ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES
A NEW COCKTAIL SERIES
Ever thought that it’s your inevitable evolutionary instinct to be sitting in this cocktail bar in Hong Kong, at this exact moment in time, consuming fine alcohol? We propose that it’s simply your Darwinian evolution that led you here. Stop fighting nature, sit back, accept your fate, and in the process, enjoy every second at Stockton; the best secret cocktail and whisky bar in Central Hong Kong.
We are all on the March of Progress to oblivion. It’s been a long journey and, fortunately for humanity, we have found comfort and support in the joys and wonder of alcohol.
Alcohol predates writing. In fact, we were imbibing wine from rice, honey and fruit over 9,000 years ago. Over that time we have evolved into advanced human beings. Confusingly, we seem to forget most of that development in a matter of hours at Stockton where we remember our penchant for whiskey on the rocks at the bar and resort to our inner primate.
So succumb to this dark, hidden cocktail bar in Hong Kong and raise a glass of whisky (or a cocktail) to this microcosm of evolution that takes place every night at the bar in Stockton. Remember this is nature’s fault, you are free from guilt and therefore, your behavior and subsequent ramifications should all firmly be placed on the shoulders of humanity’s natural evolution.
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THE BERRY PICKER
Seems fitting to start our theory at the beginning with our evolutionary ring leaders, so to speak. In order to do so we had to go back circa 22 million years. Indeed a mind twister, our tonic is to drink a few fingers of whisky and to let that fact percolate and settle.
What we found was a bunch of drunk monkeys.
Our early brothers and sisters also discovered other joys that have continued into modern times. They are champion self entertainers (They have hands after all). I know what you are thinking – a bunch of dirty chaps! Do you think that the fermented berries played a role in this? We like to think so.
Fermented Honey Dew Melon / Lemon Sherbet / Cucumber / Earth / Jalapeño Tequila / Tonic Water
Ever gone out for one drink and ended up, well, drunk? It was not the plan and you are sure it’s not your fault. Well, it’s not your fault. You were simply following a natural evolutionary trend triggered by our Neolithic cousins in circa 10,000 BC. It looked like a fig, smelled like a fig, but oh my, this was not any normal fig. This fig made you laugh and do stupid things. We like this fig. Let’s get more figs. Because now we don’t give a fig.
Roasted Fig Syrup / Juniper Fig Leaf Tincture / Panama Rum / Single Grain Teeling Whisky / Olorosso Sherry / Avocado Liqueur / Cinnamon Bark Syrup / Lime
In Japan, traces on prehistoric pottery suggest fruit-brewing as early as the Jomon Period (c. 12,000 B.C. – c. 300 B.C.).
“A civilization stands or falls by the degree to which drink has entered the lives of its people, and from that point of view Japan must rank very high among the civilizations of the world,” Kenichi Yoshida.
Do you think this early start helped stimulate the minds (and bodies) of those who inspired a society-wide love for Shunga Art during the Edo period. Lets sit back, sip and contemplate the evolutionary implications of such a thought.
Ponzu / Licorice Liquor / Marshmallow / Lemon / Cream / Egg White / Orange Flower Water / Kombu Infused Johnnie Walker Black Label / Soda Water
EShamans first appear in history around 10,000 years ago. The word “Shaman” stems from the Tungus verb ‘to know’. We like to believe that our bartenders are modern day shamans. ‘We know’ how to enable you to realise your inner evolutionary desires, and release you from the daily bonds of life.
Humanity loves to seek an altered state of consciousness. Look into the bottom of your glass. Find what you are seeking. The answer is there… if not, order another and try again.
Clarified Corn | Banana Gum | Absinthe | Citric Solution | Egg White | Corn Husk Dust | Ghee Infused Tanqueray Gin
Flash forward around 7,000 years and you’ll observe we have progressed, marginally. A simple alcoholic beverage flowed freely in the Indus Valley Civilization; Hindu Ayurvedic texts describe the pros and cons of Sura (beer). Good news for humanity, as Sura proved to be a great laxative.
Around this time, Sushruta recorded in his famous medical compendium, the Samhita, that he who drinks “Soma” (an alcoholic ritual drink) will not age, and will be impervious to fire, poison or weapon attack. I’m pretty sure a fine Scottish fellow mentioned something similar about whisky, but let us not digress from our thesis. Impressively, it was believed that Soma could embolden the drinker with the energy of 1,000 elephants. Stampede at Stockton, I hear you shout.
Ginger / Honey / Lemon / Yellow Chartreuse / Tropical Ardbeg / Curry Leaves / Angostura Bitters / Spiced Bourbon
It was over 3,000 years ago that the first people migrated from Southeast Asia to the Polynesian Islands. These were the masters of the sea. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for these chaps, no alcohol brought on board before departure ever survived the journey over the sea, despite their mastery. It wasn’t until the 1700s that the holy water infiltrated the islands.
Despite this, humanity in all corners of the world proved to be resourceful in the use of evolutionary wisdom. Numerous other forms of mind-bending escapism were found and weaved into ceremony and ritual. This is perhaps unsurprising as we can’t help but feel a good meal of one your brothers, or neighbours, would drive one to need a drink or two.
Roasted Coconut Cane / Amaro Montenegro / Curry Leaf Infused Angostura Di Amaro / Pineapple / Carrot / Malic Acid / Desi Bitters / Cachaca
TAKE ME TO BABYLON
As with all good advancements in humanity we evolved and praised all things close to our heart. In this period we started to worship a wine goddess and other wine deities. Our passion for alcohol and escapism has now firmly been entrenched into our Darwinian path. The humble fermented berry has come a long way, whilst humanity continues to stumble through evolution, groping at the meaning of life.
