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.
木衛二香港鑄茶所 (Europa Tea Foundry)
The drink: 輕檸蘋果蜜糖綠 (Lemon Apple Green Tea with Honey)
I grew up in Hong Kong, which means I’m bred to love milk tea, lemon tea and bubble tea, in no specific order. Europa Tea Foundry’s seasonal 輕檸蘋果蜜糖綠, which checks at least two of those boxes, is the kind of thing so cold and refreshing it’d do wonders for dousing all residual fury that comes from drifting though the Swedish flat-pack furniture behemoth a few streets away. And if you didn’t saunter in from IKEA, fret not, it’s still going to be just as good.
This tastes almost exactly like those green-bottled, red-capped Apple Green Teas you get from 7-11 when you’re trying to be “good” but end up having something sweet anyways. ETF’s ups the ante, though, with little chunks of icy apple cubes so every perfect honeyed-apple sip comes with a perfect honeyed-apple bite. Fellow lactose-intolerants who want that Bubble Tea experience, this one’s for you. — Joey Wong, Editor
Europa Tea Foundry, Shop 3, G/F, 22 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; +852 3618 7576
The drink: Hojicha Latte (HK$14)
The latte that you know probably has something to do with espresso and milk. But this hojicha latte from Doutor — a popular chain cafe headquartered in Tokyo’s Shibuya — does not. It just has milk. That, as I’ve learnt while wondering the same thing you currently are, is a thing. Drinks mixed in with a dash of milk are often referred to as a latte — just pop by your local bubble tea shop to find out.
And as it turns out, a hojicha latte that comes in a bottle is quite delicious. Of course, there’s no comparing to those fresh brews at artisan tea cafes that are deep in complexity, but for one that you can grab-and-go, leave out half-finished and not worry about it, it’s pretty good. It’s different from your average convenience store find: The hojicha is discernible in every sip that is neither too sweet nor too flat and the drink — can be enjoyed either hot or cold — is silky smooth, lingering with a rich creaminess. It’s pleasantly aromatic too. And as I’ve mentioned, Doutor is a well-known name (they currently have 900 outposts across Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore), so trust that they know their lattes — and their bottled lattes — well. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor