Now that Dry January is out of the picture, it’s high time to get your drink on. And let’s face it, the holiday season is far from over, with Chinese New Year family gatherings and Valentine’s Day giving you plenty of cause for a celebratory (or stress-relieving) tipple, depending on where you stand. Either way, if you’re looking for a decent drink this month, start here with our list of the best places to imbibe around town.
PDT (Please Don’t Tell)
The talk of the town this month is the newly launched PDT — New York’s infamous speakeasy which first made a splash during its months-long pop-up in 2016. Located on the mezzanine floor above MO Bar at the Landmark Mandarin, you enter the bar through a door disguised as a telephone booth, punching in a few select keys to gain entrance. Aside from PDT classics, the cocktail bar will also be serving some Hong Kong exclusives, with a menu spanning 15 drinks. New concoctions include the Big Fan, a shandy made with Cabeza tequila, lime juice, pink peppercorn and Moonzen Fujian radler; and the Milky Tea Punch, a spin on the cha chaan teng classic using Ron Zacapa Centenario rum, Hennessy V.S.O.P., Rickshaw tea, condensed milk, Japanese Taiyouran egg and Angostura bitters.
Meanwhile, the bar bites offer revamped versions of American gastro-pub dishes, thanks to a menu crafted by Executive Chef Richard Ekkebus. Think gourmet hot dogs made from free-range and sustainable pork, chicken and beef; and Okonomiyaki-style tater tots complete with all the fixings of the popular Japanese street food. PDT Hong Kong is open from 5pm onwards and is closed on Sundays.
PDT Hong Kong, Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2132 0110; Reservations available one week in advance for parties up to six.
New Cha Chaan Teng-inspired Cocktails at Back Bar
Ham & Sherry’s Back Bar is no stranger to fun, kooky cocktail menus — its bootleg DVD folder of movie-inspired drinks like the Ron Burgundy (rum, burgundy syrup, perfume bitters, served in a perfume bottle) are one of our favourite things about the place. This month, bar manager Laetitia Roudaut brings us a whole new menu (cocktails HK$120–140 each) that’s an ode to some of Hong Kong’s most beloved treats, ones you’re likely to find in a cha chaan teng: the ‘Corn Lada,’ a twist on a piña colada, is coconut rum, corn honey butter, lemon and pineapple, and brings to mind Hong Kong’s coconut-filled cocktail buns. ‘Don’t ‘Lai Cha’ Me’ is the inevitable love letter to iced milk tea, blending vodka, amaretto, milk, English Breakfast and Earl Grey tea, served with shortbread for a sweet, comforting treat. The menu also takes Ham & Sherry’s prized jamon to create the ‘Dumpling Martini’ — Iberico ham fat-washed vodka, chive gin, lillet blanc, and soy sauce — a savoury and sweet umami-bomb. Pay a visit to try all of them on the menu — there’s also a drink inspired by cult cartoon Rick and Morty that explodes with flavour from Sichuan numbing spice and pickle juice. But if you aren’t tickled by anything so far, you can also try the weekly house special.
Back Bar (Ham & Sherry), 1-7 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2555 0628
Tea and Winter Warmers at The Envoy
Sticking true to its colonial-era theme, The Envoy has recently launched a new menu of tea cocktails harking back to Hong Kong’s British influence. Drinks include the ‘Moon Song’ (HK$118), a boozy twist on the milk tea; and the ‘Tea & Biscuit’ (HK$128), which pairs the iconic flavours of earl grey tea and British jaffa cakes. While all of them sound delightful, with the recent cold weather we’re looking forward most to sipping on The Envoy’s recently launched selection of hot cocktails. Cups of ‘Chartreuse Hot Chocolate’ (HK$128), Sesame Irish Coffee (HK$128) and ‘Red Date Hot Toddy’ (HK$128) are just the ticket to warming up after a long and tiring day at the office.
The Envoy, 3/F The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2169 3311
Luau of Doom Mondays at Lily & Bloom
Mondays are often the gloomiest night of the week, but Lily & Bloom’s new tiki-inspired Monday nights are set to zap some life back to your soulless weeknight. Head Mixologist John Nugent has curated new concoctions recalling the high-proof, refreshing and often colourfully presented drinks of classic American tiki stylings. Try the banana daiquiri (HK$150), Lily & Bloom’s first ever creation; and the classic ‘34 Zombie, named after the year that the alleged founding father of tiki Don Beach created the original drink. It’s limited to two orders per person at HK$180 each, so you know it’s one hell of a kicker. Pair drinks with tiki snacks and pupu platters, with dishes served in retro Chinese takeaway boxes.
Lily & Bloom, 5-6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 6166; Available Mondays from 5pm–2am
‘Jeng-Bei’ Bao Bei Games Night
Looking for some hump day excitement? There’s a new games night in town that’s bringing some boozy laughs to you and your best buddies. Every Wednesday, Bao Bei will be equipped with collegiate favourites such as stack cup, flip cup, beer pong (HK$228 for a jug of beer or mixed spirits to play) and dice and cards; but the highlight is sure to be jenga with drinking rules, packed with hilarious dares and challenges to fuel the debauchery.
