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There’s a lot to celebrate this month in Hong Kong. The steady roll-out of vaccinations, for one. The nine Hong Kong drinking establishments that made the 2021 roster of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, for another. If you’re scrambling for a place to toast to your (finally) jabbed-and-sore arm, here’s a quick list of the brand-new drinks programmes in town.

1
La Rambla by Catalunya

If you ever want your sundowner paired with one of Hong Kong’s most postcard-worthy views, La Rambla by Catalunya is always a trusty bet. Brand new and ice-cold for summer is a menu of four Tanqueray-made gin and tonic variants, including the Classic G&T (HK$80), made with Tanqueray gin with the prototypical garnish of lemon, lime and tonic; Ten Temptations (HK$80), with Tanqueray Ten, Tanqueray bitters and a tinge of orange; Rangpur Passion (HK$80), with Tanqueray Rangpur and a swish of passionfruit; and Malecconade (HK$80), with Tanqueray Malacca, fresh mint and lemonade. If you’re keen for a cheeky bite, order Gin & Tapas (HK$110) and wash down a Classic G&T with a scrumptious spread of jamon croquetas. Or, simply opt for La Rambla by Catalunya’s tapas-led Happy Hour menu, which runs from 3 – 8pm.

2
The Pontiac

Coming in hot, hot, hot at number 26 on the 2021 edition of Asia’s Best Bars, The Pontiac is serving up the win with a brand new drinks menu for May. Deadly Long Islands are given the Beckaly Franks treatment with the bar’s own Shells & Cigarettes (HK$88); an ecoSPIRIT libation clarified with milk in a solution of Widges Gin, Tried & True Vodka, Plantation 3 Star, Arquitecto Tequila, Citrus Scrap oleo saccharum and a coke float. If you’re in the mood for something that tastes a little like butterscotch (with no Scotch; mind the name), Scottie Can Hopscotch (HK$88) offers delicious Amaro Montenegro-forward sips. Gin aficionados, sprint towards Run Rabbit Run (HK$88), a laboratory masterpiece made with a house-infused Purple Carrot Gin.

3
208 Duecento Otto's The House of Aperitivo

If you’ve always held fingers crossed for a true-blue vermuteria in Hong Kong, your wishes have been granted with the House of Aperitivo — 208 Duecento Otto’s answer to your cries for vermouth. A new floor concept specialising in the botanics-infused fortified wine — there are 45 brands represented! — and your newest haven for a paired-to-perfection Italian aperitivo.

New on the drinks program, too, are a wide selection of wines sourced from different regions through Italy.

4
House of KI NO BI at Sake Central

When: Through 31 May

KI NO BI sets up a month-long residency at Sake Central with the ‘House of KI NO BI’; a celebration of Japan’s first craft gin in a sensorial experience — designed alongside Chef Shun Sato through an 8-course gin-Japanese cuisine pairing menu — that mimics an immersive journey to Kyoto. A trip most probably bookmarked for so many Hongkongers in the times of Covid-19’s land-bound existence. Bar Buonasera’s Ayako Miyake, the first runner-up of Japan Kanto female bartenders competition, is on hand to conduct a series of ‘6Elements’ Masterclasses every weekend from 15 – 31 May.

5
Ozone

There’s always a sense of occasion at The Ritz-Carlton’s Ozone; it is, after all, still the highest bar in the world. If you’re keen for an elemental drinks experience, head up for a cocktail (and savoury afternoon tea, too) inspired by the five elements. Fire (HK$138) tempers Mezcal-forward flavours of smoke and spice with Thai-style spiced sugar; be warned, it arrives with a roar of flame. Metal (HK$138) cuts sharp with citrus and floral notes; Water (HK$138) deep-dives into Eco-spirit Plantation Rum with a bite of seaweed crisp floating at the rim. Earth (HK$138) is a nutty tribute to a lush, earthy piña colada, while Wood (HK$138) tenders towards sophistication as a Bulleit Bourbon-based cocktail infused with fat-washed black truffle.

6
DarkSide

When: 6 – 16 May

As a hearty, well-deserved toast to DarkSide’s debut on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 ranking at a commendable number 40, four limited-edition cocktails were designed and ideated in celebration by four different members from the now award-winning bar’s team. Come one and come all to DarkSide through 16 May and order up APPROACHING by Chris Chan (HK$180), a beautiful temper of Michter’s Rye, Mancino Bianco, Campari and London Essence Ginger Beer; ASIAN DREAM by Head Bartender KT Lam (HK$180), a tribute to Asian liquors and flavours; BLOOD AND SWEET by Bartender Heather Cheng (HK$180), a playful concoction of Roku Gin, Mancino Secco, Tomato Consomme and Calendula Cordial; and A 800 DAYS JOURNEY by Bar Captain Asish Rana (HK$180), a sultry, handsome blend of Plantation Dark, Mancino Rosso, Campari and Balsamic Chocolate. Congratulations, DarkSide!

Joey Wong
Editor
Constantly in pursuit of a multi-hyphenated career, Joey has written her way through fashion trends, youth culture and luxury retail in New York and Hong Kong. Beyond internet adventures tracking down the perfect vintage find, you can probably catch her sipping on her third oat milk latte of the day in the city’s newest café. She’s currently mourning the loss of TikTok in Hong Kong.