In this kind of ridiculous heat where even scorching is an understatement, all we want to be doing, frankly, is sitting under a pool umbrella and sipping on an icy cocktail. Lucky for us, this month there’s plenty of opportunities to knock back exquisite drinks, whether it’s in celebration of Negroni Week, the 5th Hong Kong Rum Fest, or simply diffusing the summer heat with ice-cold spiked slushies (a necessity in 36-degree weather) and brand new summer cocktail menus. See our picks below:
Hong Kong Rum Fest
When: 1–2 June
Price: HK$150 from Pelago
The fifth annual Hong Kong Rum Fest is just around the corner, once again bringing distinguished ambassadors of the spirit to Central to host a series of masterclasses and mixology lessons, as well as have the opportunity to taste more than 150 rum labels during the event. New rums debuting in Hong Kong include Takamaka Bay rum from Seychelles Island, Thailand’s Chalong Bay Phuket Rum, and Hong Kong’s first rum, distilled by Honi Honi Tiki Lounge with New Grove Mauritian Rum. The festivities will be fuelled by Polynesian dishes from Hawaiian poké experts Pololi Hong Kong, and a ticket gets you credit to spend on both drinks and dishes. Learn more details about the masterclasses here.
Preset Event Space, The Loop, UG/F & G/F, 33 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2570 5768
When: 4–10 June
Taking place each year since 2013, worldwide Negroni Week is an initiative celebrating the classic cocktail and neo-variations while supporting charities around the globe. In short, it’s a very exciting time for all enthusiasts of the zesty, simple beverage. Hong Kong has 66 venues signed up this year, with the likes of stalwarts Lobster Bar & Grill, Back Bar, Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour, J.Boroski, as well as newcomers Fratelli in Repulse Bay, and Fools & Magicians, tucked up on Arbuthnot Street. Each venue will be serving up their proprietary version of the negroni — each must include campari, gin and vermouth — and will be donating proceeds to their chosen local charity.
Find more details here.
VEA Lounge: Classics Reimagined
With the bar concept led by Amir Javaid, VEA Lounge has re-centred its focus on a new theme that champions sustainability in its mixology, while also adding exciting touches to tried-and-tested old favourites. Try the aromatic, experimental Full Circle (HK$128), which leaves no stone unturned: a twist on the classic Mai Tai featuring coffee re-distilled rum, clarified pineapple, smoked peach liqueur, lime, coffee ‘paint,’ almond perfume and pineapple leather. The bar has also begun adopting glass straws in an attempt to eliminate single-use plastic on the premises.
VEA Lounge, 29/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2711 0063
‘Finding Neverland’ cocktails at Quinary
Summer at Quinary takes a fanciful turn as Head Bartender Samuel Kwok gets inspired by J.M. Barrie’s masterwork. Start with a refreshing splash in mermaid lagoon with the Cool Lagoon (HK$130), made with Italicus, Iron Balls gin, Thai basil, Pavan grape liqueur, kaffir lime, cucumber bitter and pickled jalapeno syrup — finished with lime juice and frozen green grapes. Referencing Peter Pan’s famous saying, the Faith and Trust (HK$140) melds floral bergamot, nuttiness and a little sparkle with pineapple-infused Cocchi Americano, Italicus, white port and cardamom bitters, and a splash of requisite pixie dust — courtesy of Veuve Clicquot champagne.
Quinary, 56-58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2851 3223
Tipsy Daily Free-Flow and Happy Hour
It’s not often you find a daytime drink deal available from Monday through Sunday, and Tai Hang newbie Tipsy, located within the Little Tai Hang boutique hotel, is looking to be the hottest spot in the neighbourhood for happy hour (or even a cheeky lunchtime drink). Wash down their new summer dishes with the noon–3pm free-flow package at just HK$138 per person for wines and prosecco; or the two-for-one deal from 5–8pm. With enough encouragement, perhaps you’ll even live up to the restaurant’s moniker.
Tipsy, 1/F, Little Tai Hang, 98 Tun Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2818 8807
Beer Slushies at Soul Food Thai
What’s better than cold bottles of Chang with your Thai soul food in this crazy heat? Positively frosty, sub-zero brews that freeze in seconds, thanks to a little scientific magic. Also known as ‘bia wun,’ or beer jelly, thanks to its unique consistency crossing between snow and jelly. Get yours at Soul Food Thai for HK$58 each.
Soul Food Thai, 26–30 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2177 3544
Frosé at Maison Libanaise
When: 9 June, 12–5pm
Head up to Maison Libanaise’s quaint rooftop La Buvette (now with new weather-proofing, so you can come rain or shine) for an icy glass of frosé. A simple enough recipe: churned frozen rosé with puréed fresh raspberries, but so quenching! The folks at Maison Libanaise are giving them out for free on 9 June, so you know where you’ll be all Saturday afternoon. On regular days, it’s HK$48 for a glass or HK$198 by the pitcher.
Maison Libanaise, 10 Shelley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2111 2284
Mythical cocktails at The Envoy
When it feels like we need a meteorological miracle to save us from the balls-of-fire heat in Hong Kong at the moment, it looks like The Envoy is delivering just what we were hoping for. The bar is highlighting six new summer spritzes, each inspired by a mythological story involving some kind of cosmic intervention: The Odyssey (HK$128) pays homage to the ripe summer pear, known as the ‘gift of the gods’ in Homer’s story, with Absolut Pear vodka, pear puree, star anise and champagne. For a majestic drink of otherworldly proportions, try The Eternal Spring (HK$128; pictured), referencing the twice-rebuilt Eternal Spring Shrine above the Changchun waterfall, located within the sublime landscape of Hualien’s Taroko Gorge.
The Envoy, 3/F, The Pottinger Hotel, 74 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2169 3311
Pantone drinks at Ori-gin
Executive Mixologist Antonio Lai and Head Barman Edward Chung have teamed up to bring us an exciting array of colourful cocktails this summer at Ori-gin. Following this year’s Pantone colour of the year, Ultraviolet, the eponymous cocktail (HK$128) features lavender and berries in a cocktail as vibrant as its shade. If you’re looking for some calming respite, look to the colour of gentle spring clouds in Billowing Sail (HK$118), which uses equally refreshing lemongrass redistilled Tanqueray gin, Malibu, coconut syrup, egg white and soda water — sounding just like the start of a holiday.
Ori-gin, G/F, 48 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2668 5583
Father’s Day drinking at Pirata Group
When: 17 June
Get dad buzzed for his special day with a new range of five cocktails at Pirata Group establishments, available only on Sunday the 17th of June — all showcasing strong liquors (mainly bourbon), stirred and shaken to match perfectly with the cuisine on offer. Take for instance the Don Papa (HK$100) at Peruvian-Japanese izakaya TokyoLima, a gin cocktail shaken with house-made Earl Grey syrup, basil and star anise, perfectly matching the zesty Nikkei cuisine. At Pirata, the vibrant Italian fare is paired best with the Papi Island (HK$100), which blends bourbon with roasted sweet pineapple with hints of caramel and orange bitters. Particularly suited for American whisky lovers, MEATS’ serves a selection of over 20 different bourbons, while the From the Flask cocktail (HK$90) tops the whisky off with a flamed orange peel — perfect to go with the restaurant’s juicy chops and steaks.
Check out more here