Header image courtesy of The Daily Tot
This season, Hong Kong’s drinking establishments are offering a diverse range of seasonal menus for all to savour. Whether you are a cocktail connoisseur or simply tired of ordering the same mix at every bar, these new creations will offer a fresh experience on your next night out. From locally inspired concoctions to boozy remedies, here are the best seasonal cocktails to try in Hong Kong this autumn 2023.
Enjoy the cool weather at The Terrace! Located in the heart of Wan Chai, this patio is ideal for a casual gathering with friends. The Terrace’s latest seasonal cocktail menu includes a sweet potato-based Hana-Hana shochu highball; the Tsundoku, which blends sake with gin, peach, cranberry, and ginger; and the Hari 75, a mix of spiced gin, champagne, sugar cane, and lemon. You can pair your drinks with a selection of bar bites. On Wednesdays, opt for the This is How We Roll makimonos and martinis free-flow.
The Terrace, 2/F, The Hari Hong Kong, 330 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
Recently opened at Ovolo Southside, Informal Affairs is a rooftop cocktail bar. The décor is inspired by Hong Kong pop culture of the 1990s and early 2000s. Guests are immersed in a dai pai dong-style setting that also pays tribute to the golden era of Hong Kong cinema and to Cantopop—picture neon signs, a nostalgic and casual atmosphere, and humble grub. Highlights of the cocktail menu include The Peppery Mule, a mix of gin, Bitter Scuro, rhubarb, and ginger; the She-So-Sexy, a citrusy blend of gin, orange marmalade, and peach; and the Exotic Summer, a fruity mix of raspberry, passion fruit, and bergamot tonic.
Local influences can also be found in the bar snacks selection, with gin-marinated airplane olives, sourdough pineapple bun with lemon butter, and lemon egg tart on offer.
Informal Affairs, Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang
Lockdown’s quirky concept draws inspiration from both Hong Kong lockdowns over the past few years, and prohibition times in the United States. This speakeasy reimagines a selection of classic cocktails using modern mixology techniques. The soft-opening menu is divided into three categories: Experimental, Vintage, and Remastered Classics. Patrons can sample across a selection of cocktails, including the Left Bank, a blend of absinthe, port, elderflower, and white citrus; the Silk Stocking, which blends tequila with spicy pomegranate, cacao, and soy milk whey; and the Hollywood Cobbler, a mix of rose vermouth, rhubarb, and sherry. Visitors can also enjoy Asian cuisine from Lockdown’s food menu, designed for sharing.
Lockdown, G/F, 27 Hollywood Road, Central
Barcode, the beloved dessert café and bar, has reopened in a new location. Patrons can delight in a wide range of food, drinks, and speciality cocktails. Highlights include the peanut butter whiskey sour, a blend of peanut butter, chamomile, whiskey, and lemon; the Ying & Yang martini, a nod to an iconic cha chaan teng drink; and the chocolate espresso martini, a velvety and rich mix of coffee, vodka, cacao, chocolate ganache, and a shot of espresso. Pair your cocktails with a range of snacks and desserts from the kitchen, which include ham and cheese swirls and a mango and chestnut log, among others.
Barcode, UG/F, 45 Cochrane Street, Central
In collaboration with local craft gin distillery NIP, Harbour City is hosting a month-long “Sip Sip Hurray” celebration across its dining destinations. The HK Ginspiration menu is the brainchild of acclaimed mixologists Shelley Tai and Lorenzo Antinori, and features six gin-based concoctions that spotlight iconic local flavours. The creations include the King & Queen, a blend of osmanthus and aged tangerine peel-flavoured gin with pandan, coffee, durian, and milk punch; the Bicycle Thief which blends Da Hong Pao-infused gin with Campari, lime, and shiso; and the Central Night, an elegant blend of osmanthus and aged tangerine peel-flavoured gin with sherry, elderflower, citrus, and Earl Grey. Find out more about the offer here.
Inspired by agroforestry—the integration of trees and shrubs into farming systems to create better ecosystems—Argo’s latest Argo Forestry menu features six local ingredients in a series of imaginative cocktails and bar bites to pair. We particularly enjoyed the To the Valley Below, a cross between an espresso martini and an Irish coffee, while the rum, melon, aperitif cherry wine, and goat yoghurt mix called Thief! has a humorous backstory starring a forgetful farmer and a mischievous goat.
As for bar bites, indulge in the fish taco with XO sauce mayo and ginger lily, the bamboo shoot taco with enoki mushroom and sweet and sour sauce, and the chiacchiere with house-made white balsamic strawberry compote and mascarpone cream.
Argo, Lobby, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central
Enjoy a sip of local culture at Cruise! Its latest Sip Trip: North Point cocktail menu features a selection of mixes inspired by the vibrant history and culture of the North Point neighbourhood, inviting guests on a tasting journey across urban landmarks in the area. A touch of nostalgia is served with the cocktail flight, presented on a gaming board inspired by Hong Lok Kei (康樂棋; hong1 lok6 kei4; a local version of snakes and ladders).
Highlights of the menu include the Gai Daan Jai Old Fashioned, with egg waffle bourbon as a nod to the famous Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles; the Little Fujian, a lapsang souchong-infused gin-based cocktail that pays tribute to the Fujianese community; and the 7 Sisters Road, a strong blend of whiskey, mezcal, rum, falernum, and grapefruit juice.
Cruise Restaurant and Bar, 23/F, Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong, 1 North Point Estate Lane, North Point
Find the solution to what ails you with The Dispensary’s latest Cure menu. Inspired by ancient Western and Chinese remedies, the creations bring out distinct local flavours that revive homemade cures found throughout history.
