Or should we say, day drink. A February 2022 Happy Hour now begins at 12pm. So rather than an espresso this morning, have an espresso martini instead.
Admittedly, the second month of February saw little, if not no, improvement to F&B rules and regulations. In fact, everything went further south: Shuttered bars and shortened dine-in hours now set to last till the end of April. Boo! Guess we’ll just have to be working that at-home bar cart a little harder. And how’s everybody’s bartending skills looking?
But while you patter back and forth from your make-shift office-couch to your make-shift kitchen-bar, there is, the wonderful invention of all-day Happy Hour. There’s plenty of time to be swigging back boozy tipples at your favourite venues during daylight. While you make a stop at your favourite joint, find an extra comfortable spot in the sun, you’re gonna be here a while — till 6pm, that is.
Cheers to All Day Happy Hour! Where to drink this February:
With the arrival of Mizunara: The Library in 2014, Hong Kong’s bar scene gained a new track into the time-honoured world of Japanese cocktail making. Now, the whisky bar brings Kuromaru, a new music and cocktail lounge at Wan Chai’s historical M7 structure, to the city. Like the dining counterpart it’s housed within, Maison Meiji, Kuromaru pulls from the Meiji Restoration; a time that was significant in the merging of western aesthetics with Japanese styles that are still prevalent today. The stocked bar shakes up handcrafted shochu and awamori cocktails, most of which are sourced directly from specialised distilleries in Japan. Notable labels include Hachi Shochu, known for its fruitiness, and the exclusive Daiyame 40 Shochu, for its fragrant lychee aroma. Also on site is a stellar catalogue of rare, sought-after vinyl records curated by music curator Michael Ho, ranging from jazz, rock to pop — a referential tribute to local Japanese listening bars.
Kuromaru, 1/F, 7 Mallory Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
It doesn’t matter what dark days we currently are going through, trust the Quality Goods Club crew, also behind Shady Acres and Honky Tonks Tavern, to bring back some fun. Even with 6pm curfews firmly in place. The team has traded boozy live-music bars for a boozy juicery in Kennedy Town. Juicy, opened as a quick-thinking solution to recent fifth-wave bar bans, enlists the same warm, sociable hospitality with a few familiar faces — the same team from Quality Goods Club will be slinging your juices here. As with every Shady venture, don’t come expecting the expected: Juicy not only serves fresh-pressed juices, but boozy juices as well, which means your typical Sunday morning OJ comes with extra shot of your choice. The menu is an original selection with the likes of Rocket Fuel, blended with rock melon, turmeric and orange, O’Kale — kale, lime, pear and pineapple — and many juicy more.
Juicy, 56 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Woo Cheong Tea House
Dim sum, as per Chinese traditions, typically comes with a steaming pot of tea. Which it does at Woo Cheong Tea House, located at recently refurbished Wan Chai’s Woo Cheong Pawn, where the extensive tea program is led by Victor Lau, a tea specialist of over 10 years. You can choose from over 20 types of premium brews, discern your ganpu leaves to your pu’erh, but you can also savour your contemporary dim sum orders with a range of tea-inspired cocktails, designed especially to complement. Led by bar manager Karlton Cheung, who packs over 10 years of experience, the cocktail selections is curated around Woo Cheong’s tea leaves and mixes traditional Chinese tea culture with a familiar bar favourites. Sip upon the likes of Chrysanthemum negroni or Lap Sang Sour. Other concoctions include the Whisper Oolong and the Pu’erh Fashioned.
Woo Cheong Tea House, 1-2/F, 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +825 2886 3444
While you’re out and about, make a second stop at:
- Penicillin, which has just launched their daily free-flow cocktail menu from 3 to 6pm, featuring house signatures and ferments as well a new menu of highballs inspired by seasonal ingredients. It includes founder Agung Prabowo‘s latest favourite Ordinary, of classic bourbon, fresh soda and lemon along with tasty others like Pandan, Strawberry and Barley. L/G, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
- Hjem. Come for the coffee and stay for Hygge Hour, now served through weekdays from 3 to 6pm. The all-day drinking menu is topped with Skål, a collaborative Norwegian wheat lager with Young Master brewery, four types of natural wines from La Cabane and five Hjem signature cocktails made with a Nordic twist. The Cloudberry Negroni, Cinnamon Bun Espresso Martini and Rickey, shaken up with Aquavit, honey, lime and soda, are favourites. G/F, 161 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
- Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour, to sample signature gin-based libations at 30 percent off all week. Among usual hits, the speakeasy has also concocted new stress-relieving ailments that’ll soothe tired minds. It includes the Tropical Antidote, refreshed with a lemongrass-infused Widges London Dry Gin and Dr.’s Ramble, designed to aid sleepless nights with chamomile tea mixed in with Porcelain’s mandarin gin. Shop B31A, First Basement Floor, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
- Club Rangoon, for the weekly Tipples at Tea. There’s not only an unlimited serve of flavourful Burmese finger-foods, but a free-flow menu from 3 to 6pm of house reds and whites, Aperol spritz and specialty cocktails, including the Pegu Club, a gin-based beverage flavoured with homemade orange and Burmese black tea liqueur. G/F, 33 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong