Best Sips is a look-back on the most incredible drinks — alcoholic or otherwise — we had in the past week. Those which renewed our love for established venues; caught our attention at a new opening; or freshly impressed upon us the creativity and skill of Hong Kong’s talented bartenders and mixologists alike. From tipples at charming dive bars to award-winning apéritifs at five-star establishments, these are the best drinks to try in Hong Kong; the drinks we’d recommend you make a special trip for.
Twenty Fifth Hour
The drink: 20:00 — Bo Jai Fan (Part of a Tasting Menu / HK$498 per person)
Real Kong heads recognise “Bo Jai Fan” as the city’s signature wintry mix, claypot rice. But this isn’t Best Bites — mixologist Kenzo Lee has converted the cold-weather favourite into a cocktail as part of his “The Journey to 25:00,” Twenty Fifth Hour’s drinkable tasting menu and love letter to the flavours of Hong Kong. Though the “19:00 — Abalone” and “12:00 — Nothing” were serious standouts, BJF was a comfort meal in a glass, with Chinese Sausage Fat Washed Amaro Montenegro in the mix, and soy-glazed rice crackers on the side. You’ll sip the “hours” away in a matter of minutes, but it won’t be long until you’re back craving seconds. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
“The Journey to 25:00” is currently available every Monday to Wednesday through 10 November. Reservations can only be made via WhatsApp +852 5546 8540.
The drink: Pat’s Fierce Bloody Mary (HK$85)
Tomatoes are a perfect fruit. Yes, fruit. It’s perfect on its own; perfect little; perfect big, ripe and juicy. It’s perfect as marinara; perfect on pizza; perfect on pasta — the very best of food groups. It’s perfect masticated as ketchup; perfect scrambled with eggs; perfect as juice, the order you should ask for when the airplane drinks trolley comes rolling on through. Which brings me to the Bloody Mary, the perfect cocktail.
If your perfect Bloody Mary is anything like mine, you’d want it spicy; not just-a-splash-of-tabasco spicy. A real kick-in-your-face spicy. A little chunky with tomato pulp, mostly settled at the bottom. It’s served with a column of ice in a tall, highball glass; nothing precious, nothing with a stem. The Globe’s Pat’s Fierce Bloody Mary, then, is an archetypal specimen of What A Bloody Mary Should Be; save for one teeny-tiny note: Give us a skewer of pickled snacks! — Joey Wong, Editor
The drink: Aperol Spritz (HK$98)
In any given instance, you’d probably find me alluding to this very gorgeous goblet of Aperol Spritz as being the ultimate sundowner in summer. Probably described somewhere balmy like the Mediterranean, too — I just really want a holiday, can you tell? But for the sake of variation and to place my best sip in something more current like the crisp, breezy temp, I’ve dedicated this week’s entry to explaining how the Aperol Spritz is an Autumn Drink too.
Crust’s recipe is a very close take to the traditional. A little fizz from the Prosecco and soda water. A light bitterness from the Aperol which quickly fades into sweet citrus from the orange. You always know what to expect. It’s great. And as the weather shifts, you’ll find that the infamous sunset-orange tint is actually very apropos for spooky season. Feeling chilly? Warm and fuzzy feelings all around considering how easily these wash down. For those particularly in the autumnal mood, one Reese Witherspoon rejigged the classic recipe with a splash of apple cider and a swirl of a cinnamon stick. It’s not on menus yet, but you heard it here first. Bring garnishes of your own. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor
Zoku Restaurant & Terrace
The drink: Byakko (HK$108)
Just a brief glance at the ingredient list already told me that this cocktail would be right up my alley. Named after the white tiger Byakko (bai hu in Chinese), one of the four auspicious beasts in mythology, this heady drink is made with Scotch, umeshu, lemon juice, ginger and honey. I love a heavy, hard-hitting drink with a sweet-and-sour kick, so this truly ticked all my boxes. Think a marriage of Bee’s Knees with a Whiskey Sour, then throw in some umeshu and this is it. It’s a lot, but it’s great. Best enjoyed in the newly opened terrace after a long day. — Sandra Kwong, Features Editor
(Hero and featured image courtesy of Twenty Fifth Hour)
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