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.
The best drinks we sipped on and savoured this week:
The drink: Cleared Grasshopper (HK$120)
I’m not really a sweet person — in disposition or predilection — but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the Grasshopper. First and foremost, does any cocktail have a cooler name? Born in my favourite American city, New Orleans, the minty libation is a stunner to look at and a delight to sip after-hours. Penicillin’s new menu pays homage to the mixologist-favourite Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, putting the bar’s signature eco-friendly twist on some old classics — making this Cleared Grasshopper double-green, in a way. Garnished with white chocolate nibs, it’s a best bite and a best sip at the same dang time. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Penicillin, Amber Lodge, L/G, 23 Hollywood Rd, Central, +852 9880 7995
The drink: Celery Soda (HK$50)
Get your greens, kids. In the spirit of enjoying beverages with a stalk of celery submerged inside it on Saturday mornings, Mendel’s Celery Soda (surprise!) replaced exactly one serving of my Bloody Mary intake this week — and it was substitute I’d be happy to welcome back, any day. It’s a sweet sip, powered by lemon zest, kosher salt, seltzer and, of course, celery stalk and seeds. If you’re not really a celery person, this drink is for you, too. Because unless you’re chomping down on the stalk, the celery kick is more a whisper at the end of a sip than anything explicitly herbaceous. It’s just a nice, refreshing, summertime drink that can be boozed up with a shot of something stronger at the bar. Just ask! — Joey Wong, Editor
Mendel’s Delicatessen, 66 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
The drink: Campania (HK$148)
Finally! After two full months of tea, coffee, chocolate milk and anything remotely “interesting” I can scavenge from my kitchen pantry, I’ve finally reunited with my one true love: Aperol Spritz. Call it a premature summertime feeling or the deprived longing for a giant glass of perfectly chilled, deliciously fizzy sunset orange, but you’re not going to visit the Southern Italian coast (read: Osteria Marzia) without an equally sunny drink, are you?
Now, this grand reunion with Aperol should be set for something other than the typical, crystal clear Aperol-Prosecco mix. It should be special; something to remember! At Osteria Marzia, you’ll discover the Campania, a jazzed-up version of the classic recipe you’re really going to come back for with added apricot (even better with the wafer slices garnished over the top!) for a slightly cloudy, coral concoction. It’s followed by a familiar bitterness of Aperol and a light effervescent fizz of Prosecco. An arms-wide-open welcome back. It won’t be my last — but you already knew that. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor
Osteria Marzia, G/F, The Fleming, 41 Fleming Road, Wan Chai, +852 3607 2253