Summer in the city and the heat is on – meaning it’s time to beat those soaring temperatures with a few of our favourite tipples! We’ve rounded up expert picks for refreshing thirst-quenchers and fab fruity concoctions at some of Hong Kong’s hottest summer cocktail spots – all especially chosen for their gorgeous alfresco areas, which are perfect for chilling under the sun with girlfriends or catching that night-time breeze. So here’s to our top seven summer cocktails and where to sip on them… get your drinks on, girls!
Have a fakecation!
Where: Hit Honi Honi, Hong’s Kong’s very first tiki lounge and winner of this year’s Sassy Award for Best Girls Night Out, for the perfect Polynesian escape right in the heart of the city. With a laidback beachy vibe, distinctive timber and bamboo décor and an outdoor terrace that’s made to feel like a tropical haven, you’ll be in the mood for the beach in no time!
What: The Fakecation (above left), made for us hectic Hong Kongers who “constantly talk about going on vacation but seem too busy to actually get on a plane”, was created by Honi Honi’s General Manager Fabien Marcault to make you feel like you’re on vacation “at least for a few moments”! Made with Angostura 1919 eight year old rum, St Germain liqueur, fresh pineapple juice, rhubarb bitters, orgeat syrup, fresh egg white and fresh lemon juice, vacation is only a few sips away.
See the rest of our Sassy Awards 2013 winners here.
Honi Honi 3/F, Somptueux Central, 52 Wellington St, Central
A berry good vibe
Where: Nothing beats being able to escape the crowded streets yet still feel in the middle of it all. How, you ask? By being on top of it all, of course! Vibes, a laidback shisha bar cum outdoor lounge located on the fifth floor of The Mira Hong Kong, is the perfect hideaway from Tsim Sha Tsui’s buzzing Nathan Road. With a spacious open-air area and comfy sofas ready for you to sink into, this is the perfect summer secret garden.
What: Sip on the Vibes Piscine (above right) this summer, a breezy cocktail that’s meant to “embody the essence of a cool summer breeze” (so says Austin Moreno, the Bar Operations Manager at The Mira). Made from Shanghai white vodka, Cointreau, fresh lime, jasmine syrup and fresh strawberries, this cocktail will make you feel like you’re enjoying a fresh fruit picnic under the sun… in liquid form!
Check out four of our other favourite shisha bars in Hong Kong here.
Vibes Vibes, 5/F, The Mira, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Sugar honey baby!
Where: Doing it for the Eastside, Sugar gives you a different and absolutely beautiful perspective of the Hong Kong skyline from its prime 32nd floor location at the EAST Hotel in Tai Koo. With a spacious terrace filled with slouchy sofas, soft lighting and DJs spinning great tunes, it makes winding down after a long day at work or getting in a good mood for the weekends easy. Their new Wednesday Cuban nights, featuring live music, scrummy snack platters and special promotions on mojitos and cigars, is the perfect mood lifter for those hump day blues!
What: We definitely agree with Sugar’s manager Peter Murray when he says that “the best mojito for the summer is any mojito!” – and thanks to Sugar’s fun ‘make it yourself’ mojito wheel where you decide the fruit base and syrup with a spin of the wheel, we’re sold! “A personal favourite of mine is the Passion Fruit Classic Mojito; the passion fruit is perfect for the summer and adds a sweet yet slightly tart edge to the drink.” You can try Paul’s favourite or let fate decide, because really, with mojitos, anything goes!
Find out four more of our fave alfresco bars in Hong Kong here.
Sugar 32/F, EAST, 29 Taikoo Shing Road, Tai Koo
Summer with a twist
Where: Sal Curioso in Central and Madam Sixty Ate over in Wan Chai are both podium level restaurants with lovely alfresco areas offering bird’s-eye views of the buzzing streets below. Matching quirky décor with creative menus, you can now enjoy a fantastic meal without having to contemplate that long trek round Soho looking for drinks – simply lay back on those inviting sofas out in the open air and sip on some signature cocktails right there!
