The Drinks List: 15 Summer Cocktails to Beat the Hong Kong Heat
June 28, 2023
As Hong Kong's summer heat climbs to its peak, the city's vivacious bar scene is rising to the challenge, serving up an array of cooling cocktails that provide a delightful antidote to the temperature outside. The city's eminent mixologists, masters of their craft, have carefully curated a collection of cocktails that embody the spirit of summer, offering a sweet sanctuary from the withering weather.
Mirroring the city's energetic pulse, the revitalised nightlife teems with dynamism, overflowing with inventive libations that cater to diverse palates. The stage is perfectly set, as Hong Kong gears up to host the 2023 'Asia's Best 50 Bars' on July 18. This eminent event is poised to shine a spotlight on the city's thriving cocktail scene.
So shrug off the blazing Hong Kong heat and delve into the city's lively bar scene - one revitalising cocktail at a time. Because isn't summer best enjoyed with a cool, refreshing drink in hand?
Matcha Point from Aqua Spirit Rooftop
Crafted by: Lorenzo Coppola
Description & Inspiration: From the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, Aqua Spirit Rooftop brings a breath of fresh air with its new summer menu. The star of the show is Matcha Point, a unique blend of matcha pisco, yuzu, umeshu, and ginger syrup. This smooth, refreshing libation, inspired by the Land of the Rising Sun, is the perfect accompaniment to the sweeping views of Victoria Harbour.
Why We Love It For Summer: A refreshing summer hit that levels up your cocktail game, the Matcha Point offers a delightful cool-down for those hot Hong Kong days.
Where: Aqua Sprit Rooftop, 17/F, H Zentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
How much: HK$148
Tempo per L'estate from Bianco & Rosso
Crafted by: Ash Gurung
Description & Inspiration: An evocative nod to Italian summers, this delectable blend features butter-fat washed bourbon, Tokaji wine, pistachio, and Mancino Vermouth cream, paying homage to the delightful indulgence of pistachio gelato.
Why We Love It For Summer: Sipping this cocktail, you'll be transported to a leisurely day spent exploring Italian bodegas. Its rich, creamy composition coupled with the cooling pistachio makes it an all-day sipper you can't resist
Where: Bianco & Rosso, 29 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$120
Strawberry Colada Milk Punch from Between Coffee
Crafted by: Nikki Che
Description & Inspiration: Drawing from the richness of Piña Colada and Fruit Tea, Between Coffee introduces the Strawberry Colada Milk Punch. This inventive libation is a combination of strawberry tea and a clarified, sparkling Pina Colada, offering a perfect marriage of café culture and cocktail craftsmanship.
Why We Love It For Summer: With its refreshing essence and thirst-quenching character, this cocktail is your perfect antidote to the summer heat, offering a delightful cool-down experience.
Where: Between Coffee, 2/F, JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$88
Mangucci from Honky Tonks Tavern
Crafted by: Collective Bar Team
Description & Inspiration: The Mangucci is a testament to the creativity that thrives in the absence of rules. This 7-ingredient wonder from Honky Tonks Tavern is a delectable concoction that harmoniously blends Plantation dark rum, Frangelico, vanilla, and Mr Black coffee liqueur with the tropical goodness of fresh mango and pineapple. It's an audacious desert Tiki creation that resonates with the tavern's "more is more" ethos.
Why We Love It For Summer: The Mangucci encapsulates the essence of a Tiki bar in a glass. Its tropical flavours, enriched by the potency of dark rum and the sweetness of mango and pineapple, make it the ideal companion to beat the Hong Kong heat.
Where: Honky Tonks Tavern, Man Hing Lane, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$110
Strawberry Cooler from Chachawan
Crafted by: Ryan Garcia
Description & Inspiration: A sweet blend of Pampero Blanco rum, strawberries, watermelon, lime juice, and homemade falernum syrup. Garcia’s Strawberry Cooler is inspired by the vibrant freshness of summer, offering a delectable balance of sweet and tart flavours.
Why We Love It For Summer: This cocktail brims with summer's best – juicy strawberries and watermelon, balanced with a tropical twist of rum and a tangy kick of lime. Not too potent, it's a cooling, relaxed sip for lazy summer afternoons.
Where: Chachawan, 206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
How much: HK$98
UBE - PIÑA from The Social Den
Crafted by: Bryson Rivera
Description & Inspiration: A unique take on the famed 1930s Piña Colada, Bryson adds a hint of Southeast Asian flair to this cocktail. Infused with Purple Yam, Makrut leaves & Lemongrass, this aromatic, dessert-like libation brings a new level of sophistication to the traditional summer cocktail.
Why We Love It For Summer: What's more summery than a beachside Piña Colada? The UBE - PIÑA encapsulates this image and adds a twist of exotic, aromatic flavours making it a refreshing and memorable libation for those hot summer days.
Where: The Social Den, The Loop, 33, 9/F Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$118
Butter Me, Blossom! from Hugger Mugger
Crafted by: Abhishek Singh Bisht
Description & Inspiration: The Butter Me, Blossom! is an intoxicating blend that strikes a balance between richness and refreshment. Created with a clever mix of butter-washed Absolute Vodka, Bianco vermouth, Frangelico, orange blossom, and vanilla, it offers a delightful summer flavour profile that is both indulgent and uplifting.
Why We Love It For Summer: This unique libation brings creaminess to your palate with its butter-washed vodka, while the floral notes from orange blossom and the sweet hint of vanilla make it an irresistibly refreshing summer drink.
