, dessert cocktails, of course! The last course of the prix fix, Invigorate, consists of Ron Zacapa 23 yr rum, genmaicha, quo coconut kefir yogurt, acai berry and dark cocoa shavings. The delicious cocktail is served in a tall, narrow glass, which by the way happens to flip over and double as a shotglass (how handy!). On top of a creamy, baileys-like base, the foamed quo kefir with acai adds a light, fruity taste to complement the richness below. If that weren’t enough, this course is paired with wasabi ice cream served in a lush dark chocolate and nut covered cone (believe me, it works)!
All in all, I would say that this is definitely a must-try for all who are (or at least a little) health conscious. It is not very often that you can indulge in four cocktails and feel good about it! Holistic, healthy, and full of superfoods – when you think about it, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not going, right?
“The Oasis” is available now until 3 August 2016 at $488 per person. Reservations can be made at www.thewoods.hk/reservations or calling 2522 – 0281.
Prix Fixe, (Cocktail & Food pairing) Menu available Monday –Thursday, Saturday, First Seating: 7pm –8.30pm, Second Seating: 9pm – 10.30pm.
The Woods, 17 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, Tel: 2522 0281, www.thewoods.hk