Sure, we love classic drinks, but it’s always fun to try a little something different. Here’s our pick of exciting new cocktail menus chock-full of spirited sips for the sweltering Hong Kong summer.
Award-winning Absolut Cocktails
Absolut Vodka’s long-running Absolut Invite international bartending competition finally made its way to Hong Kong shores back in April, and lucky for us the winning Absolut cocktails are now available at selected bars.
First on the list is the Andy 'Absolut' Warhol Fizz ($130), available at Bar Q88, JW Marriott Hotel – a refreshing splash of Absolut with Earl Grey tea, bergamot, rhubarb and lemonade, created by Bar Q88’s Bryson Rivera and Vikky Ma (the Absolut Invite competition Hong Kong champions). And while you’re at the Marriott, head upstairs to sample first runner-up Sakura Tera ($130), available at Flint Grill & Bar, JW Marriott Hotel – a subtle floral infusion with hints of yuzu, inspired by the zen of Japanese gardens. Rounding off the winning selection are Absolut Driver ($140), available at SKYE, which features orange and apricot aromas, and Skål ($130), available at Bibo, which blends cucumber and rosemary flavours.
Bar Q88 and Flint Grill & Bar (JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong): Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2810 8366
SKYE (The Park Lane Hong Kong): 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, 2839 3327
Bibo: 163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2956 3188
Icy Cold Frosé at Maison Libanaise
If your idea of #summervibes involves chilling out on a rooftop with a freezing drink in hand, our Lebanese go-to Maison Libanaise (winner of Foodie Forks 2017 Readers’ Choice for Best Casual Restaurant) has got you covered. On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays throughout the summer, Maison Libanaise’s rooftop La Buvette will serve its ever-popular frosé ($48) – a frozen blend of rosé wine and fresh strawberry purée – together with tasty Lebanese kebabs (available in chicken, lamb, beef and aubergine, all grilled to order over charcoal) and a special reggae playlist. Grab your sunnies and go with the ‘fro!
10 Shelley Street, Central, Tel: 2111 2284
Conscious Concoctions at Potato Head
Tropical favourite Potato Head has launched a new cocktail menu featuring sustainable cocktails that tantalise the taste buds even as they minimise waste. The new drinks maximise the use of each ingredient by utilising all components, from husks and skins to flesh and seed, and fruit waste will be used to generate compost for growing herbs and produce for the bar. Better still, the new menu sounds as delicious as it is ethical, featuring exotic cocktails such as Li Chi Pu ($115), lychee-infused gin with sparkling wine, grapefruit bitters, lemon and lychee crisp, and Run Amok ($115), made with rum, mango curd, fried mango skin, basil, aromatic bitters, sambal and turmeric.
100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2858 6066
Michelin-worthy Mixes at VEA
One-Michelin-starred VEA Restaurant & Lounge has rolled out a new line-up of innovative cocktails inspired by the scorching summer heat. Available in four categories – sweet, sour, savoury and strong – VEA’s cocktails elevate fruity and floral undertones with fresh flavours and creative (not to mention Instagram-worthy) presentations. We can’t wait to check out Nothing but Flowers ($120) – a dreamy elderflower and chamomile concoction – as well as I Am Your Father ($120) – an extra-intense espresso martini garnished with bacon, toasted sesame and chocolate-covered chipotle, served in a Darth Vader helmet!
29–30/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, 2711 8639
Limited-edition Cocktails at CÉ LA VI
To celebrate the recent international Negroni Week (5–11 June) and for a good cause, CÉ LA VI’s top bartenders have created two special limited-edition negronis (available in his and hers versions for $118 throughout June). 'His' negroni (Killer in Florence) is a gin-based concoction with coffee liqueur, chocolate bitters and Campari, while 'her' negroni (Dance till Dawn) is a refreshing, bubbly drink made with ingredients such as Campari, Prosecco and raspberry liqueur. The drinks don’t just sound good, they also do good – for every limited-edition negroni purchased, $10 will be donated to Water for People, a non-profit that brings safe water and sanitation to four million people in developing countries. If negronis aren’t your thing, CÉ LA VI has three other new cocktails on their summer menu that feature bourbon, Prosecco and gin. There’s bound to be something for everyone here, even if it’s just the stunning 360-degree views of Hong Kong’s skyline.
25/F, California Tower, 30–32 D’Aguilar Street, LKF, Central, 3700 2300
Spritz on Tap at Stazione Novella
Enjoy a bit of la dolce vita with Aperol and Americano spritzes ($88 each but $48 on Mondays) at Soho Italian staple Stazione Novella. OK, these aren’t new cocktails per se, but they still make our list because they’ll be available on tap for the first time ever in Hong Kong’s (alcoholic) history. While the spritzes are available to order all day long (no judgement here), we’ll be taking our cue from the Italians and having ours in the evenings at Aperitivo (5–7pm Monday–Saturday) – when the spritzes can be enjoyed alongside an unlimited selection of Italian bar snacks.
52–66 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central, 2559 0559
Jungle Cocktails at The Envoy
Looking for a summer adventure in a glass? The Envoy, one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, is introducing a new range of jungle- and waterfall-themed summer cocktails inspired by classic literature favourite The Jungle Book. The waterfall-inspired cocktails feature a selection of spritzes with various aperitifs, such as the Picnic Spritz ($128) with rosehip and hibiscus cordial. Or indulge your inner Shere Khan with the intense flavours of the jungle collection. We like the sound of Does It Burn ($148), where bourbon, mezcal, Aperol, Earl Grey and red apple syrup and bourbon barrel smoke are all thrown into the exciting mix. If all this adventure is making you hungry, The Envoy has you covered with its new colonial-inspired small plates that encapsulate a multicultural array of culinary influences – think butter chicken lollipops, beef rendang cannelloni, herbal tea devilled eggs and Milo lava French toast.
3/F, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 2169 3311
Compete for Your Cocktails at the Inaugural Booze Hunt
This is a special one for the list – not exactly a new cocktail but certainly a new way to experience your drinks. Come 22 June, funky retro NoHo establishment NEO Cocktail Club has partnered with Proof & Company to serve up your cocktails with a healthy dose of competition in Hong Kong’s first-ever Amazing Race-style Booze Hunt. In groups of two, participants will make their way around six Central bars (NEO Cocktail Club, Happy Paradise, The Pontiac, Brickhouse, Beef & Liberty and 001), where they will have to compete in various creative challenges (think you can defeat Beef & Liberty’s head mixologist Pawel Mikusek in a round of beer pong?) and down drinks. Oh and did we mention that the fastest team to successfully complete all challenges will win a cash prize of $1,000? Time to start recruiting your best drinking buddy now.
10 Shin Hing Street, Sheung Wan, 2812 2280