Header image courtesy of Vibes
Hong Kong boasts a strong bar scene, with many establishments setting the stage for award-winning mixologists to serve up creative concoctions, classic blends, as well as Hong Kong-inspired mixes. Whether you are tired of ordering the same cocktail at your next night out or simply looking for something a little less Old Fashioned, here are the best seasonal cocktails to try in Hong Kong.
A discreet speakeasy hidden amidst the bustling streets of Sheung Wan, you’d have to know where the bar is to enter from the right door (many patrons tend to enter from the adjoining bar and grill on Jervois Street, ironically behind Behind 69). Only seating 14 at a time, make sure to place a booking before you come.
The signature cocktails on offer are all inspired by the cultural history of Sheung Wan and Hong Kong in general. On the menu, you will find short literature detailing these connections with Behind 69’s cocktail creations, which draw on anything and everything from colonial trade to local apothecaries, merchants, and dried seafood suppliers.
Behind 69, Burd Street, Sheung Wan
A newly opened concept, Room 3 is a Japanese speakeasy-gastrobar in Tsim Sha Tsui. Its bamboo forest-inspired interiors are matched by an equally natural cocktail menu. Highlights include The Fiction, which blends Botanist gin, Koshu wine, shiso champagne, and cordial together in a refreshing mix; the Sakura Cha that mixes sakura and gin with peach-infused jasmine soda; and the Kohi, a rich mixture of vodka and caramelised espresso with banana and chocolate.
Apart from cocktails, wines, champagnes, and other spirits, Room 3 also offers a selection of quality foods. Recommended bites to pair with your cocktail include sea urchin fish balls, black truffle sauce edamame, and seasonal vegetable chips.
Room 3, Shop UG01–03, UG/F, H Zentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong’s favourite matcha joint has been showing us the versatile nature of this premium tea since its opening, and now Matchali is taking things to the next level with 10 new health-boosting cocktails. Cousins in Kyoto transforms your ordinary G&T with a shot of ceremonial grade matcha, the spiked yuzu lemonade matcha fuses matcha with yuzu and floral gin, while the Juicy Fruit combines sparkling white peach Earl Grey tea with gin. For more caffeinated options, the dirty espresso martini introduces an extra shot of matcha to the classic cocktail, while the Matchalini blends ceremonial grade matcha with almond milk, vanilla, and vodka.
Matchali, 5 Moon Street, Wan Chai
This speakeasy at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is shaking things up with a brand-new drink’s menu this March, featuring a selection of seasonal cocktails as well as classic flavours that have stood the test of time. A selection of alcohol-free creations are also available on PDT’s new menu, made using alcohol-free gin that offers the same great taste without the buzz.
The Clarified Milk Punch is inspired by Hong Kong-style milk tea, pairing black tea with evaporated milk, spices, and rum. The Wonka’s Tonic adds a unique Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory-twist to your ordinary G&T, whilst the Canton’s Remedy draws on penicillin and old medicinal remedies in a blend of whiskey, ginger liqueur, honey, and more.
It’s important to not drink on an empty stomach, so why not give PDT’s bar snacks a try? From burgers to tater tots, hot dogs to desserts, this selection not only pairs well with their liquid offerings, but also pays homage to PDT’s roots in New York and the city where its second branch is located. Try out the “cheung fun” tots, an unlikely combination of Hong Kong's classic rice noodle rolls complete with hoisin sauce, toasted peanut sauce, and white sesame, and the Siam Dog, fish cake dog with kaffir lime leaves, cucumber relish, and fried shallots.
PDT (Please Don’t Tell), The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Darkside’s latest cocktail menu takes mahjong, the classic Hong Kong tile game, as inspiration. Collaborating with local artisans, this series was created alongside many masters in traditional crafts; the menu was designed by mahjong tile makers, the glassware was handcrafted by a local glass-blowing workshop, and the ceramics were created by a long-standing brand famed for developing and celebrating Chinese pottery.
Eight new cocktails on the Art of Mahjong menu take inspiration from the bonus flower and seasons tiles in mahjong. The Plum is a stirred martini with vodka, calendula cordial, and salted plum, while the Chrysanthemum is a cognac-based clarified milk punch. The Spring is a gin highball complete with seasonal tangerine and longan, and the Winter is a whisky sour elevated with undertones of taro, spices, and ginger.
Darkside, Level Two, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Zuma introduces two cocktails to its menu this March inspired by the Chinese poem “Spring Night (春宵)”—written by the ancient poet and calligrapher, Su Shi. The Scent of Spring brings a floral finish to a blend of gin, yuzu hibiscus cordial, sakura liquor, and pineapple, while the Courtyard Melody brings to life the lines in the poem which detail the celebratory singing and dancing that calls forth the coming of spring with a combination of gin, bergamot and shiso liquor, and suze. Available until 31 March.
Zuma, Level 5 & 6, Landmark Atrium, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
The alfresco lounge at The Mira is introducing four cocktails inspired by the blooming of spring and the creative atmosphere of Arts Month in Hong Kong. Asazakura fuses sakura with yuzu juice and sake in a refreshing mix; Beyond Eden offers a piece of paradise with complex yet soothing flavours of lavender flower syrup, butterfly pea-infused vodka, and lavender foam; Verdant Oasis quenches your thirst with a blend of gin, dill flowers, and basil extract; and Mille Rosette is a delicately sweet, gin-based highball with hibiscus, rose water, and syrup, topped with dried rose petals. Available until 31 March.
Vibes, 5/F, The Mira Hong Kong, Mira Place, 118–130 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
For Arts Month-related cocktails, Dada Bar + Lounge is definitely the place to be. Not only does the bar’s name pay homage to Dadaism—an art movement notable for its surrealist figures and satirical and nonsensical messages—but the interiors are also designed with Surrealist elements in mind. Artists Salvador Dalí and Rene Magritte are chosen as inspirations for Dada’s cocktail creations this March.
Drawing on Dali’s famed The Persistence of Memory (1931), the Memory’s Persistence is a strong blend of whisky, brandy, triple sec, and citrusy juices, adorned with an edible melting clock. The Flaming Giraffe takes another of Dali’s fascinating piece, Burning Giraffes in Brown (1975), as inspiration in a tall blend of rum, passion fruit purée, and pineapple juice.
Magritte’s surrealist subjects are brought to life in Dada’s Vanishing Cloud and Magritte’s Dove cocktails. The first takes the painting La Corde Sensible (1960) as inspiration for its presentation in a gin-based cocktail complete with calamansi juice and Cointreau, whilst the latter pays homage to Man in a Bowler Hat (1964) in its presentation in a dove-shaped glass filled with a creamy mixture of hazelnut liqueur, rum, and coconut water. Available every Tuesday to Saturday from 14 March onwards.
Dada Bar + Lounge, 2/F, The Luxe Manor, 39 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui