After last weeks announcement about the new upgrades at Hawkers 5 Points, I was invited to come in and sample a few of the unique craft cocktails now available. If you are familiar with the restaurant, you already know it’s always packed, well even more so now. The addition of 40 seats and the extended bar is the key to getting a place to sit.
The new space is vibrant; the sidewall contains a custom mural by local Jax mural artist, Shaun Thurston. If you get up close, you will see the history of Hawkers and 5 Points woven into the piece.
Along with the mural, a custom-made poster wall made up of more than 300 posters has been installed — it resembles the kind of wheat-pasted posters you would see on the streets of Asia as well as six custom neon lights.
Let’s look at the new drink options; The menu displays 17 craft cocktail offerings. There is also an impressive selection of beautiful Japanese Whiskey and Sake. Both of which can be ordered in flights. If you don’t see anything that tickles you ask, the talented and experienced bar staff will mix it up for you.
Here are a few delightful drinks I sampled; first up the Chinese Fire Drill, a refreshing tequila drink pumped up with jalapeno-infused St. Germain, added mezcal floater. The generous slices of jalapeno give it the extra pop that I always appreciate.
Next up a Manhattan, not a drink I usually would choose but the dark spirits are so refined and pleasing now this has become my drink of choice. This particular offering made with Pendleton Rye, Cocchi Sweet Vermouth, Peychaud’s Apertivo, and Plum Bitters was akin to drinking velvet.
The newest craze in drinks is presented as the Malaysian Mule, Prarie Gin, turmeric-infused simple, lime juice, plus Fever-Tree Ginger Beer. The addition of the turmeric elevated this drink to a new level for me.
I asked the bartender to pick my last drink of the day when he placed it before me, I looked at the menu to see if I could pick it out. I had no clue. When he told me Whiskey Sour, I traveled back in time to when I thought to drink this classic as cool, not so these days. But then this was not the drink I was served all those so many years ago. Mitchener’s bourbon, fresh lemon, plus whipped egg white. Egg whites won’t change the flavor of the drink but will give it a luxurious creaminess, and that was just what I experienced.
I plan to make a trip back soon to sample the Japanese Whiskey flights. The Japanese truly have mastered the craft. While there may be a nod to Scotland, the variety of techniques produce whiskeys unique to Japan.