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 drink: “Bong Bong” CBD Tequila Soda (HK$50)
A local company by the name of Four-Twenty has been canning Hong Kong’s first ready-to-drink CBD cocktails over the past year, including a “Higher Ball” whisky soda, a “Magic Acid” vodka soda and their “OGT” gin and tonic. And last month, in collaboration with Wo On Lane’s Dead&, they quietly released this little number — the “Bong Bong” canned CBD tequila soda, featuring 20mg of calming (and yes, mom, legal) cannabidiol to help take the edge off after a long week. Available in Dead&’s back-of-bar, Octopus-friendly vending machines, it’s sweet, strong and blessed with my favourite of the clear spirits, tequila. Everyone I’ve had it with loves it, but if you’re looking for something a little less on the sweet side, ask Jake at the bar for his take on the classic tequila soda — one of the coldest in the city. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Dead&, Lan Kwai Fong, 18 Wo On Lane, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9886 5711
Artemis & Apollo
The drink: Peloponnese (HK$118)
Now this is what I’d call a dangerous drink. The Peloponnese — named after the southernmost peninsula in Greece — is, first of all, a pink drink. With a sprig of mint speared at the rim. Which, really, in my head anyways, translates to somewhere warm; somewhere sunny. Somewhere I can dig my toes into soft, sun-warmed sand. Somewhere someone I love will remind me to reapply sunscreen. Somewhere I won’t, anyway, because I’m very lazy and would rather lie down, close my eyes and drift. Probably Mykonos or Santorini, if we’re keeping with Artemis & Apollo’s Grecian-paradise theme. But I digress.
The Peloponnese is a concoction of rum, ouzo (a dry anise-flavoured aperitif that’s, apparently, very Greek), soda water, watermelon and honey. It’s lightly fruity, lightly sweet; just a very mild drink that’s a perfect complement to all the salt we had after. Go for the Pork Souvlaki and Calamari like we did. — Joey Wong, Editor
Artemis & Apollo, G/F, 9-11 Moon Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2818 8681
The drink: Pineapple Smash (HK$68)
My best sip this week is not exactly one of extravagance. No table-side theatrics. No time-limited exclusive. It’s just a sweet simple sip hidden amongst an attractive menu of catchier names and fancier garnished tipples. But at least it’s reliable; the kind I’m sure you’ll end up reaching back for after making the usual rounds around the cocktail list.
Chachawan’s Pineapple Smash is exactly what its bright, summer-loving name implies. It’s a fruit juice blended with what I’ve christened as the Classic Tropics Trio: fresh pineapple, passion fruit and orange juice. Lightened up by a squeeze, rub and dunk of the accompanying mint garnish, it’s especially satisfying and delicious. Evocative of a holiday under the sun. Especially on a rainy day like today. –– Lorria Sahmet, Editor
Chachawan, 206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2549 0020
LPM Restaurant & Bar
The drink: Pablo (HK$120)
This devilish cocktail will only be available from 11 October — but you heard it here first. LPM’s global new drinks list is a series that celebrates the life of influential French artist, writer and bon-vivant, Jean Cocteau. Each chapter in the new menu features a different faction of Cocteau’s very colourful life. In this particular chapter, Pablo is a concoction that honours Cocteau’s friendship with, you guessed it, Pablo Picasso. Talk about friends in high places! This gimlet-inspired tipple has dashings of tarragon and orange and mint cordial, but wait — the best part is the visual evolution of the drink. Words wouldn’t do it justice, so you’ll just have to taste, and see, for yourselves. — Sandra Kwong, Features Editor
LPM Restaurant & Bar, H Queen’s, 23-29 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2887 1113