Bao Bei, B1/F, Carfield Commercial Building, 75-77 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2801 7779
Love Beer Launch
When: 7 February, 6–11pm
Craft beer aficionados will want to get in on this: The Globe is hosting a launch event for the newly brewed Love Beer, specially created by Black Kite Brewery and Pinkdom to celebrate diversity of love for your family, friends, lovers, allies and the LGBTI+ community. A portion of the proceeds of beer sales, as well as HK$10 for every pint sold, will be donated to Aids Concern. An easy-to-drink ale at 4.5 ABV, the pink beer is brewed with wheat and a single type of hop. Burlesque dancer Penny Poutine will also heat up the festivities with an exclusive performance. More details here.
The Globe, Garely Building, 45-53 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2543 1941
Ikebana Cocktails at Fang Fang
When: Through 6 February
While Chinese homes are busy prepping for Lunar New Year with auspicious new blooms, modern Chinese restaurant Fang Fang is also celebrating aptly with a pop-up cocktail series inspired by the art of flower arrangement. As the space transforms into an enchanting garden, bar manager Gagan Gurung has put a floral twist on classic cocktails, including the ‘Garden Old Fashioned’ made with Kavalan whisky; ‘Fangroni,’ an Asian-style Negroni; and the ‘Champaca Margarita,’ which features magnolia flower-infused Cointreau and a citrus mix. Sip your drink while being serenaded with live jazz by singer Wendy Robin and her team, who will be crooning soulful jazz and blues from Tuesday through Saturday every week.
Fang Fang, 8/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2983 9083
Mad Men Happy Hour at Foxglove
Grab after-work drinks in style at Foxglove with their new happy hour inspired by the stylish suits of Mad Men. Take your pick from HK$60 wines, beers, and spirits, or pay HK$80 for a tableside-made Don’s Old Fashioned or Joan’s Vanilla Martini. Pair it with one of Foxglove’s decadent snacks, from parmesan fries to truffle bikini for just HK$50. Available weekdays from 5–8pm, you’ll want to get there early to get the inspiration flowing before doing it all again the next day.
Foxglove, 18 Ice House Street / 6 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2116 8949
Macallan Whisky Flight at Hyatt Regency
If you missed Macallan’s Edition No. 3 launch party last fall, this is your chance to savour the aromatic collaborative effort between Macallan master whisky maker Bob Dalgarno and master perfumer Roja Dove. Chin Chin Bar at Hyatt Regency is offering a limited single malt whisky flight (HK$358) which starts with 12 Years Old – Fine Oak, followed by 15 Years – Fine Oak, before rounding off with the Edition No. 3. Two whisky cocktails have been crafted for the occasion, putting the subtle citrus, vanilla and coconut notes of Macallan 12 years – Fine Oak in the spotlight: The Scent (HK$200) features homemade tonka bean syrup, while Fragrance (HK$200) features homemade spiced cider syrup, bitters, and orange blossom water.
Chin Chin Bar, 3/F, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, + 852 3721 7722
Valentine’s Afternoon Tea at Alibi
Whether you’re spending the evening with your SO or celebrating with your single gal pals, there’s always plenty of reason to crack open a bottle of bubbly come Valentine’s Day. Alibi’s latest floral afternoon tea is a collaboration with Champagne house Perrier-Jouët, and is just what you need to get in the spirit of V-day. Priced at HK$558 for two and limited to 10 sets per day, the afternoon tea set features scrumptious bites such as Iberico chorizo croquettes with nasturtium, jasmine tea panna cotta with mango, and Perrier-Jouët champagne jelly. Add HK$280 for a bottle of Grand Brut, and you’ll also receive two limited edition Champagne flutes (until 15 February) or two bottles of Champagne perfume (16 February until end of March).
Alibi–Wine Dine Be Social, 5/F, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, +852 3553 3388
If you’re looking to extend Dry January this month, you’ll want to keep an eye out for Seedlip, a London-based company which is making the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits. Already available in cities such as Barcelona, New York and LA, Seedlip is zero calories and sugar-free with no artificial flavourings; in short, it’s exactly what you should order when you’re craving a light drink and don’t want to settle for saccharine mocktails. We had a glass of Seedlip & Tonic at a recent product launch event and can report that, taste-wise, it’s practically indistinguishable from a real G&T. How’s that for healthy drinking?
Seedlip is available at liquor stores city-wide such as HK Liquor Store and The Bottle Shop at HK$328/700ml. You can also find the spirit at PDT, The Pawn, Potato Head Hong Kong, Foxglove, Buenos Aires Polo Club, Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour, Happy Paradise, The Murray Hong Kong and Beet.