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The Woods (CLOSED)

  • Bars and pubs
  • Central
  • 4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Creative cocktails to be savoured

What’s your poison? That may well be the most uttered phrase amid the various watering holes on the junction of Hollywood and Wyndham, and there’s a lot of truth in the question – hello, cheap taste-bud-killing tequila – but still, when new bar The Woods asks us, we’re intrigued. After all, there are many ways to skin a cat. So into The Woods we go. At the bottom of a long, narrow staircase – the entrance – a glass partition rolls back, open sesame style. On a Wednesday night the place is dotted with customers, but not overstuffed. The lighting is just so – not too dark, not too bright. So far, so good, we think to ourselves.

That is, until we peruse the laser-cut wood menu. Each page bursts with specialist liquors, house-cured ingredients, infusions and hybrids of all kinds – The Woods is known for its hardcore, experimental mixology, and they throw in seasonal fruits and vegetables according to the season. The variety is dizzying and exotic – there is the Peruvian favourite Pisco Sour ($120), and a kaffir lime-infused vodka makes an appearance in the Watermelon Cilantro ($120), shaken with chilli powder. The selection starts to make our brain hurt. Thankfully, help is at hand, and the friendly and knowledgeable staff guide us through this tricky conundrum. Ninety-nine problems – but a drink suddenly ain’t one.

Whether your palate craves a sweeter libation or your day deserves a stiffer drink, The Woods has most and more to offer. We start with Blackberry on Rye ($125), a little dark thing of Michter’s Rye whiskey, pinot noir, plum bitters, fresh blackberries and a dash of lemon juice. The viscosity is somewhat like a velvety red wine smoothie and the drink goes down very well. Next, the Dirty Dill Martini ($150) calls to us, a delicious briny concoction brimming with stalks of dill, pickle brine and mustard seeds. Having fired up our savoury appetite, we then turn to The Caprese ($120), a unique, black, vodka-based drink splashed with tomato water and crusted with Himalayan pink salt.

The difference between other bars haggling for our attention and The Woods, we quickly find out, is like the difference between a cheap, mass-produced cigarette and a lovingly hand-rolled cigar – you drink to enjoy, not to get drunk (although that’s very possible here too). Each drink on the menu is a curveball, from the Beet Negroni ($120), made with house-infused beetroot gin, to the Oak Whisky Sour ($150) – if you’re lucky enough to pop in while a bartender’s torching a French oak chip, make sure you stick around to breathe in that beautiful vanilla waft. If this is the kind of poison the witch has left for us in The Woods, we’d happily die here. 

Written by
Ysabelle Cheung


LG/F, 17 Hollywood Road
Hong Kong
Central MTR, exit D2
Opening hours:
Mon to Thur 5pm - 1am, Fri and Sat 6pm - 2am
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