Review – Wonder Horse.

First time writing a review, feedback is always appreciated =)

Hamilton is a very unusual city. It’s rather small, so if you have intimacy issues you probably shouldn’t move here. Because it is small everything gets smooshed together, which is very convenient when navigating the city centre, as you really don’t have to walk far for food. Side by side the main street is lined with little café’s, eateries, restaurants, bistros and so on. You name it, and chances are it’s next door. This can make dining out and socialising somewhat frustrating though, as it becomes hard to distinguish the good from the bad from the what the actual o_0

Tonight however, I was lead by my friend Jenna down a mysterious alley way and through a narrow doorway into what can only be summed up as a paradise land.

Its official name: Wonder Horse.

From past memory the site used to be an old Mexican joint which was notoriously hidden behind the first layer of restaurants (think alley-ception, to find gems in Hamilton you must always go deeper). Now it has been converted into a bar. But the word ‘bar’ tarnishes the true value this establishment has built for itself.

From walking in you are met with a dimly-lit, yet warm opening area. The large bar top nestling against your left side bends around to guide you across the width of the room.  Deeper in you notice leatheresque couches, each with a small table or two in bright colours of aqua and red. There is also an upstairs area, though it sounded rather full and convinced us to stay downstairs (near the bar, naturally). Overall first impressions are ‘this is a place many call home’ because the construction holds such dignity worthy of that title. Gazing to the front you then see the vast array of alcoholic ingredients filling the shelves, everything from absinthe to zambuca (well, it feels like it, though I will happily report there is a very liberal supply of whiskey). I say ingredients, because what the gentlemen behind the bar accomplished is less drink making and more Heston Blumenthal inspired magic (if you don’t know HB then please direct your attention to this Wiki article – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heston_Blumenthal ).

Jenna ordered a Mojito, and convinced me to order an Old Fashioned. Now I know of many people with their own interpretations of what constitutes an Old Fashioned, but to be honest if the drink respects the whiskey involved, then it’s okay in my books. We settled onto some squared bar stools and watched our gentleman/bartender twirl his enchantingly long spoon, beginning the initiation process.

Nothing was flawed.

The glasses were brilliantly balanced, the alcohol generously measured, the sugar lovingly heaped, the mint clapped gently (no hurting the poor leaves now). Even the ice received special treatment inside a hand-cranked crusher that churned out delightfully small, rounded ice pieces. The prices are very generous considering the showmanship that goes into every artwork. It genuinely feels like the drink you receive underwent a transformation, from mere mortal alcohol to liquid infinite passion. The emotions infused send you into a euphoric state impervious to social blunders.

These drinks don’t just start small talk, they infuse conversations.

Universe, if I were so lucky to acquire a date in the next five weeks, I promise to treat them to this magnificent establishment. It is the perfect place for getting together, getting cozy, getting intimate.

Wonder Horse, you win the title of ‘Hamilton’s best bar’ by a full length, from now on I place my bets on you.

E.

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