We can also thank our Babylonian forefathers for other great developments. It appears that we first shifted from missionary to other more progressive positions during this period, and there is strong evidence to show that sodomy was proposed as a good form of contraception. Bless that wine goddess.
Coffee / Pomegranate / Barolo Chinato / Red Chili Aperol / Cocoa Nib Hine VSOP / Tonic Water
Let’s jump to the chemistry of our thesis for a moment. Ethanol helps release serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins in the brain; chemicals that make us happy and less anxious. I’ll take more of that, good sir.
Over the past 10,000 years we have been refining this pleasure process, leading to an inevitably entwined genetic love affair. Intercourse feels better with a side of dopamine. She looked a lot better when my endorphins were pumping.
Young Coconut / Kaffir Lime Liquor / Citric Solution / Pandan Tanqueray Gin
The Roman conquest of the Mediterranean basin (509-100 BC) was marked with heavy drinking, blind ambition, degeneracy and corruption. It’s also said much of Western society values stems from this. Tell your boss tomorrow, it was the Romans’ fault.
Macedonians considered being drunk a sign of masculinity. Alexander the Great’s mother was famous for inebriety. At this point in time, evolution has shaped us to deify the joys of vast alcoholic pursuits.
A major moment for humanity to use its vast brain power for good was exhibited by the Phoenicians who invented glass blowing. An influential point in history and certainly one worth raising your glass to. We can’t find any connection between Roman alcohol and their infamous orgies, but we can commit to continue our research with gusto. Sign up behind the bar for our next session.
Champagne Vinegar / Dry Vermouth / Liquid Amino / Hon Dashi Bianco / Baby Peach / Tried & True Vodka
THE LOST CITY
Now, if you were the first person to discover Tequila, would you claim it for yourself, or create a totally remarkable story that would charm your people and, of course, give yourself direct access to such deities? Meet Quetzacóatl, the ancient Mesoamerican god who planted the “first” agave plant. (Agave, as you know, is the plant that gives us spirits like tequila, mezcal, and in the case of the Aztecs, an alcoholic ritual drink called “pulque”.) Officially our favorite god of all time. We like to think of Quetzacóatl as a former-day George Clooney.
Our Darwinian journey is blazing forward now with gusto. Aztecs proved to be great architects, famously building great cities over abandoned structures. Pulque, however, clearly acted as a counterforce, leading us to wonder if there is a connection between the Aztecs’ regular swig of the vessel and their eventual downfall. Despite this, the power of pulque soldiered on, eventually gracing us with the invention of Tequila. Let’s pour one out for the Aztecs, shall we?
Beetroot Shrub / Orange Sherbet / Kaffir Lime / Jalapeño Blanco Tequila
PRESCRIPTION FROM HEAVEN
Here comes the Christian Church. God bless them.
Alcohol was a gift from God. Spot a recurring theme here? We are an innovative clan. However, the chaps with unlimited access to God now decided that being that drunk was a sin, unless of course, you had a good relationship with the Lord.
In 1500s, we used our evolutionary wisdom to start distilling alcohol. Another big jump forward for humanity, that then regularly took us back to our primal state, faster. By the 1600s the average amount a person consumed in Coventry, Great Britain was 17 pints of beer per week. Not much progression there.
Toasted Dark Malt / Guinness Syrup / Scotch Honey Liquor / Lime / Black Walnut Bitters / Egg White / Brown Butter Rum
In Viking mythology, the men in Odin’s Valhalla are furnished with an endless supply of drink from the great goat Heiðrún, whose udders run with mead (beer). The mighty Odin himself does not deign to eat, but lives solely on wine. What a splendid chap. Humanity’s passion for the fine tipple is now folklore and being rewarded to the bravest soul, like free-flow champagne at brunch. With such enticing rewards, it should come as no surprise that we have developed genetic and neurochemical traits that drive us to compulsively drink. Evolutionary forces suggest you order another drink.
Pistachio / Caraway / Sherry / Lime / Mace Tincture / Mezcal / Ketel One Jenever / Tanqueray Dry Gin
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Vagabond behavior is deeply frowned upon during the early hours.
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Anyone paid a stipend for public performances please kindly leave your ego outside the establishment.
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Don’t dicker with your beverage chit unless you wish to incur the wrath of your barman and seek accommodation on the crown.
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Floozies and insignificant others are your responsibility and on your name and honour must act in accordance with reasonable social etiquette.
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This establishment is a celebration of the mighty tipple. Any requests for Jagerbombs or such lark will be met with disdain and possible requests for immediate departure.
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Our music is prepared for your oratory pleasure. If it is failing in that regard, please inform management who will pretend to care.
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Rakish behavior with other persons or consorts must take place in dark corners. We accept no responsibility for such actions or subsequent offspring.
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Our glass is always half full, if you feel otherwise please order another libation.
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We abhor fireworks, particularly when attached to fine sparkling grapes.
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Down A Dark Alleyway
32 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong
(Look for the lightbulb)
We are open from 6pm til late, Mon-Sat
Please note that we have a dress code of no shorts, no sleeve-less shirts and no sandals for men.
Stockton is one of Hong Kong’s favourite secret bars, Stockton has one of the largest collections of spirits and serves the best whisky in Hong Kong. If you’re feeling hungry, Stockton also has British inspired bar snacks on the menu including the classic burger, truffle fries and chocolate fudge cake. Stockton is open Monday through Saturday night from 6pm until late- the best place to come for after work drinks. As one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, Stockton is the bar to visit whether you fancy gin and tonics, creative cocktails, wine or simply take advantage of the best whisky selection. Interested? Come find Hong Kong’s favourite hidden bar Stockton on Wyndham Street. Stockton, the best bar in Hong Kong is owned by Maximal Concepts.