From tepache-inspired beers at COA to a new slate of nostalgic Hong Kong cocktails at Red Sugar, here’s where you’ll find us sipping on beverages all throughout the month of July.
Tongue-numbing tipples at Chilli Fagara
Sichuanese mainstay Chilli Fagara has just released two fiery concoctions in time for summer, designed to be paired with the restaurant’s signature recipes. Both cocktails explore the traditional numbing and fragrant qualities associated with Sichuan spices. For a hit of classic mala flavour, drinkers can try the ‘Peppercorn Angel’ (HK$88), a shaken cocktail built using gin, freshly muddled coriander and lime. The alternative, ‘Spicy Lychee’ (HK$88), is sure to tempt red chilli fanatics — balancing fiery heat with the cooler sensation of vodka and seasonally picked lychees.
Chilli Fagara, 7 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong. +852 2796 6866
‘Made by The Sea’ Talisker pop-up at Room 309
When: Through 18 July
Until 19 July, acclaimed whisky distiller Talisker is partnering with Antonio Lai (of Quinary fame) for a ‘Made by the Sea’ themed pop-up at Room 309 — the not-so-secret speakeasy located on the third floor of The Pottinger hotel. Talisker’s popular 10- and 18-year expressions form the basis for two new cocktails especially crafted for this pop-up. Lai’s ‘Wild Sea Voyage’ (HK$280) is a short, powerful peat bog of a drink — intended to conjure windswept scenes from the Isle of Skye. By contrast, ‘A World Away’ (HK$190) — crafted by Bar Manager Garrick Wong — teases out thematic similarities between Hong Kong and the Isle of Skye, thanks to the unlikely fusion of Talisker 10 and dried seafood.
Room 309, 3/F, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’ at The Pontiac
When: 5 July
Back for its sixth year running, The Pontiac is once again celebrating equal rights and Independence Day with a very special rum-soaked Sunday sesh entitled ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow,’ In classic Pontiac form, drinkers can expect a variety of rum-based tipples (all priced at HK$50) and poke platters by Pololi at no additional charge. Rather than charging for nibbles, guests on the day are encouraged to make donations — the suggested amount is HK$100 per plate — all of which will go towards helping Hong Kong-based LGBT charities.
The Pontiac, 13 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2521 3855
‘Our Little Time’ cocktail menu at Red Sugar
Red Sugar, Kerry Hotel’s popular garden rooftop bar, has just launched a new lineup of beverages. Entitled ‘Our Little Time,’ mixologists Simon Kong’s latest cocktail menu is nothing if not quirky: Drawing inspiration from various industries that were significant in Hong Kong from the 60s to the 80s. Highlights include the ‘Eau de Red Sugar,’ a quaffable imitation of Hong Kong’s classic ‘Two Girls’ perfume; and the ‘Coke is it!?’, a twist on the Manhattan, cleverly disguised as Lemon Cola.
Red Sugar, 7/F, Kerry Hotel, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, +852 2252 5281
Frosé returns to Maison Libanaise
Summer’s arrival in Hong Kong necessarily also heralds the return of frosé (frozen rosé) at Maison Libanaise. The thirst-quenching, sub-zero concoction is back on tap this weekend. Ideal for an afternoon of leisurely drinking, diners can enjoy two glasses of the icy, glorious pink stuff along with a hearty spiced lamb manoushe for HK$228. Tell your friends.
Maison Libanaise, 10 Shelley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2111 2284
La Niña Fresa ales at Coa (while stocks last)
After a previous collaboration offering a canned iteration of Coa’s popular Paloma cocktail, Coa and Young Master have once again teamed up to now bring us La Niña Fresa ales: A limited edition wild ale, this brew is inspired by an aim to blur the barriers between two culturally distinct fermented beverages: tepache from Mexico and lambic beers from Belgium. Coa founder Jay Khan is noted for his outspokenness on the benefits of in-house fermentation, and brings his expertise on that front to the process of brewing sour ale by adding fresh pineapple — stem, rind and all. The resulting mixture is finished in Chardonnay barrels for added complexity, bringing notes of vanilla and coconut to the party. As usual, Young Master only produced a handful of these — limited to 360 individually numbered, 750ml bottles that you can find online, in select bottle shops, and of course, at Coa.
Coa, Shop A, LG.F Wah Shin House, 6-10 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2813 5787
Happy hour at Rubia
When: Daily, 3–7pm
Though perhaps better known as a Galician-style steakhouse, Rubia is quickly becoming a popular spot for after-work beverages in Central; and its new happy hour promotion is likely to accelerate that reputation at ramming speed. Beginning this month, from 3pm-7pm daily, diners will be able to enjoy a ‘two for one’ special encompassing Galician beers, cocktails and a new gin selection. The latter part of the menu is shaping up to be particularly interesting, with discerning drinkers able to customise their G&Ts (HK$110) with Spanish spirits like Nordes or Le Tribute.
Rubia, C Wisdom Centre, 35-37 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2889 1199
Twenty Fifth Hour
Though technically open for business these last few months, Central speakeasy Twenty Fifth Hour is now offering a full-blown cocktail programme — assembled by hotel bar veteran Kenzo Lee. Leaning into the same musings on the concept of time which allegedly permeate Twenty Fifth Hour’s interiors, Lee’s new menu features a dozen or so signature cocktails designed to cover most drinkers’ bases. Tipples like the ‘Wonderland’ demonstrate Lee’s skill in specific mixological techniques (the drink is built using milk-washed rum) whereas guests more interested in drinking with their eyes can enjoy Instagram-worthy creations like the ‘Retrospect’ — a gin-based cooler enlivened with Vitasoy and a touch of Himalayan pink salt.
Twenty Fifth Hour, 13/F, 24-26 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 5546 8540