Last night I popped down the hill and went to the Seoul Shake Off held at Club House in Gyeongridan. Hosted by one of my favourite restaurants The Beastro, Snapple, and Alcohol company Pernod Ricard. The two day event features 6 of Seoul’s best cocktail bars competing against each other. Tickets are 50,000 on the door and will get you 1 Beastro welcome cocktail and the 3 signature cocktails of the participating bars.
The bars competing at last nights event were Alice, Thai Effect, and XII. I had been dying to try Alice ever since it was voted Korea’s best bar, so I’m so glad they came to my hood and I didn’t have to schlep all the way over to Cheongdam. I’ve been to XII before but Thai Effect was completely new to me.
I kicked my night off with a Moscow Mule as a welcome drink from The Beastro. In fact I may have had two or three. For some reason I’m finding it hard to remember.
Each of the bars had a signature cocktail and we were asked to choose our favourite and give them our vote. I kicked things off with the Earl Grey Martini from XII. I actually enjoyed the flavour of the earl grey a lot, and it was very pleasant, but I’m not sure if that is really what you look for in a Martini, a very drinkable drink.
My next cocktail was the the Tom Yam Bloody Mary from Thai Effect. While in theory I think the idea of using the Thai lime leaves is a nice one, the drink was rather lacklustre. The tomato juice was great but it was missing the heat from the hot sauce and the horse radish. I’m also not particularly fond of drinking Bloody Marys at night, so thought it was a bit of an odd choice.
The Last cocktail to judge was the Alice Rabbit from Alice. A mix of vodka, St Germain, apple and aloe. It was a tiny bit heavy on the aloe but overall it was very refreshing and my favourite of the night. I think they also deserve a few extra points for the best presentation. I adored the stamped lemon and edible flowers.
Bar food was served by Manimal and The Beastro. We tried the fried Camembert, bao buns and gravy drenched fries, all were delicious, especially the Camembert, They were the perfect drinking snacks, and I credit these goodies for my lack of hangover today.
After all the tasting we watched as each bartender took part in a shake off, making 5 classic cocktails in the fastest time. It was quite a sight to behold, though I’m not sure how well the drinks turned out because only the official judges got to try them. By the time they were finished I was pretty pissed so I’m not actually sure who won. Though in the end I think we were all winners, thanks to the great food and cocktails.
The Seoul Shake is on again tonight starting at 8.30. Competing tonight are The Beastro , Southside Parlour and Honey Hole. Since two of my favourite watering holes are competing against each other I’m glad I went last night as I just wouldn’t have known who to vote for. I’ll leave that up to you.
Club House is located at 658 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu 2F. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the underpass, then go through and exit using the stairs on your left. Cross the street and you will see a stair case leading up to Club House on the second floor. For more information you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them via the facebook page.