The innovative Trees, Tales & Tipples menu launches in collaboration with The Old Man bar, wood-crafter MADE, and local gin-maker Two Moons Distillery
Hong Kong’s bar scene has flirted with the cocktail experience of late in order to inject ingenuity and individuality into menus that serve a play of sound, sight, joy, humour, and adventure into mixology.
Recent new bar movements, including DarkSide’s Yin Yang cocktail menu, Vista Bar’s Eight Shades of Red series, and N.I.P Gin’s Informal Affairs pop-up at Ovolo Southside, evince the shaping of models for a new format of cocktail-drinking in Hong Kong: experimental and experiential.
The Old Man, the acclaimed Ernest Hemingway-inspired cocktail bar in Soho, offers perhaps Hong Kong’s most eccentric cocktail menu yet. The bar’s three-month-long menu, Trees, Tales & Tipples, brings together forces from Hong Kong gin-maker Two Moons Distillery, woodworking studio MADE, and The Old Man itself to probe your sight, smell, and taste for earthy elements borne out of trees and our common ground.
This new grove-to-glass concept fuses the tri-party collaboration in three The Old Man-designed cocktails, with three gins produced by Two Moons Distillery and material and by-products from three local tree species crafted by MADE. Drinkable trees is the theme of this cocktail menu, diving deep into a refreshing assault on one’s senses.
The cocktail menu begins with Old Country (HKD120), a root-inspired cocktail that blends Two Moons’ signature London-style dry gin, caramelised pumpkin and ginger vermouth, and a garnish of candied ginger.
The drink is served in a handcrafted glass by MADE of local dragon juniper wood, a reflection of the foundational ingredient used to make gin. The cocktail celebrates the roots of the juniper ingredient, the roots of dry-style gin-making, the roots of Hemingway’s creativity, and the roots of gin itself.
As we move up the tree to its barky centre, we find ourselves at Catherine Barkley (HKD120), a commemoration of a former tea-drinking culture grounded in Hong Kong and Guangdong.
Infusing the cocktail with Two Moons’ Five Flowers Tea Gin, a mint and dill cordial pairs effortlessly with an effervescent charred longan-wood lillet, created by The Old Man. The oaky, floral toughness of longan wood is matched with the herbal notes in the tea-infused gin, bringing Cantonese earthiness to a Cantonese drink.
We end our journey at the fruited tips of the tree, injecting intoxicatingly tart and sweet flavours inside Into The Trees (HKD120), a drink mixing Two Moons’ Calamansi Gin and The Old Man’s house-made charred-wood absinthe. According to Joshua Tan, the bar supervisor at The Old Man, this tipple is symbolic as a “binder for artisans trying to create something more [in Hong Kong]”.
The Two Moons gin was produced in collaboration with Ping Kee Copperware, Hong Kong’s sole remaining coppersmith in Yau Ma Tei, which assisted the distillery in crafting a mini-still to experiment with the calamansi flavour. Thanks to Ping Kee, this wonderfully tart cocktail exists.
Dimple Yun, co-founder of Two Moons Distillery, lauded this collaboration in the Hong Kong mixology community to celebrate local ingenuity and spirit. “We are championing a love for Hong Kong with this cocktail menu that will hopefully inspire others to look inward for inspiration in our city of creative mixology.”
To explore the power of local trees, gin, and mixology, head to The Old Man now to enjoy the limited-time Trees, Tales & Tipples cocktail menu before it ends on Mar. 14, 2024.