Here we go again, Hong Kong’s bar scene is gearing up for an exciting reopening on 19 May. In the meantime, here are some new exciting places to drink this month.
In case you didn’t know, it’s World Cocktail Day on 13 May, aka this Friday. So if that’s not the excuse you need to be spending an evening boozing and schmoozing through Central, then perhaps this list of new bar openings might do just the trick in convincing you. In other exciting news, bars are slated to reopen on 19 May and will extend opening hours till 2am. Look, you really need something to look forward to after two consecutive long weekends and a full week of rainy doom and gloom, so look forward to Happy Hour this weekend. Just have a scroll below and know where to drink in Hong Kong this May.
Where to drink? New bar openings in Hong Kong this month:
The recognisable cans of local beer brewery Carbon Brews have been around since 2018, then distributing from their original Fo Tan address. Now the brand has expanded to Central’s Wyndham Street to open another location — their second taproom (the first being in Tokyo’s Akasaka district) — to bring the beloved brews closer to the city. Continuing its penchant for sleek graphic design, the keen attention to colour and detail is translated into the expansive new space with chrome and concrete accents that adorn the extended row of 28 taps behind the bar to the glass-panelled cold storage room and a magnified motif of geometric shapes screened across the other side. The beverage list is, naturally, a continuation of the Carbon Brews roster, and on the tap you’ll find everything from Carbon Brew’s signature IPAs Crazy Rich Lupulins and Staying Alive, amongst others including sour and fruity flavours of Kokomi and Little Rich Lupulin, Sour Punch, a fruit punch Berliner Weisse, and Cool Beans, Carbon Brew’s own coffee stout.
Carbon Brews, G/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 5409 4840
The Social Den
A self-proclaimed Polyneisan-themed tiki bar, The Social Den is nothing like its bamboo-panelled, leaf-shaded counterpart, but instead assumes the cool, casual ambience of a contemporary drinking den located in the heart of Central, as it is. They maintain a dedication to tiki culture, but by adopting the ‘tiki’ concept of presenting exotic flavours rather than pouring tropical flavours in ceramic tiki mugs. Chinese and East Asian fruits decorate the menu, particularly coconut, jackfruit, papaya to mangosteen, carefully shaken up and distilled by mixologists Joe Villanueva and Bryson Rivera into hard-hitters like a negroni made with coconut fat-washed gin. For sunnier flavours that still manage to pack a punch, go for Coco Piña, a renewed take on piña colada flavoured with kaffir; La Orana (a Polynesian greeting), with papaya molasses, fresh citrus and Tequila Blanco; or Jackfruit, the inspired sibling of the cha chaan teng staple, Salted-Lemon Seven Up, remade with preserved jackfruit, baijiu and carbonated calamasi.
The Social Den, 9/F, The Loop, 33 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9702 5267
Not only is FURUTU a very fun name to say, it’s also the very charming, very colourful location of Peel Street’s boozy new bar dedicated to cocktails made with fruit liqueurs and umeshu. Behind the wide-eyed stares of FURUTU’s cute curious character — also starring upon a range of collectable merch — is an extensive beverage menu of over 10 sake- or shochu-based umeshu and fruit liqueurs that covers a full flavour spectrum of sweet, fruity, fresh, salty and tartness. Signatures here are the highballs, available in either Kitajima Salted Yuzu Liqueur, Nakata Peach Umeshu, Yuzu Collins, Tsukushi Greentea Umeshu and a refreshing twist on the classic Whisky Sour remade with a splash of pear liqueur. And should you desire something more — or less — FURUTU offers its beverages in four variations: On the Rocks, Straight, Soda and Go Hard.
FURUTU, 59C Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
Peel Street new-joiner Gutshot stays true to the raucous neighbourhood spirit with a seriously boozy menu of craft cocktails that’s been inspired by the game of poker. Debuting a signature menu of 13 tipples that vary in potency (Deuce being the mildest and Ace being the strongest) with enigmatic names the likes of “Fire”, “Isolation” and “Jackpot”, Gutshot manages to draw in thirsty crowds with attractive bets and deals, which should you get lucky, will find yourself knocking back free drinks all evening.
Gutshot, 48 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
While you’re out and about, make a stop at these locations:
- Contemporary Japanese restaurant Censu debuts with three new refreshers on its cocktail menu. Apart from a delicious Censu twist on the classic Margarita, made here with yuzu kosho, pear juice, mint, coriander and a final topping of pear foam, it also features Okami, a Greyhound highball made with citrusy Sakurao Japanese gin and Sangriaroska, a white sangria and Caipiroska hybrid with sunny flavours of mango, passionfruit and lime. Censu, 28-30 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2997 7009
- Rosewood’s sultry jazz parlour, Darkside, finds a new inspiration for its line-up: the forgotten cocktails from the last century. Created by Director of Bars Arkadiuz Rybak, the award-winning Asia’s 50 Best and World’s 50 Best mainstay will be serving a nostalgic range of tipples from Jungle Bird, created in 1978 by Jeffrey Ong for the opening of Kuala Lumpur’s Avery Bar at the Hilton; Bramble by Soho London’s Fred’s Club bartender, Dick Brasell in 1980; Chicago Fizz, once served in the titular city’s Waldorf Astoria leading up to the Prohibition; and Cameron’s Kick, a classic concoction logged in Harry MacElhone’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails published in 1919. As for flavour notes, it’s as mysterious as Darkside’s persona, so head over to try it out for yourself. Darkside, Level Two, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
- For one night only — 19 May, mark your calendars — Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour invites mixologist Gavin Yeung for an exclusive showcase of three of his exclusively concocted cocktails that combine Cantonese spirits with Saicho’s range of sparkling teas. There’s White Jade, a mix of Yuk Bing Siu, sunflower seeds and Saicho’s Hojicha; Salute to the Sun, with Ng Ka Py, mandarin juice and Saicho’s Darjeeling and Featherweight, that shakes together red dates, sugarcane and Saicho’s Jasmine Tea.
- Continuing its exploration into the mythical oasis of Zerzura, Middle Eastern-inspired speakeasy ZZURA unveils a brand-new cocktail menu by Gagan Gurung, serving eight tipples concocted with a range of Middle Eastern spices, herbs and fruits. Well-loved classics of negronis and whiskey sours are treated to interesting new twists, while new-joiners showcase the herbaceous ingredients in the Sharbat, an Iranian-inspired tipple prepared with pomegranate vinegar, roobois tea syrup, pori (puffed rice), caramel and citrus vodka, and Oly Moly, made with olive oil, mount pepper rosemary syrup, mentil, lemon juice and gin. ZZURA, 2/F Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywod Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2639 9155