You’ll need a quick solution to a speedy cool down when surviving a hot, humid July. Keep this list handy for places to drink when the temperature rises.
Fortunately, Hong Kong has resumed some sense of normalcy this summer — RATs and vaccination records still in hand, of course — and the month of July happily welcomes back the return of bar openings and collaborative events with some reputed names (see: The Daily Tot). For the few of society that isn’t booking onto the next available flight for a getaway far far away, we’re staying local with fingers crossed that quarantine-free travel will indeed happen in November. And in between those day-long adventures in the sun, don’t forget to sit down for an ice-cold drink under an icy blast of air-conditioning wherever you may be. Temperatures are hitting an all-time high — stay hydrated!
All the new bar openings this month:
Bianco & Rosso
Here’s something Hong Kong’s bar scene is yet to discover: a bar dedicated solely to vermouth. Set to arrive this month on Central’s Gough Street, Bianco & Rosso, from newly established group Singular Concepts also behind popular names The Daily Tot, Barcode and Tell Camellia, is the city’s first, set to showcase a brand new facet of under-appreciated spirit. The bar is led by Luda Andrei, an industry veteran and the former brand ambassador of Monkey 47, Havana Rum and Lillet at Pernod Ricard, who will serve Italian-style cocktails amongst spritz, sherries, fortified wines and of course, vermouth-based cocktails.
Bianco & Rosso, G/F, 29 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong
Also, bar menus to look out for:
Doubleshot by Cupping Room x Johnnie Walker
Reputed Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker just added a new bottle to their celebrated range: Johnnie Walker Black Label Sherry Finish, a smooth, 12-year Scotch that’s been aged in a casks soaked with sweet Jerez sherry. The exquisite palate of complex flavour notes — reaching towards various Scottish regions, including the fruity spice from the Highlands and the honeyed toffee sweetness from Lowland distilleries — is translated into a cocktail pairing menu at Doubleshot by Cupping Room who, for a limited time, is serving a menu that complements those sweet-smoky flavours. Sample a beverage list of four creations that highlight the whisky’s ideal partner of dark fruits, including Blackcurrent Highball, a Johnnie Walker highball twist mixed in with black current cordial and soda water, and Black Sherry Calling, a heady mix of Fino Sherry with a splash of lemon juice, angostura bitters and grapefruit peel.
Doubleshot by Cupping Room, 1/F, Hilltop Plaza, 49 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9225 6639
PDT Sunday School x ecoSPIRITS
Please Don’t Tell (PDT) Sunday School returns this July with a new collaborator in tow: ecoSPIRITS. Working with PDT’s own head bartender Daniel Valencia, guests are invited to mix up their very own ecoSPIRITS cocktail to continue the conversation of sustainability within bars through the Singapore-based spirit brand’s zero-waste solution: ecoPACKS, a reusable, 4.5 litres vessel that lowers carbon emissions by removing the use of one-time glass. The event begins 17 July with cocktails shaken up with ecoSPIRITS Widges Gin, and continues every Sunday — ecoSPIRITS Tried & True Vodka on 24 July and ecoSPIRITS Mackintos Scotch Blend Whisky on 31 July.
PDT, Mezzanine Level, MO Bar, Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2132 0110
Head to Sake Central this July — specifically this Saturday, 16 July — for their Summer Sake Matsuri. A typical weekend community event, Matsuri, or festival, is celebrated at Sake Central under the singular theme of, of course, sake. Learn about the exquisite collection of 50 limited-edition and seasonal brands collated across various regions, distributors and importers and fully immerse yourself in an authentic Japanese sake experience within the two-hour drinking session. After that, continue with your chosen sake discovery with a seasonal tasting menu by chef Vincent Ladislao.
Sake Central, S109 – S113, 1/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2656 6552
Te Quiero Mucho
It’s National Tequila Day on 24 July in case you didn’t know. And now that you do, celebrate with experts that know the spirit best, Mexican eatery Te Quiero Mucho. For the boozy holiday and beyond, newly arrived bar manager Isaac Lim has concocted unique iterations on classic cocktails. Margarita is now served in renewed flavour profiles of cinnamon, hibiscus and ginger, while sangria comes in a trio of mango, pineapple and raspberry. Salud!
Te Quiero Mucho, 286 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3432 3290
The Daily Tot
Celebrating two years since opening on Hollywood Road, dedicated rum bar The Daily Tot invites an enviable list of award-winning, World’s 50 Best names for a collaborative showcase all through July. In this special tribute to the lively bar’s dedicated spirit, “The Love Letter to Rum” features four rum-based cocktail concocted by Hong Kong’s own Argo by Lorenzo Antinori, New Dehli’s Sidecar, Shenzhen’s Hope & Sesame and London’s Trailer Happiness. Also on shelves are exclusive bottles including St. Nicholas Abbey 8 Years from Barbados, and a gift from iconic London rum bar, Trailer Happiness, the Master’s Selection Chairman’s Reserve 15 Years — Trailer Happiness edition. Between unique concoctions and limited-edition bottles, also take a moment to preview The Daily Tot’s brand new cocktail menu, set to launch in August. There’s an East Indie Punch created by bar manager Maikal Gurung you really don’t want to miss.
Daily Tot, Shop E, LG/F, Felicity Building, 58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Twenty Fifth Hour
The long, hazy days of summer is often the making of a fleeting love. Now that reference gains even more traction as Twenty Fifth Hour’s head mixologist Kenzo Lee introduces a new cocktails dedicated to heart-fluttering romance. A set of three, it begins with Honeybee, a dreamy cocktail of fruity notes with a peppery kick from the decorating nasturtium flower, followed by Full Bloom of grapefruit bitters and salt-picked sakura for a bittersweet note. The trio ends with Tear Drop, a tipple that’s soft and inviting to the eye but savours a tequila-forward sip mixed with passion fruit, strawberry and lime.
Reservations can be made via +852 5546 8540.
Twenty Fifth Hour, 13/F, Luk Yu Building, 24-26 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 5546 8540
Magicking classic cocktails into creative creations is what defines Quinary’s whimsical character, and it’s been 10 years since owner Antonio Lai bestowed his imaginative vision to Hong Kong’s bar scene. To mark the momentous milestone, Quinary is hosting “Stay Friends with Your Exes” guest-shifts all through July featuring departed staff members as one-night only bartenders. Also, look out for the new cocktail series “The Timeless Imagination”, a selection of beverages that gesture towards 10 Quinary classics over the last decade. It continues the drinking den’s signature multi-sensory experience in creations like Joli Berry from the “Street Market” series, a spin on Chinese fruit tea with a jasmine tea base with hawthorns and house-made apple shrub; the Japan-representative Little Miss Anka of sweet potato-infused shochu, hojicha, fat-washed gin and red bean foam; Ruby Rouge that captures a summer snapshot of ocean breeze with briny fresh oysters essence-infused gin, sherry wine, shallot vinegar, hibiscus and pink peppercorn syrup; and the Tee Tonic, Quinary’s own take on the popular coffee tonic with redistilled vodka.
Quinary, G/F 56-58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2851 3233
Lobster Bar and Grill
Over at Island Shangri-La, Lobster Bar and Grill has been a popular destination for glitzy evening aperitifs. Staying true to its reputation, Lobster Bar introduces a beverage menu of 13 new cocktails that tell the tales of adventure through Shangri-La’s time-honoured legacy. The menu is split into three sections — “Expeditions”, “Tales of Wonder” and “Treasure” — and begins with six libations concocted with the hotel’s own tea blend, including Midas Touch, shaken up with Shangri-La’s Lapsang Souchong tea, Highland Park 18 Years and banana. “Tales of Wonder” hones into another range of six libations that reinvent old-world cocktails to newer palates, a nod towards the hotel’s own long-time history, in recipes like Green Pixie, a twist on Fairy Creamy with absinthe, cacao and unusually, celery and double cream. Finally, “Treasure” is indicative of the hotel’s high standard of premium hospitality, featuring tipples of an exquisite ingredient list like Chocolate Cosmos of Macallan 18 Years, Club de Remy Martin Cognac and 80 percent cacao dark chocolate.
Lobster Bar and Grill, Level 6, Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2820 8560