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Best Sips: 9 drinks we loved in August 2021

Best Sips is a look-back on the most incredible drinks — alcoholic or otherwise — we had in the past month. 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 apéritif 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.

CHAAT

The drink: Coconut Lassie (HK$90)

Some beverages are put on a menu for sheer comfort. The ones that are already on your mind as you stride through the restaurant’s threshold. Ones you order on auto-pilot as you are seated, devoid of the need to flick repeatedly through the beverage list. Ones that change with the occasion; the cuisine; the weather; or mood. For me, it’s pours like the Aperol Spritz, anything with a splash of pineapple, silky Hong Kong-style milk tea and, post a recent visit to CHAAT at Rosewood, the so smooth, so delicious serve of Coconut Lassie.

Typically when it comes to Indian cuisine, it’s the mango lassi that takes first seat; a sweet and slightly tart sip that soothes overwhelmed palettes laced with rich curries and smoky tandoors. But as it turns out, the Coconut Lassie — sampled on a whim in an attempt to go beyond my usual — is a worthy alternative. It’s less syrupy, replaced by a mild savoury aftertaste that’s tempered by a light coconutty finish. CHAAT’s version is made from a classic yoghurt base, blended in with creamy coconut purée and the added infusion of various spices, including green cardamom, for an aromatic kick. It’s a delicious gem amongst the flavour-checked, Indian street food-inspired plates that I’d really recommend you go for. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor

CHAAT, 5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 5239 9220

Quality Goods Club

(Editor’s note: Some things come better in twos.)

The drink: Suffering Sunset (HK$100)

First off, yes. My apologies. The picture? Not my best work. But call it a testament to the beauty of an establishment like Quality Goods Club; it’s a restaurant, a cocktail bar, a live music venue, a late-night club — a multi-faceted, multi-hyphenated space promising the very best of times. A live-in-the-moment kind of time. And that’s the spiel I’ll leave you with, with regards to this very grainy, very non-composed image. I had a great time. A quality time.

The Suffering Sunset (HK$100) is something you down, then ask for another. It’s a refreshing blend of Ballantine’s blended scotch whisky, gin, apricot, ginger, lemon and single malt mist, arriving poised at the table with a gradient split of light yellow that floats up to dark orange; sunset, they said, after all. Otherwise, the Frozen Martini (HK$120) is pretty perfect too. As is their Crab Bisque! — Joey Wong, Editor

Quality Goods Club, Basement, On Lok House, 39-43 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

Ami / Wood Ear

The drink: The Secret Mary

The Secret Mary has everything I could ask for in a cocktail: Salt! Pepper! Tomato juice! Edible snacks! (And of course, plenty of booze.) But instead of the vodka standard, the crew at Ami / Wood Ear have swapped agave spirit into the fray, kicking off a smoky and spicy mouth party that activates all my favourite tastebuds at once. After dinner, switch things up at the bar, where Christopher Ho has put together one of the rarest and most unique whiskey collections in Hong Kong. If whiskey’s not your thing, the expert staff has a strong selection of other cocktails on deck as well. Or try my personal favourite, a tequila soda, one of the coldest in the city. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief

Ami / Wood Ear, Shop 302, 3/F, LANDMARK ALEXANDRA, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3185 8396

Sunset Grill Tung Chung

The drink: Lantau Mary (HK$110) 

I’ve raved about this darling during my staycation here but I’ll gladly say it again: this is arguably the best rendition of a Bloody Mary I’ve had in my life thus far. And that is not an exaggeration. Infused with local dry shrimp oil from the Tai O fishing village, the salinity and umami kick took the cocktail to an impressively elevated level. Real talk – everyone should be making the journey to Tung Chung just to try this cocktail. Thank me for it later. — Sandra Kwong, Features Editor

Sunset Grill Tung Chung, Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung Hotel, 9 Yi Tung Road, 19/F, Tung Chung, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, +852 2535 0025

G Room Bar & Lounge

The drink: The G Room Sangria Jar (HK$428) 

I mean, just look at it. This is probably one of the prettiest presentations of sangria I’ve seen. We loved being able to create our own little personalized fruit glasses before descending into a night of wine-infused debauchery, paired with excellent padron peppers to boot. — SK

G Room Bar & Lounge, Shop 504, 5/F, K11 MUSEA, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2332 6662

Roji

The drink: Yamanashi (HK$120) 

There’s a lot of depth behind this gorgeous cocktail. Named after the Japanese prefecture famed for its scenic landscape and prime wine-making region, the Yamanashi features a base of red wine blended with a smooth sake. The cherry on top is mixologist Lok Gurung’s incredible inhouse dashi-soy brined cucumber pickle as a garnish. The whole journey is lip-smackingly good. — SK

Roji, G/F, 20A D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong

Awa Awa

The drink: Absolute Matteo

If you’re looking for a cocktail to cool you down from the sweltering heat while standing on Peel Street, may we suggest a strawberry mojito? Dubbed the ‘Absolute Matteo’, the Japanese inspired cocktail is crafted with Grace ‘Cor Cor Red’ rum, House Awamori Falernum, Peychaud’s bitter, strawberry Oleo Saccharum, mint and ginger. We’d suggest you sip it slowly, as it’s super easy to drink but packs a punch. — Austin Miao, Branded Content Manager

Awa Awa, Shop E&F, Upper Ground Floor, 42 & 44, Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong

Momoz

The drink: Hot Virgin Chili Mojito (HK$42)

I went for the steaming baskets of familiar and comforting momos (and how they delivered!) but I left thinking, maybe dreaming, about this mocktail. Presented in a transparent, highly Instagrammable can, this signature mojito has all the ingredients you’d expect (fresh lemon and mint) but also chillis from Nepal, giving it a unique kick and instantly transporting me back home to Uttar Pradesh — we do border Nepal, after all! — Sakina Abidi, Editorial Assistant

Momoz, 6 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2898 3129; Shop No 3, Lee Wai Commercial Building 1&3, Hart Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3752 2670

Chino

The drink: Frozen Pineapple Margarita

The frozen margarita is nothing revolutionary. Typically syrupy and machine poured from questionable beach bars, it’s a slightly watered down version of our favourite tequila-spiked cocktail, right? Not this one. Everything I’ve been searching for in a summer drink and more, Chino churns out a creative array of frozen margaritas across the season. This month, the modern Mexican fusion resto has struck perfect balance between sweet and sour with a pineapple tequila number that’s oh-so-drinkable; only available for a limited time however, so you’ll need to be quick to sip on this one before they swap it out. – Lexi Davey, Managing Editor

Chino, 1B New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2606 0588

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