The moment you set out beyond your own front yard, you realize two things. The first is that you are more than capable of thriving in a variety of lifestyles and environments. Everyone struggles with components of their day-to-day life; expats just face them in new surroundings. The second realization is that the intimate experience of home is just as enriching as experiencing the new. Having yet to be back home in over two years since moving to Taipei, that meet-you-at-the-door feeling has largely been missing in my life: that is, until walking into Ounce Taipei.
Every city has developed its own nightlife culture, which for Taipei is divided into two main categories: locals drinking at a music-based venue with little interaction or expats gathering to drink at popular upscale hotel bars. After a while, both options seem lacking in connection. And isn’t engaging with people the reason most of us go out for a drink instead of staying in on a Friday night?
Ounce Taipei arrived on the scene with the intent to shake things up, and mix they did! A Western-style cocktail bar with absolutely no menus, Ounce Taipei is dedicated to having real conversations with its guests to create custom cocktails to fit any mood, taste, or occasion. Truth be told, I have never actually repeated any of my drink orders and seemingly, I’ve never been under-impressed either. How many places that you have frequented lately will ask whether you are looking for a spirit-forward or a complex drink? Moreover, how many drinks have you consumed that have never been made before?
The venue itself is tucked away in true speakeasy fashion behind the coffee shop, Relax. Seating is limited, allowing for close interaction with the bartenders and staff. If you visit, you might even get to chat with Payman Bahmani (Head Bartender), Adam Robinson (Bar Manager), or Yee Soong (Managing Partner) while watching classic cocktail theory infused with modern interpretations shaken over ice.
It seems that most places today lose sight of what brings people out after a long week in business attempts to achieve quick customer service. Places such as Ounce strive to read its guests’ drinking desires as well as to achieve a voice for Taipei in the international cocktail community. When you put together its intimate approach, the level of expertise its bartenders possess, and its global vision, Ounce Taipei is truly a radical approach to the modern drink.
Arriving home after a long day of work, our families can normally read our needs and desires probably before we have even realized them ourselves. That amount of perception isn’t easily achieved in other interactions we encounter in our lives, which makes the family dynamic so unique. Sitting down in Ounce is like sitting down with family, only with cocktail therapy instead of motherly. As an expat, any ‘ounce’ of home is naturally quite good for the soul.
This post is not endorsed or sponsored by Ounce Taipei and any opinions expressed are from a happy writer at Backpacks & Blackboards who enjoys life with a good drink in hand.