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Best Sips: 4 drinks we loved this week

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:

Honky Tonks Tavern

The drink: Michelada (HK$75)

While Joey Wong does most of the requisite pining over Bloodys Mary here at the ol’ digital fishwrap, it’s a personal fave of my own, as well. But one cocktail has my heart (and liver) far above any other, one that Esquire once called “the most refreshing drink ever created” — the Michelada. A mix of beer, spices and a dealer’s choice when it comes to lime juice and tomato juice and soy sauce whatever else tickles the tastebuds, it’s often referred to as a Beer Bloody Mary. Honky Tonks gets it right, mixing their Mary mix with Pilsner and finishing things off with that salty, spicy Tajin rim. Lick, sip, savour and thank me later. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief

Honky Tonks Tavern, Man Hing Lane, Central, Hong Kong

Winelog

The drink: Tropical River (HK$98)

Save for, perhaps, Sanya, China isn’t a place you’d associate with the word “tropical”. Deeply historical, yes. Culture on culture, yes. But sandy beaches and lapis-blue water that stretches as far as the eye can see? Nah. It’s a wonder, then, that Ming River baijiu tastes like a tropical treat; a liquor you’d expect to be fermented from something pineapple-adjacent, not simply red sorghum grain and wheat-based yeasts. Where does the pineapple come from?!

Ming River’s residency at Winelog in Central Market gives you four chances (four cocktails, created by The Old Man’s Nikita Matveev) to figure it out. I started with Tropical River, a summery concoction of Ming River Sichuan baijiu, Pampelle, lime, rose, pineapple (duh), Sichuan pepper and anise, but, of course, went on to try the lot. Tropical River — ice-cold, decidedly but not overwhelmingly sweet with an almost fruit-punch aroma — is served in a camping mug, but it really is the kind of drink you’d imagine served sand-side with a teeny-tiny umbrella. Get yourself a Baijiu Discovery Flight (HK$180) and really go to town on those dried pineapples; makes every sip taste like somewhere you’d rather be right now. Somewhere warm. Somewhere sunny. — Joey Wong, Editor

Winelog, Shop G14, G/F, Central Market, 80 Des Voeux Road Central and 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9140 8356

Bundaberg

The drink: Lemon Lime & Bitters (HK$21) 

I’ll start off by saying: next week I promise to have a “proper” drink. Promise! But in this week of “No dinners after 6pm”, bar closures and WFH days, the closest thing I have to “Fun” is a visit to my fridge, which is also a treasure trove of very delicious things — like Ho Le Fook’s trio of sauces. There are also perfectly chilled cartons of Vita’s Chocolate Milk (which I wrote enthusiastically about last week) and this week’s entry: Bundaberg’s Lemon, Lime & Bitters.

It’s your commercial can of Sprite, made better. A premium edition of the typical click-and-fizz can, this one is a craft soft drink in a click-and-fizz glass. Bundaberg says these are brewed with “real fruits, herbs and spices” and make these the better choice in a month dedicated to Better Choices. This one has lemon and lime juice and spices that add towards a refreshing fizz which is sharper than usual, zingier than usual and very, very refreshing —  bitterness nowhere to be found. Throw in a sprig of mint and some chopped up strawberries and bring a full pitcher to the seaside this weekend. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor

GET IT HERE

Small Good

The drink: Oat Milk Cappuccino (HK$53)

New mum to a lively three-month old who likes to party at 3am, coffee increases my chances of survival by tenfold. Living in Kennedy Town, I’m actually rather spoilt for choice when it comes to a decent cuppa, but it’s local coffee shop Small Good that has been getting me through those early morning nappy changes. Partnering with Duke’s Coffee for a potent caffeine shot that hits the spot every single time, Small Good’s beans are some of the best in the biz — in my humble opinion. Large oat milk cappuccino, please! — Lexi Davey, Managing Editor

Small Good, 175 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

(Hero and featured image courtesy of Honky Tonks Tavern)

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