Before you occupy yourself with endless mugfuls of warm mulled wine, here’s a brand new list of cocktails worth sampling this November. Just before the holiday season settles in.
As though an early forecast for the upcoming month of festive celebrations, this November’s where to drink list features cocktails that gesture towards celebrations of their own: local produce at Tell Camellia, notable milestones at Candour and Hong Kong culture in general at Salisterra. No excuse not to head out and raise a boozy glass of your own now.
There are two sides to Epicurean Group’s latest opening, BÁRBAR: a convivial Spanish tapas bar, and to complement the delectable sharing dishes, a sophisticated wine bar stocked with a varied selection of bottles and labels consciously sourced from classic and up-and-coming Spanish winemakers. Within the range, there’s, of course, a section dedicated to the beloved goblet of sweet sangria, bobbing with colourful slices of fresh fruit. Also on the menu, Spanish sherries and craft gins from artisanal producers all over the region.
BÀRBAR, Shop A, G/F, 9 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2910 0008
While you’re out and about, make a stop at….
Alto Adige Wines
While there isn’t a brick-and-mortar location in Hong Kong dedicated to the wines of the famed Alto Adige region — Italy’s miniature wine terroir is home to prestigious harvest of almost exclusive DOC, or Controlled Designation of Origin wines — the “miracle” wine region, as it’s so affectionately referred to, has just launched a dedicated webpage in Hong Kong to spotlight its exquisite selection of prized Alpine wines. Imbued with irresistible Mediterranean charm with old European winemaking practices, Alto Adige works with over 20 local stockists to bring its vivid bottles to the holiday rotation including full-bodied, creamy white Pinot Bianco Riserva from Kellerie Terlan; deep ruby red Pinot Nero from Elena Walch; and Riesling from the historic family vineyard of Pacherhof.
For more information, visit here.
Finding inspiration in one of Hong Kong’s oldest, most beloved pastime, DarkSide, the sultry jazz bar tucked away at the ground level of Rosewood Hong Kong, presents a new cocktail rotation inspired by mahjong. Like the hand-drawn tiles representative of various themes, the menu hones in on the bonus category of Flowers (Plum, Orchid, Bamboo, Chrysanthemum) and Seasons (Spring Summer, Autumn, Winter) as the foundation for eight new beverages. Look out for stalwarts remade with a floral twist as indicated by the specific tile — Plum is a classic stirred martini remade with salted plum; while Chysantheum infuses notes of the bloom into a cognac-based milk punch — and seasonal Hong Kong flavours: Summer is inspired by the local café order of preserved lemons and soda, made instead salted lychee and Japanese Nikka Days Whiskey, and at the other end of the spectrum, Winter is the boozy edition of the traditional sweet Chinese sweet potato and ginger soup, spiked with Matusalem 15 Years Rum.
In keeping with Rosewood’s “A Sense of Place” philosophy, DarkSide collaborates with various artisans in the making of the new concept: Mahjong tile-maker masters Ricky Cheung and Karen Aruba Art for the menu’s artwork, Tung Yao Ceramics for the Chinese-style pottery and Soekjing Studio for the specially designed glassware.
Darkkside, Level Two, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Lorenzo Antinori‘s ARGO has marked many a milestones since opening in the beautifully refurbished corner of the Four Season’s hotel lobby back in 2021, including notable recognitions in ranking 28th upon World’s 50 Best Bars list and 3rd on Asia’s own edition. Now, ARGO is set to unveil Volume 2 of its award-winning cocktail programme: “Argo Cook Book”, which gestures towards the culinary traditions and heritage of Hong Kong. 12 cocktails have been concocted to emphasis six ingredients undoubtedly familiar to the city — soybean, apricot kernel, XO sauce, vegan char siu, black vinegar and aged tea — now reimagined under Antinori’s creative touch. For instance, Dynasty Old Fashioned features toasted soy grinds from ÀN Soy, shaken up with a spirit-forward mix of Michter’s Bourbon and Ferrand Cognac; while the XO Negroni highlights the ubiquitous chilli condiment in a homemade fortified wine, or ARGO’s own XO vermouth, with a blend of dried fruits, spices and local botanicals from Lantau Island.
ARGO, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3196 8882
The signature tea-inspired menu at Tell Camellia receives an alternate update with co-founder Gagan Gurung‘s latest “Farm to Glass” concept. Using various ingredients sourced from Au Lau Farm in New Territories’ Kam Tin, the new selection singles out locally grown ingredients of shisho, basil, mint and marigold leaf. What to look out for: Bitter Tweet, which begins with a milky oolong tea, followed by citrus-forward marigold leaf, Fernet Hunter and a splash of whisky; while Darjeeling Sour features fresh basil mixed with green apple, spice, gin and re-distilled darjeeling tea leaves.
