Drinking Cocktails Never Felt So Smart
I’m a sucker for a speakeasy. There’s something about finding your way down a dark alley, ringing a bell and being led to an underworld of dim lights, good music, fine drinks and a comfortable atmosphere. So when I received a creative invitation from Stockton featuring a drawing of Hunter S. Thompson on the cover (did you know the “S” in Hunter S. Thompson stands for Stockton? Me neither!), I said, “Sign me up!”
Finding Stockton isn’t too difficult, but you have to know where you’re going. I spotted the alleyway off Wyndham Street (and would only go down a path this unlit in HK!) and found my way up a flight of pitch-black stairs (thank you, iPhone, for the flashlight) where I saw a lighted panel on the wall. I stuck my thumb on it, and nothing happened. I tried again, and was welcomed inside by the hostess. (I asked about the silly little button and she told me they have cameras outside to see who is at the door.) She said they try to keep the place “not too crowded and not too loud,” and after seeing it for myself, I understood why. Stockton is cosy and swank, and the music was purposefully low so people could enjoy conversation and drinks. “It’s not a VIP club, or even exclusive,” she said. “We just like to control the atmosphere.”
The bartender began the event by explaining the names of each drink and which authors inspired them. The first was a Jack Kerouac-influenced drink called The White Horse. Made with Blanco tequila, Mescal, green chartreuse, raspberry, lemon, lime and mace, this festive libation was served in a Tiki mug complete with eco-friendly straw (I had two, to be sure I liked it!) Next came The Anchorman, named after famed American journalist Walter Cronkite, but this one was more for the nutty, bitter lovers. A mixture of Kentucky bourbon, Campari, Montenegro, Frangelico, chocolate bitters and house Angostura bitters, this smoky drink was served with a white chocolate-covered ice cube and packed quite a punch. Finally, we were treated to Truman Capote’s favourite, the Hidden Lady, made with Ketel One Vodka, sake, apricot, orange sherbet, lime, mace, ladies Earl Grey, Verbena syrup, house orange bitters. It arrived in a rounded cup with a lighted rosemary sprig.
The uniquely designed menu features several other concoctions, all artistically based on an author’s life preferences. A woman I was with decided to try one called the Big Dick, which should surprise no one that Ernest Hemingway was the life force behind that inspiration!
If you haven’t been to Stockton in a while, I strongly suggest heading over there. Bring some friends, take advantage of the mixologists’ talents and make sure you aren’t driving home – you won’t be able to after a few of these!
Read Sassy’s original review here!
Stockton, 32 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.stockton.com.hk