What: Tom Wood, the award-winning beverage manager for both restaurants, has created an extensive cocktail list especially for summer. His favourites? The Celery Gimlet (above left), available in Madam Sixty Ate, is a “clean and fresh cocktail with a slight savoury note, which is perfect for summer”. Made with gin, celery, lime juice, Lillet Blanc and celery bitters, now we won’t feel (quite so) guilty opting for this instead of our healthy juices!
Meanwhile the Gin Fizz Tropical (above right), made for Sal Curioso, is actually “a classic cocktail from the Philippines from the 1930s”, Tom explained, “except I’ve added an extra twist by making a pineapple and coriander syrup.” Mixed with gin, lemon juice and soda, this is definitely the perfect drink for a hot and humid summer day in Hong Kong.
Sal Curioso 2/F, 32 Wyndam Street, Central
2537 7555 www.curioso.com.hk
Madam Sixty Ate Shop 8, 1/F The Podium, J.Senses, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
2527 2558 www.madamsixtyate.com.hk
Twilight by the sea
Where: Nothing says summer more than a junk trip! Whether it’s taking in the gorgeous harbour views by day or a perfect night out on the waves, the iconic red-sailed Aqua Luna boat is your best bet. What could be more quintessentially Hong Kong than relaxing in the breeze on the front deck of this traditional wooden Chinese junk, cocktail in hand – that view never gets old.
What: If you need something refreshing during the day, the Osmanthus Passion is the one for you. Made with osmanthus wine, orange juice, passion fruit liqueur and soda water, it’s best served with a side of breath-taking Hong Kong under the sun.
Meanwhile, the Luna Twilight is as glamorous as it is refreshing; made with Chinese yellow wine, sparking wine and Chinese preserved plum, it will give you a taste of the traditions as you enjoy the evening breeze. Both drinks were created especially for the traditional junk, Eric Leung (manager of Aqua Luna) told us. “We wanted to reflect the Chinese heritage of our boat with the ingredients” – and we definitely agree that these concoctions are the perfect combination of old and new!
Can’t get enough of the sea? Read our ultimate Hong Kong Junk Guide here.
Aqua Luna, departs from Pier 9 in Central & Pier 1 in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2116 8821
Mary gone Chinese
Where: Duddell’s, the latest hotspot to hit Hong Kong, is a neat space on Duddell Street that’s best described as a mix of art gallery and dining room – with a killer drinks menu courtesy of its cool bar area too! Not only does Duddell’s have a great atmosphere to mingle and enjoy a good meal, it also boasts a gorgeous leafy outdoor terrace that’s perfect for relaxing and soaking up the buzz. With comfy seating surrounded by greenery, this is a sure bet for summer green paradise.
What: The Gong Bi Mary (above left) is a “home-made Bloody Mary mix of soy, oyster and XO sauces, Szechuan chilli peppers finished with lemon juice, pepper vodka, yellow bell pepper and tomato juice,” says Alexandre Chatte, the Head Mixologist at Duddell’s. “Inspired by an old Chinese painting technique, the drink is very refreshing.” An old classic with a Canto twist? Bloody Marys never sounded so good!
Hungry for more? Get the scoop on Duddell’s Chinese cuisine here.
Duddell’s 3-4/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central
Up, up and away
Where: The Lawn at The Upper House is the perfect outdoor garden with elegant ivory shades and stylish but comfortable patio furniture and cushions. Chill out to their lounge music, take in the setting sun and sip on some cocktails before heading to Café Gray Deluxe on the 49th floor for dinner and those amazing views of the Hong Kong skyline!
What: “Simplicity is the key and one is never enough…” So says Ali Ahmadi, Director of Restaurants at The Upper House about his top tipple, The Upper Southside (above right). A blend of fresh cucumber, mint, lime juice and premium gin, it’s “light, crisp and very refreshing” – as inviting as The Lawn itself!
The perfect pre-drinks activity? Afternoon tea at Café Gray! Read our review here.
The Lawn L6 (portion A), 88 Queensway, Admiralty