We first heard of Corked Tales during an outing with MC/host Dustin Phuc Nguyen. During that time, Corked Tales had only just opened inside of CJ building on busy Le Thanh Ton Street. Corked Tales is a new factor added to the growing Saigon nightlife – where bars expand, become more sophisticated, and invest in their food and drink.
Corked Tales is a project that was developed over time by a woman with many years of experience working in the media. When she decided to create Corked Tales, she wanted it to be a comforting space with unique drinks where everyone could relax and talk to each other after hours of stressful work. In the same breath, she hoped that it would become a space that held all of the stories that she loved.
As a person who is passionate about alchemy and the natural elements of life, she decided to combine both Western and Eastern culture to create Corked Tales. Join us as we learn more about this one-year-old bar with its owner, an anonymous storyteller.
How does the interior design reflect Corked Tale’s central theme?
There are four elements in the West: earth, water, air, and fire. Meanwhile, in the East, there are five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These elements are closely connected to people’s lives and personalities. Thus, I want to incorporate these concepts as a part of Corked Tales, from the interior design to the drinks.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that the design of this bar is inspired by a European mystical forest with hints of the elements mentioned above. The deer symbolizes wisdom, nature and harmony.
Who are the customers of Corked Tales?
Our customers are mature, with specific tastes. They value aesthetics, and they constantly look for new experiences in life. The customers love to taste unique and creative drinks paired with beautiful presentation.
Our customers come to Corked Tales to unwind after a long workday, but it’s also a place to meet new business partners or to kindle a new relationship. I believe Corked Tales is a place where everybody can easily fit in. It is an inclusive and warm environment where people can share their stories.
What differentiates Corked Tale’s drinks from other bars?
Drawing inspiration from the elements of life and mythologies, I worked with the bartenders to devise a thorough, elegant drink menu with our own recipe. The presentation of the drinks also match with our broader concept.
For example, in our two sets of six signature cocktails, one set is inspired by six elements of life (metal, air, wood, water, fire, and earth). The other set is inspired by six values: life, wisdom, tranquility, love, health, and energy. Each cocktail is a story, narrated through our ingredients and a recipe unique to Corked Tales.
You can try our cocktail LIFE. It is a blend between the sweetness of toffee and the bitterness of red wine with a touch of corn husk scent. There is also EARTH – a drink that combines goat milk, coconut, banana with a special touch of Kafir leaf.
Besides these signature cocktails, how does Corked Tales constantly keep a fresh image?
I envisioned my bar to tell a story; thus, in addition to the elements of life mentioned above, we also created a collection of 60 symbols with different meanings and stories from the beginning. This collection gives Corked Tales endless inspirations. Every time we need to come up with a new drink, we will discuss which icon is suitable for that certain time and environment. In addition, we also have drinks inspired by special events or people’s favorite films.
Can you please share the inspiration behind the one and only cocktail hotpot at Corked Tales?
The concept of cocktails was first born in the US, and it slowly became popular in European countries. Until now, cocktails are usually enjoyed individually. However, I want our cocktail bar to embrace the culture of sharing, an important value in Asian culture; thus cocktail hotpot was introduced. The purpose is to let three to five people share and enjoy together.
The taste is refreshing and easy to drink, nothing too peculiar, just creatively twisted with tropical fruits. This has also become a millennial favorite recently when they come to Corked Tales. The cocktail hotpot is not only beautiful in presentation and flavorful in taste, it’s also a great means to start a conversation.
Besides the drinks, what else does Corked Tales have in order to win over the youth?
We have Gent Night on Tuesdays and Ladies Night on Thursdays every week. During the weekend, Corked Tales has acoustic music nights and live performances. This is the place to have events and meet people from many different cultures.
On July 26, Corked Tales will celebrate its one year anniversary. We’ve decided to choose Chapter 1: Ace of Cups as the name for this event. Ace of Cups is the name of one of the Tarot cards; it represents creativity, new beginnings and friendship. Through this, Corked Tales would like to thank our customers who have been supporting us for the past year, while preparing for new beginnings and creations. Creativity has always been a value that Corked Tales preserves in order to strengthen its position in the industry.
Please recommend a good time to visit Corked Tales and some drinks that are a must-try
You can come by during happy hours (5pm-8pm) in order to receive a 50% discount. Besides the cocktail hotpot and other drinks that I previously mentioned, you can try ECLIPSE – a drink that consists of champagne and a little bit of pink salt with Apricot liqueur. You can also try WISDOM, a drink mixed from whiskey, blended with a layer of cheese foam on top with a scent of salted vanilla. Don’t forget the Power of Three set, which is three cocktails for the price of two only.