The team at Our Tasty Travels was invited to the trendy W Hotel in Taipei to sample some of their newest cocktail creations made with one of my all-time favorite ingredients – truffle!
I could eat truffle on everything – breakfast, a 10 course dinner, and certainly in a dessert, so why not a cocktail?
It’s like the mixologists at the W Hotel were speaking to my heart when they created this menu of unique and trend-setting drinks. Unfortunately, they did not create them just for me, they were in honor of their one-year anniversary in February, 2012.
Shuffle the Truffle menu is available at Yen Bar on the 31st floor, which provides one of the best views of Taipei 101 in the city. Look for seven very diverse truffle options that will appeal to nearly every type of drinker – from stiff martinis to dessert-style cocktails, everyone can enjoy a truffle cocktail at Yen.
Since sampling cocktails is hard work, we dove right in and started with the two most recommended offerings, Mr. W and Ms. W.
Mr. W is made with the W Hotel’s special infused truffle vodka, vinegar, martini extra dry, rosso, balsamic, and topped off with an olive.
Of the six cocktails we sampled over the course of the evening, Mr. W offers the most pronounced truffle flavor. It’s a classic martini with a definite masculine appearance, but I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to order one…or two.
Ms. W is made with W infused truffle vodka, fresh lemon juice, fresh strawberries, vanilla sugar, rose liqueur and rose sparkling champagne. With its bright pink color, this cocktail was designed for the female crowd that frequents Yen. It was definitely a drink I would order again, but the truffle taste was not nearly as pronounced as with Mr. W.
Hello Sunday morning cocktail – truffle style. The Truffle Mary is made with W infused truffle vodka, tomato juice, fresh lemon juice, old balsamic vinegar, black olive, black pepper and truffle salt.
This one would definitely take care of a rough Sunday morning start and is not a bloody mary for the weak of heart. The only disappointment on this one for me was the lack of truffle salt on the rim. According to our host, the salt is in the drink with the pepper. Personally, I would prefer to try it on the rim as I think it would enhance the truffle vodka flavor immensely.
Truffle Vodka Fizz
This more feminine option is made with W infused truffle vodka, cherry brandy, fresh lime and sugarcane, served carbonated. This was a refreshing cocktail and had a nice subtle sweet flavor with a hint of truffle.
One of the last cocktails we sampled was the Truffle Pie, made with W infused truffle vodka, fresh cucumber juice, apple liqueur, apple syrup, and fresh lime juice. Served in a lowball glass, this was definitely one I could’ve ordered two or three of. It was an interesting blend of earthy, sweet, and sour all rolled into one cocktail.
The last cocktail on our tasting was the Truffle Pear made with W infused truffle vodka, pear liqueur, fresh lime juice, fresh pear, and white sugar. This was in a martini glass and another one I questioned on whether it should’ve had sugar around the rim. The white sugar was said to be in the drink itself, but I honestly expected it to be a touch sweeter. Still quite nice and a great choice for those who are not fans of overly sweet or strong drinks.
This is the dessert cocktail and the only one on the truffle menu we did not try. It is made with W infused truffle vodka, orange liqueur, white chocolate sauce, and milk. After sampling all the others in between a large meal at Yen, we just couldn’t find the room to hold one more cocktails, although I plan to go back and knock this last one off the list!
Each of the cocktails we sampled are 590 NT each (about $20 US each). The Truffle Coco is 690NT. These are obviously not inexpensive as far as drinks go, so perhaps not a drink you might order two or three of each night, but certainly order at least one. The premium ingredients and housemade truffle infused vodka is definitely worth a try. The W Hotel has done a fabulous job of creating a specialized cocktail menu that is proving to be a hit with Taipei’s in-crowd.
Yen Bar’s tapas menu has increased since we were there shortly after the grand opening last year. Menu items currently available from 11 a.m. until midnight include:
French fries, assorted dips, 220 NT
Banana cheese spring rolls, 300NT
Sauteed taro with sugar, 180NT
Plum glazed baby carrots, candied kumquat, 220NT
Sesame crisp prawn mousse toast, 300NT
Red braised beef tenderloin, brisket noodle soup, 480NT
Barbecue beef, chicken, prawn skewers, 680NT
Variety of stewed pork belly, seaweed, eggs, and bean curd, 360NT
Crispy chicken boxer wings with dips, 320NT
Kurobuta pork burger, 360NT
Crispy squid with five spice salt, crystal fish, 600NT
Golden sesame seafood cigars, 280NT
Abalone mushroom skewers, duo cheese, 220NT
We did not sample any of the bar menu items, as we were guests of the W Hotel at Yen’s restaurant in between cocktail sampling. The beef tenderloin and brisket noodle soup came highly recommended so definitely on the list to try next time.
Yen Bar at the W Hotel in Taipei
10 Zhongziao East Road Sec 5
Open: 11:30am – 12:00am
Website: Starwood Hotels W Hotel in Taipei
We were guests of the W Hotel for our cocktail sampling and dinner and, while a portion of our evening was comped, all views and opinions expressed are our own.