Best Sips is a look-back on the most incredible drinks — alcoholic or otherwise — we had in the past week. Those which renewed our love for established venues; caught our attention at a new opening; or freshly impressed upon us the creativity and skill of Hong Kong’s talented bartenders and mixologists alike. From tipples at charming dive bars to award-winning apéritifs at five-star establishments, these are the best drinks to try in Hong Kong; the drinks we’d recommend you make a special trip for.
These were the best drinks we sipped on and savoured this week:
The drink: Dill Fennel Soda (HK$55)
There are specific flavours, ingredients and dishes I gravitate toward, a laundry list that includes olives, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, all red-sauced pasta, Bloody Marys and fennel. I’ve droned on enough about my salt-soaked preferences re: drinks but I also hold an adjacent, sister bias for drinks that lean towards the vegetal. The herbaceous. Drinks Aesop would make if they made drinks. Which made Hjem’s Dill Fennel Soda a no-brainer order for me on a sleepy Saturday morning. For those currently shaking their heads and scrolling down for, most likely, a tequila soda diatribe, the drink doesn’t taste too vegetal. It’s light on the savoury, and heavy on the refreshing; the kind of drink I’d imagine would be wonderful enjoyed in Scandinavian summers. Which might be equivalent to a Hong Kong winter. And yes, we got Bloody Marys after. Thanks Catch! — Joey Wong, Editor
Hjem, 161 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2362 9193
The drink: Le Jus Cabernet (HK$42 for 275ml)
Despite what most people who know me would tell you, I don’t love drinking. I don’t even like it! I just need attention, and something in my hand, which tequila soda often provides. Given the option, I’d much rather have a big glass of juice, like a child, or a baby. Enter Didier Goubet, a French brand that turned grape juice into an art form — the kind worthy serving at Cultivate, where culinary works of art come standard for chef Leonard Cheung and his team. I believe I tried nearly all the options on the menu, but the sparkling Cabernet — again, just juice — truly stood out, leaving a round, rich tingle on the tongue and happiness in my heart. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Cultivate, G/F, 27-29 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 5303 1230
The drink: White Grape Highball (HK$85)
If Roji’s mentaiko udon was an all-time love, then this White Grape Highball is an easy love. Easy, because of its very tasty libation which urges you to take gulps and not sips. And before you know it, you’re one, two, three down and waiting for your fourth. This was me.
Roji’s flavoured highballs come in a range of three flavours: strawberry, yuzu and white grape. And being the very obliging person that I am, I have tasted them all and can attest that the white grape is the best. It has just the right level of sweetness mellowed out by the pour of shochu and a final squeeze of mint, making it a very light companion to the venue’s izakaya-style plates. At the bottom is a bed of sliced grapes — very thin, very crunchy and very fun to have after you slurp up your entire glass. As my colleague Joey would say, it’s a drink with a snack! — Lorria Sahmet, Editor
Roji, G/F, 20A D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9884 0704
The drink: Marigold Flower ($120)
Like a twist on the classic Milk Punch, this gorgeous concoction is made with enriched burnt vanilla sake (yum!) and a clarified trio of melons, topped with a delicate edible flower. I was wracking my brain all night trying to figure out what it reminded me of — and now, I’ve finally made the connection. The green melon ice pops in 7/11! I used to have them all the time as a kid, they were my absolute favourite and this delightful drink tastes almost exactly that but, of course, alcoholic. An adult upgrade of a childhood fave. — Sandra Kwong, Features Editor
Hue Dining, Hong Kong Museum Of Art, 1/F (inside HKMoA), 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3500 5888