Highlights include the tequila-based chilli haw margarita, a nod to Chinese medicine and the haw flakes commonly prescribed together with herbal remedies; the eucalyptus martini that recalls a French seasickness and flu remedy; and, of course, the An Apple a Day cocktail brings an old saying to life. This cocktails, crafted entirely from apples, might just keep the doctor away.
The Dispensary, Police Headquarters Block 01, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central
This autumn in the bustling neighbourhood of Causeway Bay, Takumi becomes a cosy and intimate destination for cocktail lovers. Takumi drew on Japanese intuitive hospitality and craftsmanship to create tailor-made cocktails catered to each guest’s preferences. Alongside the bespoke cocktail programme, patrons can also savour signature blends that change every season. Current highlights include the Zen, a serene mix of sandalwood vodka, house vermouth, blended Scotch, and hojicha; the Spumoni, a blend of Campari, pink grapefruit, yuzushu, and tonic; and the Yukiguni, a nod to an iconic creation by Japanese bartender Keiichi Iyama.
Takumi Mixology Salon, 3/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay
The Daily Tot’s latest cocktail menu takes patrons on a discovery journey inspired by the numerous voyages and expeditions that sought out rum. Titled The 1655 Edition, the menu includes the OG TaiTai, a rich concoction of calamansi, sweet potato, and toasted coconut spiced; the Rum Runner Spritz, a refreshing blend of rum, prosecco, cappelletti, and strawberry; and the Dominican Dreamin’ with basmati-infused rum.
The Daily Tot, Shop E, Portion A, G/F, 58 Hollywood Road, Central
The weather in autumn calls for cosying up with a warm cup of tea—but let’s make it boozy. This rustic Sai Ying Pun tea bar has added a twist to its drinks menu. Tea lovers can delight in a wide selection of cocktails and mocktails. Innovative mixes include the Tangerine Pu’er Rum, a blend of pu’er tea, rum, tangerine peel syrup, and hawthorn cordial; the Red Jade Bergamot Gin, where tea is complemented with calamansi gin, and hints of citrus and mint; and Da Hong Pao Whiskey, mixed with bitters, homemade ginger syrup, and liquorice. For alcohol-free options, the White Dew is a delicate blend of white peony tea, coconut water, and sage, while the Red Plum is a refreshing mix with a hint of shiso.
Plantation Tea Bar, 18 Po Tuck Street, Sai Wan
Landmark’s lab-inspired speakeasy has prescribed new gin-based remedies to get you through the end of the year. Patrons are treated to six new concoctions inspired by Chinese medicine. Recentre your inner qi with the Essence of Qi cocktail, a mix of Da Hong Pao-infused gin, vermouth, pomelo, and Wu Jia Pi essence (a medicinal herb used to dispel the effects of damp wind).
Other highlights include The Queen’s Tranquilliser, a blend of gin, peanut butter, lemon verbena, raspberry extracts, cacao nibs, and Earl Grey; the 7 Chakra Elixir, an umami, mango lassi-inspired drink; and the Shang High Booster, an autumnal blend of plum gin, toasted rice syrup, cinnamon-infused Shaoxing wine, and hazelnut liqueur. If you’re unsure which remedy is best suited to relieve you, speak to one of the doctors at the parlour.
Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour, Shop B31A, B/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Nestled within the contemporary French restaurant Clarence, La Suite is chef-owner Olivier Elzer’s latest venture. A cosy speakeasy curtained off from the rest of the establishment, La Suite offers an elevated experience for visitors seeking a well-crafted cocktail. The signature cocktail menu offers a selection of classics and innovative cocktails, highlighting The Missing Key, a refreshing blend of gin, lemon juice, egg white, and turmeric syrup sprinkled with saffron sparkle; La Suite, a mix of vodka, apple juice, raspberry and blackberry purée, crème de cassis, and vanilla whipped cream; and the spicy chocolate Rob Roy, which puts a twist on the classic with whisky, vermouth, chocolate bitters, and Espelette pepper liqueur highlighted with Griottines cherries.
La Suite at Clarence, 25/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central
Ichu’s latest cocktail menu takes inspiration from Nikkei cuisine, a hybrid of Japanese and Peruvian elements, served at the restaurant. Highlights of the menu include innovative creations such as the Sakura Maru, a blend of sake and pisco, staple spirits in Japanese and Peruvian culture, respectively, topped with sakura vermouth and yuzu bitters; the Chilcano, a simple mix of lemongrass pisco with sweet potato vinegar; and the Ainu’s Inca, a blend of peanut butter and coconut pisco with lime juice, roasted pineapple, and banana cream, named after the two most ancient indigenous tribes from Japan and Peru.
Ichu, 3/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Inspired by the original distilleries of Cantonese spirits in Hong Kong, Kinsman embodies local culture in its very conception, from its name and logo to its food and cocktail offerings. Soon to open in late November, cocktail lovers in town can look forward to bar snacks reminiscent of sweet soup shops, cocktails that draw on Chinese medicinal principles, and a cosy yet sensuous ambience on par with the romance in Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000).
Kinsman, 65 Peel Street, Central
Enjoy captivating live music and unwind with spun classics during Bar Q88’s social hour. The Last Never Last, inspired by The Last Word cocktail, is made with sencha-infused gin, guava cordial, and Maraschino liqueur; Day Dreaming rethinks the classic Death in the Afternoon with pastis, prosecco, and fruit and almond cordial; the Call Me Lisa has a hint of local flavours, blending fruity and floral aperitif with whisky, red dates, and dried longan; and the Garnet in the Sky offers a delicate balance between tang and sweetness with a blend of grapefruit gin, tea cordial, monk fruit, and hibiscus.
Bar Q88, Lobby Level, JW Marriot Hotel Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty