Review: Hanko 60 Bar Taipei, Creative Local Craft Cocktails

A few weeks ago I reviewed a great hidden gem of a bar called SoShow Bar & Restaurant. Where I mentioned how I’ve been looking for those bars that bring local Taiwanese or Taipei elements, be it ingredients, tastes, texture, or ambiance, to craft cocktails at an international standard bar. SoShow fit that bill perfectly in a very down to earth chill environment.

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The bar’s centerpiece is this red neon sign, roughly translates to Drunken Dreams (its far more poetic in Chinese) 

Yesterday night, I came across another bar that fits the bill in a similar manner. Hanko 60 just opened its doors to the public. Its an unpretentious yet upscale feeling speakeas bar located in XiMenDing. The vibe is that of a retro-modern bar. With elements and decor that take you back to romantic era of Taiwanese film/ Ximen, but also with touches of quirky, artsy modern minimalism stitched in as well. The first floor is the main bar/ dining area. The second floor is an open art studio called Art by KJC, where you can paint and get your creative game on. The basement will become a lounge/ performance space once they perfect the layout and decor. In a nutshell, I highly recommend this place for anyone and any occasion.

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Looking up from the bar into the Art by KJC studio on the second floor.

The menu is very impressive and creative. It features 45 house cocktails separated by 3 price points: NT$300 (USD$9.20), NT$350 (USD$10.75), NT$400 (USD$12.26). Which for quality craft-cocktails in Taipei, or anywhere for that matter, is very reasonable. The alcohol used are mid to top-shelf only, so you’re getting very top-notch stuff in your drinks here. Juices and other elements are also fresh. While some cocktails may sound familiar or traditional (such as a Mojito or Old Fashioned), if you look at the ingredients or how they mix the drinks, you’ll notice its got a Taipei/ Taiwan twist to it (the Mojito has winter melon in it!). Items with a red dot next it are the signature drinks. Many of the speciality drinks of inspired by both Taiwan and Taipei (specifically the XiMen area). Many drinks come in very quirky, fun, and fancy plating/ displays that make them worth ordering; mind you they taste just as good as they look. Between my friend and I, we ordered a total of 6 drinks, each was very good and unique. I was thoroughly impressed by the craftsmanship of the mixologists as well as friendly and engaging service of the wait staff here.

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The Menu, excuse the iPhone picture quality.

There is a small food menu for some small bar bites, mostly fried goods. We ordered some jalapeno cheese poppers, quite tasty.

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Jalapeno poppers.

Just like SoShow Bar, I’m very happy I came to this bar and will definitely be returning. This and SoShow are the kinds of places everyone should go and support. They really are upping the local mixology game here. It goes to show that it is possible to have the cool, hidden, speak-easy experience with affordable mixed craft cocktails using Taiwanese ingredients and elements in an unpretentious and truly Taiwanese/ Taipei environment.

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Bar details, the staff hand-spread the coins under the glass, the coaster is also hand painted.

 

I’ll leave it to the pictures and captions for descriptions and thoughts on the various drinks we ordered. Not pictured is the Hanko 60: Gin, Gingerflower, Dry Vermouth.

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The Dream of the Red Chamber 紅樓夢: Rum. Bailey’s, Red Bean. First drink the cocktail by itself then you can pour it into the red bean to create a boozy red bean soup.
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Movie Street 電影街: Rum, Yogurt liquor, Sea Salt, Milk, served with sweet popcorn. Inspired by Ximen’s nickname as movie street with the multiple theaters and was also once the center of Taiwanese cinema.
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Mango, Sago, Pomelo 楊枝甘露: Mango, Malibu, Milk and molecular pomelo caviar, served with rubber ducky and a tub. Inspired by the Taiwanese dessert of the same name.
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Ramune Mule 柑仔店 (In Taiwanese pronounced Gamma Dee-Am): Infused ginger vodka, fresh gingerale; served in an old-school marble soda bottle they even let you pop the marble just like old-times! Inspired by Taiwanese mom-pop shops.
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Van Gogh’s Sunflowers: Vanilla Vodka, Apple, Peach; served with toasted flower-shaped pineapple (meant to be the sunflower)

 

Hanko 60

60 Sec. 2 Hankou Street, Taipei, Taiwan

Mon.-Thurs. 6PM-2AM; Fri.-Sun.- 6PM-3AM

02 2381 0808

Nearest MRT: Ximen Station; blue and green line.

If you spot what looks like a retro movie theater, with daily showings listed then you’ve probably arrived, to the right of the ticket booth like door, there is a small push button, go ahead and press and be ready to be amazed.

https://www.facebook.com/hanko60/

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The Entrance. 

Art by KJC

same address.

02 2382 1919

 

Happy and Safe Drinking,

Garythegastronomictraveler

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