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Cocktail Watch: Hunters Bar – Kiss FM

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When I go out with friends while I may automatically find myself perusing the wine list, I will inevitably find myself drawn towards the cocktail list. I tend to judge every bar by two cocktails. The Old fashioned (my favorite) and the Mojito. Both easy to put together, but also very easy to get wrong.

There is something fascinating about watching a true mixologist work.There is a flair to the way they pour their chosen spirit, lifting the bottle higher and higher, before it is quickly whipped away and the next ingredient reached for.

It’s the sound as the ice hits the metal of the mixer and the concentration on their face as they measure each part. Their hands are a blur as they mix, pour, garnish and present you with the culmination of a process honed after hours of practice- all in the pursuit of the perfect cocktail.

The Nairobi cocktail scene has evolved significantly over the last few years with bars and clubs now dedicated to providing exceptional cocktail experiences, and one bar that is making waves is the newly opened Hunters.

“There is definitely a movement in Nairobi for cocktails, you can see it around, some places are doing it well, some are still behind, but everyone is giving an effort which is great as a city. It would be great to move together to create a cocktail culture.”

Speaking is Hunter, the brains behind The Alchemist’s latest pop up and someone who is definitely making a contribution to the city’s cocktail scene.

Brought up in Kenya, the avid traveler became passionate about making cocktails after getting a job after university.

“I went to a ski resort called Verbier and started working there. I first got a job in a nightclub where I was basically picking up glasses, washing dishes, but I had such an awesome time there that I ended up doing it for three years.

“The bartenders I worked with were really cool, they taught me all the tricks, all the drinks so I did winters in Verbier and summers in Copenhagen which is also a great spot for cocktails as well.”

After returning to Kenya, Hunter worked in Liakipia managing a safari lodge for three years before deciding it was time to head back to Nairobi.

“When I got back from Nairobi about five months ago, I had been looking for a spot to set up a bar and the guys from Alchemist heard and they had a pop up here that was doing really well – The Mulberry Project.

“They were halfway in and they invited me in to look at the spot and asked if I wanted to take it over after they leave and I jumped on it straight away – it was perfect!”

The result is a trendy yet sophisticated space with an eclectic selection of cocktails that are as impressive as they are creative.

“With cocktails you can juggle things around to give you unique flavors, so the idea is to get fresh produce from Kenya and then just make it in funky ways.

“The balance is always key. It’s about tasting the spirit then making sure it will match the style you want. It’s also about catering to what people want. Some people like sweet, some like refreshing, bitter, tart – it’s important to have a mix of different cocktails to be able to please everyone with something on the menu.” Hunter said.

The menu has a selection of different cocktails with a favorite of mine being the Uka Haka that is vodka based and also contains wasabi, which while not overpowering still adds a fascinating layer to the different flavors in the drink.

The Smokey Joe as well, aptly named has a depth to it created by the mixture of Dark Rum, Bourbon and Smoked Cedar. For those looking for a drink with a little kick, I suggest  the 50 Shades of Tequila – it will make your night!

Hunter told me, “For me, what I want to portray is all my favorite drinks taken from different places I’ve worked in or come up with in my four years of making cocktails. I want to share those experiences with other Nairobians, so Hunters is basically the place to come and try something new.”

So if you are looking for something unique this Christmas break, I highly recommend Hunters bar. The host is charming, the cocktails exceptional and the space beautiful!

Happy hour is on Tuesday to Thursday from 10PM and Friday to Sunday from 4pm – 7pm.

See you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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