One of Hong Kong’s many positive qualities is that you never have to look very hard to find a good drink. Not only do we have a wide array of watering holes, from dive bars to posh cocktail dens, but we also have, every month, new cocktail menus, bar pop-ups featuring world-class mixologists, and, of course, new bar openings. That’s why we’re launching this new monthly column: to keep track of all that for you. We’ll be focusing solely on new drinks and drinking spots here, but if you want a list of our favourite bars of the moment, look no further than our Hot 10. Without further adieu, here’s where you should be toasting and tippling this month.
The heat is back with a vengeance, the best antidote for which just might be the return of Stazione Novella’s popular Summer of Spritz promotion. New for this year, the SoHo corner bar is serving both Aperol Spritz and Americano Spritz on tap (HK$88 each); as in past summers, the drinks go for just HK$48 every Monday. You’d be wise to stop by between 5pm and 7pm (Monday–Saturday only), when you enjoy an unlimited selection of Italian bar snacks with your beverage. And if you’re in it for the long haul, note that your sixth spritz will be free of charge.
Stazione Novella, 52-56 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2559 0559
We all know about the joys of drinking vintage wines, but what about vintage spirits? Fishsteria’s resident mixologist, Matteo Stefani, has amassed a rare cache of ’70s-era liquors, procured from collectors, producers, and now-closed bars across Italy. The collection includes a curated selection of prestige vermouth, bitters, amaro, and gin, and Stefani has created a list of ’70s-inspired cocktails that emphasise the unique characteristics of each bottle, such as an Americano (HK$398) made with with Pilla Bitter, Pinzano Vermouth Rosso, and soda. If you’re a true connoisseur, you may wish to taste servings of the individual bottles, like Cora Stavei Vermouth Apertivo since 1970 (HK$95 per serving) or Campari Cordial Campari since 1888 (HK$190 per serving), to experience how these liquors have changed over time.
Fishsteria, 111 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2343 8111
Quinary continues its 5th-anniversary celebrations by inviting world-acclaimed bartender Simone Caporale to shake up some special concoctions on Tuesday 20 June. A veteran of Artesian in London, which was ranked #1 on The World’s 50 Best Bars Awards by Drinks International from 2012 to 2015, Caporale was named International Bartender of The Year 2014 at Spirited Awards, so this is one night you won’t want to miss. You’ll also find Caporale behind the bar at VEA Lounge on Wednesday 21 June.
Quinary, 56-58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2851 3223
Ham & Sherry
Absolut Elyx, a premium vodka that’s designed for sipping (as opposed to shots), has launched a selection of new summer cocktails at several locations around town, including Alibi, Aberdeen Street Social, Mercato, Studio, and Tivo. We have yet to try them all, but we’re particularly looking forward to Ham & Sherry’s Beverly Hills Copper (HK$120), which pairs Absolut Elyx with the flavours of apple, celery, ginger, and lime. It’s garnished with apple slices and served in one of Absolut Elyx’s oh-so-pretty copper coupes, and it sounds like the perfect summer drink.
Ham & Sherry, 1-7 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2555 0628
Cheers at Taikoo Place
For four days only, Tong Chong Street will become home to an exciting pop-up bar thanks to a collaboration between Taikoo Place and Diageo World Class. From noon–10pm each day, visitors will be able to enjoy food and drink from spots like Mr. and Mrs. Fox, Angel’s Share, and Brickhouse. Meanwhile, six bartenders from The Woods, The Pontiac, Angel’s Share, Topiary, Quinary and Skye at Parklane Hotel will be competing in the cocktail challenge finals — the three winners of which will have 72 hours to host their own pop-up bars held in Taikoo Place. On the 15th, the bartender with the winning concept and drinks will be selected to represent Hong Kong and Macau at the World Class Global Final in Mexico City in August.
Cheers at Taikoo Place, Tong Chong Street, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
We’ve already told you where to drink for Negroni Week, so this is just a friendly reminder to head to one of more than two dozen participating spots to drink for a good cause from 5–11 June.
VEA Restaurant & Lounge
Award-winning mixologist Antonio Lai and barman Kirill Runkov of VEA have crafted a new batch of summer cocktails to combat Hong Kong’s scorching heat. Falling into four categories — sweet, sour, savoury, and strong — the new selection includes uniquely whimsical and eye-catching creations that are just waiting to be Instagrammed. Case in point: I Am Your Father (HK$120) is an extra-intense version of an espresso martini made with Bacardi 8, espresso, and “roasted” syrup. The drink is garnished with bacon, toasted sesame, and chocolate-covered chipotle, and it’s creatively presented in a Darth Vader helmet cocktail glass, perfect for Star Wars fans.
VEA Restaurant & Lounge, 29-30/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2711 8639
CÉ LA VI
Catering to your happy hour needs, CÉ LA VI has introduced three new sundowner cocktails that are available in a 2-for-1 offer from 3–9pm every day in June and July. The new offerings include the Bourbon & Bunch (HK$128), featuring Peychaud’s Bitters, apricot jam, Maraschino liqueur, and pink grapefruit; A Toast to Life (HK$138), a twist on the classic French 75 cocktail; and the Honkers Sour (HK$128), a gin-based cocktail combining juicy lemon with Crème de Violette, egg white, peach bitters, and a kaffir lime-infused syrup.
CÉ LA VI, 25/F, California Tower, 30 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3700 2300
Lily & Bloom
Lily & Bloom recently appointed a new head mixologist, John Nugent, who’s already made his mark on the LKF Tower spot with a new list of innovative signature cocktails. Highlights include the Coffee & Cigarettes (HK$120), a smoky, rich cocktail that blends apple-smoked bourbon, Dictador Cafe-infused rum, and cold drip coffee; and the English Milk Punch (HK$115), a creamy and sweet concoction that was popular amongst aristocrats and socialites back in the 1700s.
Lily & Bloom, 5-6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 6166
Stone Nullah Tavern
In Wan Chai, Stone Nullah Tavern has launched three new boozy campaigns for summer fun, including a Thursday game night where you can play board games with friends, as well as monthly whisky socials. We’re most excited about the new De Niro Hour, a happy hour for weekends and public holidays, when you can enjoy bottles of Peroni (HK$40) and glasses of Aperol Spritz (HK$50) from 5–8pm.
Stone Nullah Tavern, G/F, 69 Stone Nullah Lane, Wanchai, Hong Kong, +852 3182 0128
If you’re looking to take your boozy weekend brunch to the next level, look no further than Biiitch Brunch, the monthly drag extravaganza featuring performances by Hong Kong’s very own Madame Mincemeat, Miss Mid-Levels, and XXXotica. Returning for the third consecutive month at Lily & Bloom, the brunch (HK$620 + 10% service charge) offers two seatings (12:30pm and 3pm), during which you’ll enjoy a feast and, more importantly, free-flow drinks. This month’s edition, on 25 June, takes place two days before Britney Spears’ upcoming concert at AsiaWorld-Expo, and you can bet the queens will be serving up Britney realness in her honour!
Lily & Bloom, 5-6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 6166
The anticipation has been building, and the wait is almost over. The world-famous speakeasy Employees Only will open its doors to the public on Thursday 22 June, exactly one year after the launch of its Singapore outpost. Expect top-notch cocktails, tasty bar bites, and a setting that will make you actually want to go to Lan Kwai Fong.
Employees Only, 19 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, no phone
Bar manager Amanda Wan and her team at The Envoy have launched a new range of summer cocktails that fall under two categories: The Jungle and The Waterfall. Those who enjoy bold flavours will enjoy cocktails from the first category like Does It Burn (HK$148), a mix of Michter’s bourbon, mezcal, Aperol, Earl Grey & red apple syrup, Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Teapot bitters and bourbon barrel smoke. If you prefer things on the lighter side, go for the refreshing beverages of The Waterfall, such as the Picnic Spritz (HK$128), a blend of gin that’s been redistilled with cucumber, rosehip & hibiscus cordial, mint, and Fever Tree soda water. No matter which type of drink you prefer, you can enjoy them in the shade on The Envoy’s outdoor terrace.
The Envoy, 3/F, The Pottinger Hotel, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2169 3311
Veuve Clicquot’s cellar master, Dominique Demarville, has crafted a new premium cuvée called Extra Brut Extra Old, a new blend made from the producer’s precious reserve wines. Aged twice and featuring low sugar and a fresh minerality, the wine is yours to sample for free at the Timothy Oulton gallery on Gough Street, now through 14 June only. Stop by to enjoy a glass of this silky champagne whilst browsing the unique furnishings on display.
Timothy Oulton, G/F, 17 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2161 1742
Bar de Luxe
If you prefer your scenic happy hour views with the comforts of air conditioning, head to Bar de Luxe in Central for beautiful vistas and well-executed cocktails. The team there is currently shaking and stirring a new bunch of summer drinks, including a Pina Colada (HK$188) made with dark rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk; and the Citrus Quartet (HK$158), a blend of Citron vodka, limoncello, lemon juice, and soda. The bar also recently introduced Luxe Hour (Monday–Wednesday, 8:30–10:30pm), when guests who order two classic cocktails (all priced at HK$150) will receive a serving of premium Iberico ham.
Bar de Luxe, 30/F, 8 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3706 5716