Cocktail bars in Hangzhou seem to be popping up every month, all producing very similar drinks. With Wood Cocktail Bar, bartender Jason has opened a place to cater to those looking for a little bit more of a special experience. Located on the southern side of the busy Xinyifang area, near Moganshan Road, this speakeasy cocktail bar truly is something out of the ordinary. Upon walking up to the second floor, we were met with a door, or rather a vending machine. After standing there playing with it for a few moments without luck, the machine suddenly slid to the side and a waiter appeared. We were then shown the two buttons which allowed us to gain entry into the bar, and… (We don't want to completely ruin the surprise for you) Once getting passed the door, the interior feels like a New York lounge bar, with comfortable seating throughout and an emphasis on wooden features. Guests can easily drink their nights away here, listening to the jazz and chilled music playing in the background.
Some of you may know Jason from Joy Bar. He has a clear talent for producing awesome cocktails, and now he’s playing about with different herbs and flavours to create some delicious drinks. I followed his recommendations the whole night, starting off with his rendition of an Old Fashioned (80RMB) in which he uses a homemade vanilla infused rum. Jason has been experimenting with plenty of other infusions for unique takes on classic cocktails, and his Crazy Moscow Mule (80RMB) with chili infused vodka was no exception. We can honestly say this was the spiciest cocktail we’ve ever tried (Watch out for the numbing produced by the Sichuan peppers!).
As the night went on, drinks seemed to be quickly passing by one by one, each featuring herbs and spices we’d never experienced before in a drink – like the Smoky Local (80RMB), a bourbon based cocktail prepared by lighting an orange peel on fire to produce a lovely smoky taste. Wood also has a great selection of whiskey, including many hard to find bottles. We especially enjoyed the Glendronach 15 year (90RMB), a Scottish single malt. For those looking to try out a new cocktail bar, Wood is a surefire choice. There’s a buy one get one free happy hour from Sunday to Thursday before 9pm. Parking available. Smoking permitted.