Where: Hugger Mugger, Basement 43, 55 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$95 (Happy Hour HK$55)
Summer from Darkside
Crafted by: Simoni Rossi
Description & Inspiration: Drawing inspiration from a local Cha chaan teng drink which features preserved lemons and soda, Simoni replaces the traditional salted lemon with salted lychee. This unique blend is then combined with Japanese whisky Nikka Days and Darkside's own Hong Kong Amaro to create a wonderfully complex and refreshing cocktail.
Why We Love It For Summer: The "Summer" is a fizzy, revitalising libation, with a sweet note from the salted lychee and herbal nuances from the Hong Kong Amaro. Served on the rocks in an elegantly hand-blown glass, this cocktail uses a unique bubble technique to capture the seaside essence of summer, its colours echoing those of mahjong tiles. Garnished with Salted Lychees, it's the epitome of summer in a glass.
Where: DarkSide, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
How much: HK$180.
Chuen Jhai from Mak Mak
Crafted by: Joel Quiambo
Description & Inspiration: This gin-based cocktail offers a fresh aroma of cucumber and galangal, rounded off with a touch of Thai honey on the palate. A delicate blend captures the essence of freshness in a glass.
Why We Love It For Summer: Its selection of crisp ingredients, served chilled, makes it an instant relief from the summer heat. A light, revitalising sip that embodies summer relaxation.
Where: Mak Mak, Landmark Atrium, 2/F, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$98
Banana Daiquiri from The Daily Tot
Crafted by: Bikash Gurung
Description & Inspiration: The Banana Daiquiri reimagines a classic Caribbean summer cocktail with an infusion of fresh banana and plantation dark rum, accentuated by a candied banana garnish.
Why We Love It For Summer: This tropical libation is a one-way ticket to a sunny beach. The rich taste of banana fused with the dark rum will make you feel like you're in the Caribbean, basking under the sun.
Where: The Daily Tot, Shop E, LG/F, Felicity Building, 58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$120
Red Feathers from Tempo Tempo
Crafted by: Stefan Basila
Description & Inspiration: Red Feathers is a zero-waste concoction, that showcases a commitment to sustainability without compromising on flavour. This Aperitiki cocktail is created with homemade pistachio falernum, house-brewed Tepache, and a hint of saline. Fruity and tropical, it's a testament to using every part of the pineapple, from leaf to fruit.
Why We Love It For Summer: With its tropical, fruity flavours, Red Feathers offers a taste of an exotic getaway - perfect for escaping the busy city life on a hot summer day. Its refreshing character adds to its appeal, making it a much-needed summer refresher
Where: Tempo Tempo, 2/F Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King's Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
How much: HK$130
Anissette from Louise
Crafted by: Jay Oxley
Description & Inspiration: This cocktail puts a fresh spin on the classic Sour Smash, combining the warmth of rye whiskey with the unique aniseed taste of French pastis liqueur, complemented by water and orgeat. A modern homage to traditional summer sippers.
Why We Love It For Summer: Served as a frosty slushie, the Anissette promises to be a perfect antidote to the relentless summer heat, marrying both refreshment and sophistication.
Where: Louise, PMQ - Staunton, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$168
Bumble Bee from SPIGA
Crafted by: Navneet Kumar
Description & Inspiration: The Bumble Bee is a soul-soothing cocktail that blends honey's complex flavours with chamomile tea, lemongrass, yuzu, and Roku Gin. This drink was inspired by honey's numerous beneficial properties and its role as nature's sweet powerhouse.
Why We Love It For Summer: With its refreshing tartness and light, floral notes, the Bumble Bee is the perfect antidote to Hong Kong's hot summer days. The cocktail's summery aesthetics further enhance its seasonal charm.
Where: SPIGA, 3/F, LHT Tower Podium, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$128
Bubble Tea from The Optimist
Crafted by: Agnes Tsang
Description & Inspiration: Reimagining the beloved Taiwanese bubble tea with a Spanish twist, The Optimist serves up this delightful libation in three tantalising flavours - Coffee, Matcha, and Rose. It's a fun-filled fusion that defies expectations, demonstrating how global influences can harmoniously merge into a unique creation.
Why We Love It For Summer: The Bubble Tea cocktail at The Optimist isn't just a drink, it's a celebration in a glass. Its playful vibrancy is perfect for summer gatherings, adding a dash of fun and colour to the occasion. Its whimsical presentation and exciting taste profiles make it a must-try addition to any summer event.
Where: The Optimist, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
How much: HK$88
Smoking Gun from Tokyolima
Crafted by: Anish Gurung
Description & Inspiration: Paying homage to the classic Negroni, the Smoking Gun is a bold cocktail that introduces an unexpected twist to summer sipping. This unique concoction combines Lapsang-infused Plymouth gin, Campari, Rosso Vermouth, and chocolate bitters to deliver an intriguing balance of smoky, bitter, and sweet flavours that create a surprisingly harmonious blend.
Why We Love It For Summer: While it may not be a conventional choice for summer, the Smoking Gun offers an alternative for those who prefer their cocktails with a bit more depth. Its smoky notes stir up visions of summer barbecues and late-night grilling, providing a distinct twist on the usual fruity summer fare.
Where: Tokyolima, G/F, Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
How much: HK$120
Prices are listed before service charge. Please check with the venue for latest updates.
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