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Monday, Oct 26, 2020

Where to drink in Hong Kong this September

Where to drink in Hong Kong this September

Bars, pubs, karaoke, and nightclubs are finally allowed to open! Though tipplers didn't exactly experience a dry spell throughout the prohibition season as some of our favourite drinking joints operated as cafes and restaurants; bars that are solely for drinking can finally resume operations until midnight, giving us more options to satisfy our need for libation and to have a social distanced night of revelry.

If you're planning to meet up with your friends for the weekend, here's a roundup of places to hit up for tipples this September.

Where to drink this September



Room 309


Antonio Lai's multisensory bar Room 309 is following up their recent gin collaboration with Two Moons Distillery with a themed pop-up just in time for Mid-Autumn Festival. If you didn't get a bottle from the two exclusive releases, make sure to taste the Five Flowers Tea Limited Edition Dry Gin from September 28 until November 14, through a series of special cocktails inspired by Mystic Tarot cards. Cocktails will include Full Moon Ritual ($160) (gin, ginger liqueur, grapefruit and black walnut bitters), Re-Enchantment ($160) made with kumquat puree, lemon juice, honey, and Aperol, Wild Intuitives ($160) (cedarwood cordial, iris blossom, and Pei Pa Koa), and Five Flowers Tea Gin & Tonic ($140) paired with Fever-Tree Indian tonic.

If you want to know more about Two Moons Distillery, drop by at the bar every other Wednesday evening to meet Hong Kong's first female distiller Dimple Yuen and co-founder Ivan Chang. Since the pop-up is a tarot themed cocktail experience, it wouldn't be complete without the mystical readings of tarot card reader Olivia Luk, who will make weekly appearances at the bar every Thursday from 6pm to 7pm.

The bar will only take walk-ins so make sure to drop by early because seats might get full.



Negroni Week at Ovolo hotel's Komune, TQM, and Veda


Ovolo Hotel's F&B venues in Australia and Hong Kong whipped up a special smoked Negroni menu for the duration of Negroni Week until September 27.

Head to Ovolo Central's Veda Bar for their Smoked Herbs Negroni (hickory-smoked blend of rosemary-infused gin, Campari, lemon thyme-infused Cinzano 1757 Rosso, garnished with dehydrated orange, and burnt rosemary sprig), Ovolo Southside's Kömune Bar for their Smoked Citron Negroni (applewood smoked blend of citrus trio infused gin, Campari, Cinzano 1757 Rosso, orange bitters, garnished with dehydrated lemon), and our personal favourite, Te Quiero Mucho Bar's Smoked Mole Negroni (pecan-smoked blend of chilli, Chocolate infused mezcal, Campari with a dash of Bittermens xocolatl mole bitters, Cinzano 1757 Rosso, garnished with dehydrated orange).

All six signature cocktails, including the ones created by the Australian team, will be available in all of Ovolo's F&B outlets.

If you feel like imbibing safely at home, Ovolo Hotel will hold an online Negroni Masterclass hosted by Campari’s regional brand ambassador Zoltan Konczol and Ovolo’s F&B manager Juan Gimenez. Get tips and tricks on how to make a killer Negroni via a Zoom workshop that will come with a complete Negroni masterclass set ($588) – bottles of 750ml Campari, 750ml Bulldog Gin, 1,000ml Cinzano 1757, a small bottle of infused mezcal, mixing glass, two rock glasses, coasters, cocktail stirrer, tote bags. Visit this link to get a ticket.



The Diplomat launches an American pale ale


The Diplomat is launching their very own house signature American pale ale in collaboration with a Swedish craft brewery Nya Carnegiebryggeriet.

Be the first to try this brew on September 20 at The Diplomat by purchasing a ticket to a two-part launch that will start from 2pm to 4pm and again at 4pm to 6pm. Ticket purchase will get you a slot in one of the two scheduled sessions that include an all-you-can-drink beer and all-you-can-eat BBQ – served by soon to open new American BBQ smokehouse Smoke & Barrel.

Alternatively, you can also avail of the VIP experience that includes an additional free-flow Champagne and wagyu brisket for a 2pm to 6pm slot at $800 per head.

Tickets will be limited to 40 people per regular session, and only 30 for the VIP experience, so make sure to make an advanced purchase to secure a slot. The Diplomat American Pale Ale ($65) will be available on the bar's menu after September 20.



Okra and Mizunara cocktail and otoshi experience


Okra Hong Kong, is collaborating with Japanese whisky bar Mizunara: The Library, for a limited edition cocktail and otoshi (small bites) experience ($350) at Okra's upstairs omakase counter.

