With summer in full swing, you can beat the heat this month with a slew of festivals and special events dedicated to your choice of quenching tipple, whether it’s gin, sake or rosé. Or, perhaps you’ll want to dig into one of many mouthwatering aperitivo spreads offered around town. Here are the best places to drink in Hong Kong this August.
Gin Festival Hong Kong
When: 17 August
Price: HK$190 from Ticketflap
More than 100 boutique and limited edition gins will soon be at your fingertips with the inaugural Gin Festival taking place on August 17th from 1–9pm. Whether you’re a spirits aficionado or just looking to escape the summer heat with an icy G&T, this event is not to be missed for fans of the classic tipple, with gin seminars and tasting rooms held all day. Expect to sip cocktails made by some of the most preeminent mixologists in town, as well as discover new favourite flavours. Tickets come with event access, a branded Lucaris gin glass, access to seminars, and, most importantly, unlimited tastings.
Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2802 8888
Sake Aperitivo at Saketen
When: Monday–Saturday, 6–8pm
Opened by Yardbird drinks director Elliot Faber and the team behind PMQ’s sake purveyor and tasting kitchen Sake Central, Saketen should be your newest drinking den when you’ve got a craving for the rice wine. Sip (or knock back) a quick pre-dinner drink at Saketen with its new sake aperitivo hour, available from 6–8pm Monday to Saturday. Perch up at the bar and enjoy snacks on the house with any purchase of Suntory draught beer or a glass of sake, and perhaps, find your new favourite bottle to take home as well.
Saketen, Shop 4, G/F, Low Block, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 6704 2570
Origin x Hello Kitty Cocktails
When: Until 31 August
The world’s favourite white cat is turning 45 this year, and Origin is celebrating with a collaborative cocktail menu with all her favourites. Celebrating Hello Kitty’s love of apples, the KTB (‘Kitty Bathtub’, HK$138) takes Origin’s signature foaming tipple, the KGB, and gives it an apt twist, featuring crisp molecular apple ‘caviar’ in addition to Tanqueray gin, lychee and lemon, as well as a dash of Rémy Martin VSOP, before topping it with the iconic frothy Kyoho grape bubbles. Another seemingly innocent concoction is the PawPaw Milkshake (HK$148), which is made from re-distilled sesame gin, mango papaya milk, cream, egg white and rose, topped with a salted cream cheese foam for an addictive umami balance. Hello Kitty fans will no doubt want to round out the experience by taking home a limited edition Hello Kitty tote for an additional HK$80 with any KTB cocktail purchase.
Origin, 48 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2668 5583
When: 31 August
Price: HK$300–360 from The Flying Winemaker; Add HK$600 for Rosé Picnic Tote set.
The Flying Winemaker is returning this year with a four-city tour of Rosé Revolution — Asia’s top festival dedicated to the pink wine. Held for the ninth consecutive year, Rosé Revolution is taking over Hong Kong first before heading to Shanghai, Macau and Singapore. Beyond a full day celebrating rosé at The Peak Lookout complete with an outdoor barbecue, expect a city-wide event with dedicated masterclasses, a rosé and pink dim sum pairing menu at Madame Fu, as well as glorious pink-themed merch on sale (think bottles, a picnic bag and blanket) — making for the perfect accessory for a sunny day out sipping on the lawn.
The Peak Lookout, 121 Peak Road, The Peak, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, +852 2849 1000
Hennessy VSOP Sunset Cocktails
When: Through 31 August
With a mesmerising hue comparable to the sky during magic hour in the summertime, Hennessy VSOP recently celebrated the season with a decadent soirée in Mid-Levels while serving up five special cocktails — each designed with the twilight skyline in mind. You’ll be able to try all five drinks at selected outlets around town, including Quinary, Aqua, Hutong, W Hotel, Ana Ten, Club Albergue 1601, Divino, Divino Patio, Epure, Fofo By El Willy, Spasso and more.
The menu ranges from the aromatic ‘Hennessy Sunset Tea Ceremony’ featuring unsweetened tea and orange twist; to the exotic ‘Hennessy Sunset Lychee Fizz’ topped with dry sparkling wine; to the ‘Paint the Sky,’ (HK$160) a rich amber concoction made with VSOP, tart roselle syrup, lemon juice and jasmine tea. The author of the cocktail is none other than Shelley Tai of Quinary, a young mixologist whose many accolades include the latest gong for Diageo World Class Competition 2019’s Hong Kong and Macau Bartender of the Year. Before Tai represents Hong Kong at the Glasgow World Class finals, you’ll want to sip on these cocktails at selected outlets around town.
Quinary, 56 & 58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2851 3223
Blood Orange Cocktails at The Chop House
When: Through 31 August
Casual bar and grill The Chop House has taken on the challenge of creating special monthly cocktails relating to a specific ingredient; this August, the spotlight is on the blood orange. Touted for its health benefits as much as its gorgeous hue, the drinks featured this month include the Bloody Smash (HK$80) — a refresher using tequila, citruses and lemonade; and the Orange Seduction (HK$80) — a riff on a Clover Club using blood orange juice and Campari.
The Chop House, Shop 301 & 305, L3 Mira Place 1, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2295 3200
Summer Happy Hours at The Repulse Bay
When: Wednesday–Friday through 31 August, 6–9pm
Summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Repulse Bay. If you’re looking for some mid-week relaxation, head to The Repulse Bay residential complex’s Bamboo Bar for its extended happy hours from 6–9pm, available Wednesday to Friday. Clink glasses with a two-for-one offers on house champagne; order a seafood platter and a bottle of house champagne for just HK$688 per set; or order a dozen oysters paired with Sauvignon Blanc for just HK$588 per set. Whether for date night or to quietly enjoy sunset on the horizon, these deals will set your evening off to the perfect start.
The Verandah (Bamboo Bar), 109 Repulse Bay Road, Hong Kong, +852 2292 2822
Sunset Hour at Above by Komune
When: Wednesday–Friday, 5–8pm
Southside rooftop cocktail destination Above by Komune has launched a new aperitivo programme for the after-work crowd in Wong Chuk Hang. Take your pick from a new selection of cocktails and nibble from the complimentary snack bar as you drink in the views. Try the Chinese Ink (HK$108), a rye-based interpretation of the nearby art gallery scene using local lychee syrup, lime and tangerine juices and lemongrass. For more adventurous ones, try The Rock Island (HK$118): a tropical tipple inspired by the cliff sides of Shek O, it’s made with mezcal, tequila, grilled pineapple syrup, Bob’s bitter chocolate, lime — and apparently, a crash of Hong Kong sea water. More straightforward sips are offered, with wines and bubbles, draught beers, and craft beers all at just HK$68.
Above by Komune, Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, +852 3460 8157
Looking for a place to celebrate a newly closed deal? 5–8pm on weeknights through to the end of August, duck in for ‘Murray Hour’ at Murray Lane, the hotel’s lobby bar, and order any mojito, wine, beer or house spirit for another one free — plus a selection of canapés on the house. Looking for more substantial bites? Head to Cotton Tree Terrace for an oyster platter (HK$188 for eight oysters; Tuesdays only) or barbecued skewers (HK$138; Thursdays only), and a chilled Peroni (HK$38) during its weeknight specials. Check here for more information.
The Murray, Hong Kong, A Niccolo Hotel, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3141 8888
Drinks On Me at TMK
Pirata Group’s newest opening is punk rock izakaya TMK. As a ‘temakeria,’ it serves up delicious namesake temakis (handrolls), moreish kushikatsu and a selection of sushi and sashimi — all fuelled by a loud and boisterous atmosphere. While pubs often get a bell to ring for when happy customers want to buy a round for everyone, at TMK, just shout ‘Drinks On Me’: HK$290 gets every single guest in the bar a generous serve of house sake. The bar also features a selection of smooth sakes, draught beers and Japanese highballs to get the night off to a roaring start.
TMK, Shops G & H, G/F and M/F, Hollywood Centre, 77-91 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2662 2269