Who says recycled food waste can’t be delicious? The answer is: not many places besides swish Cantonese bar and restaurant John Anthony, which has initiated a zero-waste programme as part of designing its newest round of sustainable cocktails. The new East-meets-West collection pushes creative and historical boundaries, incorporating locally foraged ingredients from Hong Kong and around the region and working with eco-friendly suppliers that embody a sustainable ethos.
The menu opens as a small guide briefly discussing the history of the Silk Road, focusing on the highly prized spices, teas and fruits that were traded. The gin and tonics are the cornerstone of the menu, which presents four cocktails divided into distinctive earthy, savoury, fresh and fruity flavours. The four 12-litre tubes of cocktails are pre-batched and served directly to guests.
Rhubarb & Ginger G&T
While the quirky must-order is the savoury Sun-Dried Tomato ($115), its counterpart, Rhubharb & Ginger ($105), is light and refreshing, containing a sweet aroma that floats out of the glass. Fresh rhubarb is elevated by cassio bark and given dimension by ginger sourced from Yuen Long. This G&T is almost too easy to drink, with a burst of citrus that follows from the slice of grapefruit.
Bay of Bengal
Into the Wilderness
The rest of the menu focuses on John Anthony’s nine signature cocktials and two mocktails, turning the attention to specific ingredients. For a lighter, tropical tipple, I recommend one of John Anthony’s signatures, Bay of Bengal ($90), which contains warms flavours of cardamom and black pepper uplifted by creamy, coconut-washed gin and bursting with spicy mango and tamarind.
Into the Wilderness ($100) features “waste falaernum”, created in-house using leftover ingredients of passion fruit, lime husk, clove, long pepper and almond distillate. Mixed with lemon verbena gin, peach and lemon, the juice-based cocktail has an intoxicating smell of caramelised pineapple, with its flavour resembling a tangy margarita.
For a heavier, garden-fresh concoction, Campari-based Diplomacy ($120) is made with rhubarb and dill cordial, Plantation 3 Stars Rum and spent Earl Grey tincture, while nutty Wanderer ($130) is another East-meets-West drink our table loved. The wild liquorice Botanist Gin used elevates the honey and almond flavours. Hints of marzipan fill the mouth, with a hint of lime at the end of each sip.
John Anthony has come up with innovative and creative solutions for its bar programme, turning organic materials potentially considered as waste into ingredients to make sophisticated, world-class cocktails. The cocktails tell an East-meets-West story, with each drink filled with complex layers. The zero-waste initiative that John Anthony has introduced sets an example to customers and industry leaders that it is indeed possible to design a great cocktail while remaining conscious about food waste and respecting the environment.
LG/F, Lee Garden Three, 1 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, 2898 3788, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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