From coffee to cocktails, BARCODE is one of my favourite places to stop by at any time of the day. During the daytime, sunlight seeps through the interior, making it bright and lively, but it’s after-hours when the sleek, hidden speakeasy comes alive.
In honour of BARCODE’s first anniversary, a new round of signature cocktails (HK$130) has taken over the drink menu, all inspired by the four elements of matter.
I recommend easing in with Beyond the Clouds. Focusing on air, this refreshing, bright pink cocktail sits on the sweeter end of the spectrum. A mound of candy floss perches atop; when mixed into the cocktail, sweet, strawberry-flavoured notes immediately hit the palate. A buttery, croissant-infused vodka adds lush creaminess.
Man Go, an earth-focused drink, contains green mango-infused grappa, pisco, tonic and pineapple. I’m not a fan of the drink’s off-putting fragrance, but I love how it glows a bioluminescent blue from the use of quinine. Each sip is tart yet fruity, with a refreshing, clean ending.
Diving down into the deep trenches of the ocean, Under the Sea is a spicy, salty Bloody Mary with a very potent aroma. Served in a ceramic oyster vessel, oyster vodka is mixed with cherry tomato and basil brine, lemon, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. The sips are punchy, acidic and powerfully spicy.
Gin Zu – the second cocktail focusing on earth – uses a pear-infused London dry gin, dry vermouth and yuzu. This is one of my favourites given its complexity of flavours that unfold over time. Wasabi and ginger are added to give a slightly spicy kick, while sesame oil dots the top, imparting nuttiness.
Rubi Cube focuses on fire and contains applewood rum, rhubarb, red apple and Angostura bitters. This boozy cocktail is both smoky and sweet, with a subtly bitter ending, but be warned – you don’t want to finish this one too fast!
The new signature cocktails at BARCODE are extremely innovative. The speakeasy continues its tradition of focusing on ingredient-focused drinks with cool, quirky presentations. A few of the cocktails might need a slight tweak here and there – some of the flavours seem a bit harsh – but we applaud their complexity and sophistication, layering flavour upon flavour. BARCODE remains one heck of a place to check out!
Where: G/F, Glenealy Tower, 1 Glenealy, Central
For reservations: phone/WhatsApp 6661 3161
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.