May 11, 2018
Named for the brand of Scotch that’s, oddly, extremely hard to find in Seoul – the boys here rely on friends travelling overseas to bring in their quotient of the eponymous nectar – Monkey Shoulder opened in summer 2014 to general plaudits from Seoul’s drinking cognoscenti. And, as you’d expect from its sobriquet Single Malt Whisky Bar, Monkey Shoulder features a lovingly curated selection of whiskies, mainly single malt Scotch, alongside an intriguing range of cocktails, with home-made chocolates by way of bar snacks. The feel here, like the name, is thoroughly contemporary: besides the essential wood panelling, there’s a dramatic illuminated back bar, complete with bottles, and acres of slick brushed concrete occasionally interspersed with industrial steel fans. The island bar boasts a striking copper bar top and whisky bottles decorate both walls and ceiling, some encased in artful steel cages. If you’re a Scotch cocktail fan, we recommend the house shot, a succulent, smooth blend of banana, cream and a hint of whisky that takes the Atholl Brose idea to a whole new level. Or opt for one of their range of lusciously presented juleps, or perhaps something more quirkily feminine, like a drink served in a slipper glass, a pink martini garnished with a flower, or even a bottled cocktail. Off-duty bartenders and drinks industry folk flock here on their nights off, alongside an understatedly cool crowd of locals: do join them for a dram or two. If drinking with bartenders is your idea of a good night out, come early in the week.