The otoshi and cocktail pairing menu will include three tapas – black sugar smoked bacon served with pickled lotus root, edamame renkon katsu (breaded deep-fried lotus root slices with fresh edamame paste filling), and eggplant nanbanzuke (Okra's signature vegan version of the classic Japanese marinated fried fish). The menu is inspired by the dishes that chef Max ate at different shochu bars in Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Nagasaki while backpacking in Kyushu 15 years ago.

The hors d'oeuvres will be served together with Mizunara's roasted tea cooler made with Mugi Shochu, hojicha, sugar, Fernet-Branca, and pilsner beer topped with a sprinkle of matcha powder.

Guests can also order from Okra's a-la-carte menu alongside some specials from the eatery's smoker, while Mizunara is also preparing five signature cocktails along with some secret whisky offerings.

The pop-up is available Wednesdays to Saturdays from 5pm until 12mn. Reserve seats for the cocktail-bento experience via email at info@okra.bar or message via Whatsapp at 2806 1038.



New cocktails at Tell Camellia


Joining the trend of CBD-infused drinks in the city is tea-focused cocktail bar Tell Camellia with the release of their 𝐂𝐁𝐃 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐢 cocktail made with matcha distillate and drops of Gentle Bro CBD oil tincture in Summer Lemon flavour.

If you're curious about CBD, now is your chance to try it in a cocktail. Make sure to order this first when you get to the bar as they only make it limited portions.

The bar also welcomes guests this September with a slew of new cocktails on their menu which include zero caffeine Teapresso Martini made with roasted green tea-infused vodka, malted cocoa, and pistachio dust and the sipping cocktail Thailand made with cha yen tea, red curry distillate (kaeng phet) cooked with vodka and smoked pandan, elderflower, pineapple, and gin.



Get your Negroni fix at The Wise King


Since travel is still off the books, The Wise King wants you to travel through taste by offering various Negroni twists from five of the world's top bars.

The special Negroni menu includes The Wise King's signature Mandarino Negroni, Paradiso's (Barcelona, Spain) Sottobosco Boulevardier made with Bourbon, sake, vermouth, hazelnut, shitake, topped with kumquat and vanilla foam, The Clumsies' (Athens, Greece) Clumsy Negroni made with gin, rhubarb, Campari, Chinato, and manzanilla sherry, Artesian's (London, UK) Comeback Negroni made with gin, vermouth, Rinomato Aperitivo, bitters, cassis liqueur, and cocoa bitters.

The Wise King gets crowded later at night (especially during weekends), so make sure to get there early to get a seat.



Wine and dine at Aria


If you have not been to Aria – the new Italian restaurant that took over Cé La Vi's old spot on the 24th floor of California Tower – hit the restaurant to wine and dine with a view.

Choose dishes from chef Andrea Zamboni's à la carte menu or the exclusive chef’s table menu ($2,000) featuring an omakase-style menu that changes weekly based on seasonal ingredients flown in from around the world. Peruse the restaurant's expansive list of rare Italian wines by the glass that perfectly complements dishes from the kitchen.

Try the tagliatelle with blue lobster and bagna-cauda fondue ($268) with Nireddu Etna Rosso 2016 wine – light-bodied Sicilian wine with distinctive characters influenced from volcanic soils of the region – or order a risotto to pair with Podernuovo a Palazzone Therra 2013 – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano from Bulgari family's (fashion brand) winery named after their estate in southern Tuscany.

Finish your meal with chef's signature tiramisu ($98) and wash it down with fortified digestif Pio Cesare Barolo Chinato.



James Suckling Wine Central


James Suckling Wine Central is introducing their new super Tuscan masterclass and bespoke blind tastings this September. On September 21, from 3pm to 5pm, get to taste five top wines from the Tuscany region which will include Bibi Graetz Testamatta Rosso 2018, Fattoria Le Pupille 'Saffredi' Maremma 2018, and Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2016. Get a $350 ticket via Eventbrite to secure a slot.

Those who would like to spice up their wine experience can opt for the bar's new bespoke blind tastings that can be customised to your preference.



Coffee Analog


This newly opened joint in Sha Tin is a must-visit for whisky buffs. Coffee Analog is a cafe by day and a whisky den at night. Enjoy hand drip coffee brews or a double ristretto – highly concentrated espresso coffee – in the morning and sip on drams of whisky once the bar opens at night.

The whisky bar is run by online liquor retailer Malt Cask, so expect great drams to wet your whistle. The bar houses over a hundred bottles of independently bottled whiskies (That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Duncan Taylor, Douglas Laing, and many more) limited-edition releases, and brands that will tickle any whisky enthusiast.

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