When Hrvoje and Suzana Rak moved to Dublin seven years ago, little did they know that life in Ireland would determine their future in Croatia. Suzana discovered her passion while working in a whiskey bar and after six years of living and working in Dublin, the couple returned to their hometown of Šibenik and opened the first speakeasy whiskey and cocktail bar Jack Rabbit Slim’s.
History of speakeasy bars
Speakeasy bars originate from the times of Prohibition in the 1920s in the United States. Prohibition lasted for over a decade, during which any production, transportation, sale and consumption of alcohol was illegal. It was a controversial law that sparked a trend of bars opening behind closed doors in secret locations.
The loyalty of customers, who in many cases were members of bars and clubs they attended, was crucial for the business of these places. Details about these venues were spread by word of mouth and getting inside was by invite-only.
Secrecy of these bars led everyone to use a term from the 19th century – that originated from a phrase used in British slang – speak softly shop which referred to a smuggler’s house, usually a place where liquor was sold without a licence. Later, the Sydney Herald had an article referring to sly grog shops and used the term speakeasies. The name became popular in the 1920s and remains in use until today.
Modern-day speakeasy bars are popular and may require a password or an invitation to enter. Many of them don’t follow the tradition of an invite-only entrance and are open to the public, but are still famous for offering impressive alcoholic beverage lists, and unique interiors and atmosphere, following the speakeasy bar concept. A prime example is Jack Rabbit Slim’s bar in Šibenik.
Experience whiskey in a unique way
Being a whiskey tasting professional, Suzana emphasizes the importance of the barrels in which whiskey is kept. They are crucial for the process of maturation, as age, and what was stored in barrels before, will determine the aroma and aftertaste of a whiskey.
With Suzana, whiskey tasting becomes a unique experience and a journey that everyone must try. She is a guide that educates and instructs budding whiskey enthusiasts how to use the palate to differentiate flavours. Her guidance teaches people that every whiskey is unique and will help them in finding their perfect match. Jack Rabbit Slim’s bar is a place where everyone can enjoy the best whiskey Šibenik has to offer, learn trade secrets and get another perspective of this popular drink.
Hrvoje and Suzana personally select the drinks served in their bar. This is a spot that offers some rare finds like Mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from agave, Green Spot and Redbreast whiskeys along with signature cocktails.
The wine list has been created in partnership with Rak winery, close to Šibenik. Their uniqueness is that wine is aged in oak barrels, guaranteeing the highest quality and taste. To complement a rich drinks list, the bar offers a cheese board that is matched perfectly to the wines and whiskeys served.
The interior style reflects a typical speakeasy bar atmosphere with charming details and great musical background. In warmer months, Jack Rabbit Slim’s Bar invites everyone to their green oasis. A beautiful outdoor seating area, surrounded by plants and thousand-year-old walls of Šibenik’s old town guarantee an unforgettable experience.