Tell Camellia, LG/F, The Steps, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong +852 2686 8979
Connecting each of The House Collective’s four properties located across Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Hong Kong, “Updated Memories” distills the defining spirit of each respective cities into interactive experiences ranging between sound, taste and sight. In its debuting edition, Updated Memories captures flavours of each different city with cocktails concocted by mixologists at each location. Here in Hong Kong, Raphael Holzer shakes up three Hong Kong-inspired tipples including TaMartini, an updated twist on the classic featuring local gin N.I.P with mandarin peel and Hong Kong-born bitters Fernet Hunter with flavour notes that nod towards the classic salted lime sprite. Others in the line-up: Eternal Vision, a recreation of the Vitasoy’s bright yellow carton of chrysanthemum tea made with Sunday’s Whisky; and YuenYeung Punch, your typical milk punch recast with flavours of the staple cha chaan teng coffee milk tea order.
Updated Memories is available at Salisterra from 7 to 14 November.
Salisterra, Level 49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 3968 1106
Fortunately, autumns in Hong Kong — keeping at a cool mid-20s level — is the true rightful time for alfresco afternoons, something that is especially enjoyable at Pirata’s leafy outdoor terrace in Quarry Bay. Aside from a weekly Happy Hours menu, Tempo Tempo has also designated every Thursday as Pink Thursdays, where bottles of AIX Rosé, as well as the limited range of pink-hued cocktails, must be ordered as an ode to endless Mediterranean summers, including strawberry mojitos, Pink Tommy’s margarita and AIX Spritz, made with Beefeater gin, AIX Rosé, elderflower cordial and a splash of soda.
While you’re here, peruse Tempo Tempo’s signature menu of tiki-inspired cocktails, featuring nine colourful libations that touch upon sunny flavours of strawberries, lemon cordial, honey and mixed berries, housed in bright ceramics in playful shapes of unicorns, seashell and flamingoes.
Tempo Tempo, 2/F, Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2788 3037
It’s a month of endless events at hip-hop lounge Candour, currently hard at work in preparation for its first anniversary at its Peel Street location. Beginning with guest shift programs on 16 and 17 November featuring notable industry names including Tracy Villegas from Hjem, Jen Queen from The Pontiac, Austen Lendrum from Apothecary and Nikita Matveev from The Old Man, “The Battlegrounds: Bar Edition” will eventually lead up to the main celebration on 18 November. Marking the momentous milestone will be new cocktails of signature Candour flavours remade as classic cocktails from Siren’s Song, a nod towards Candour’s early days, with gin, elderflower liqueur, house-made guava sherbet and Thai cordial of galangal and kaffir lime, to Cherry Hill, a heady concoction of gin, Cocchi Americano Rosa, sakura liqueur, Luxardo maraschino and prosecco as a ode to seasonal cherry blossom trees.
Candour will also launch a new series of cocktail masterclass led by general manager Kervin Unido. “Crafted by Candour” shares recipes for signature cocktails in interactive one-hour sessions hosted with a side of free-flow prosecco.
Candour, 65 Peel Street, Hong Kong, +852 2362 8100
Quinary x Peddlers
For the month of November, there will be creative tipples beyond The Quinary’s usual range of innovative concoctions following a recent collaboration with Shanghai-based Peddlers Gin Company and fellow Asia 50’s Best Bar recipient Hope & Sesame from Guangzhou. Founder and renowned mixologist Antonio Lai reimagines the glory days of old Shanghai in a series of transportive cocktails that includes Hope Highball, inspired by the medicinal flavours of salted plum juice, or “Suan Mei Tang”, with Peddlers own Salted Plum Gin, which is also featured in Plum & Coffee Sour, a zingy mix of orange marmalade and lemon juice.
Quinary x Peddlers is available until 30 November.
Quinary, G/F, 56-58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2851 3223
Artesian x The Social Den
If you happen to find yourself perusing Things To Do listicles for this Friday, here’s one to consider: Head to Tsim Sha Tsui for a seat at The Langham’s Artesian as they host an exclusive one-night-only event with newly opened Soho spot, The Social Den. Joe Villanueva, co-founder of The Social Den, will join Artesian bar captain Kelvin Chow in the making of eight tropics-inspired cocktails prepared with locally sourced ingredients. From Artesian, savour the likes of Scent of Love Punch, a delicious tipple featuring The Langham’s own signature gin with sencha tea, honey and plum wine, while The Social Den finds inspiration in various fruit including Papaya, a fiery glass of Ocho Blanco Tequila, lime juice, papaya molasses and a touch of Tabsco habanero salt.
Artesian x The Social Den is available for one day only on 11 November.
Artesian, Lobby Level, The Langham, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2132 7898