Top 10 Hong Kong gin bars
Hong Kong has cottoned onto gin in a big way with specialist boutique bars mushrooming all over town. Here are some of our favourites.
Hong Kong loves gin so much it even named an area in the New Territories Gin Drinkers Bay and early expats were forever knocking back a G&T in HK’s various private members’ clubs as protection against the all-pervading humidity.
Fortunately, the city has come a long way since then with an eclectic array of gin cocktails for the most avid gin drinker.
Click through to discover Hong Kong’s top 10 gin bars…
G&T Cocktail Bar
Delights include the Sloe Sour with sloe gin, sweet & sour, egg white and grapefruit bitters and Elder Apple-tini created with dry gin, apple juice, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and cucumber.
G&T Cocktail Bar, Shama Place Unit A, U/G, 30 Hollywood Road; no phone number
An impressive cocktail bar by anyone’s standards, The Woods is tucked away along Hollywood Road with a cool light canopy of hand-blown glass over the stairs representing branches and the light shining through trees – one almost expects to be served by elves.
The Beet Negroni is a firm favourite, combining beetroot-infused Tanqueray Gin, Dolin Rosso Vermouth and Campari.
The Woods, L/G, 17 Hollywood Road; 2522 0281
The “Shim cocktails” (buzzword for low-alcohol) are looked after by head mixologist Paul Fan and are described as “hand-crafted and characterised by fine ingredients and mesmerising visual appeal.”
One highlight for the cooling season is the Autumn Breeze made with dry gin, elderflower liquor, raspberry syrup, Earl Grey tea, fresh lemon juice and fresh raspberries.
Topiary, 3/F, Hilltop Plaza, 49-51 Hollywood Rd; 2866 6485
Ozu is a trendy sake bar which also does a mean line in gin cocktails. The Kyu is a heady Hendrick’s gin libation with fresh cucumbers, kiwi, mint and sake in a flourish of dry ice and a fetching tea pot.
Ozu being an authentic Japanese hangout naturally means that there is also a plethora of Japanese whisky and beers to comfort the non-gin drinkers in the group.
Ozu, 1 Hollywood Rd; 5244 1417
Although Pirata is mainly known for its impressive vermouth concoctions, the Clover Club hailing from Philadelphia is a simple but mighty combination of Mombasa Club gin, lemon juice, raspberry and egg white.
On the gin front, the Shino is a classic and simply consists of Beefeater Gin, shiso herb, lemon and black sugar.
Yardbird’s retail store in Kennedy Town, Sunday’s Grocery has a varied gin list (and whisky, wine and Vermouth) so aficionados can recreate the cocktails at home.
Yardbird, 33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan; 2547 9273
Presented in a first aid emergency box filled to the brim with ice, the Dracula-inspired True Blood #2 cocktail is a bloody good choice either side of Halloween.
The Envoy, 3/F, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen’s Road; 2169 3311
Risi e Bisi
The Old Man Negroni is just the ticket for Hong Kong’s encroaching autumnal season, made with Citadelle Reserve gin, Mancino Rosso Amaranto Vermouth, Aperol and Campari which just calls for the addition of a log fire – even though it never gets cold enough to actually light one.
Rise e Bisi, G/F, 12 Kau U Fong, Sheung Wan; 2824 3009 (no website)
Ping Pong 129 Ginonteria
Formerly an old ping-pong hall, it oozes industrial chic with glorious high ceilings, retro-Hong Kong windows and the ubiquitous red neon sign.
Firm favourites include Martin Miller’s gin with Fever-Tree tonic water with lemon and juniper, Farmer’s Organic gin with Q tonic and lemongrass and G’Vine Floraison Gin with Japanese Wilkinson tonic and grapes.
Ping Pong 129 Ginonteria, 129 Second Street, Nam Cheong Hse, Sai Ying Pun, 9835 5061
There are literally hundreds of gin cocktails, shorts, talls and G&T combinations to satisfy even the most fussy gin-lover.
Special mention to the KGB cocktail for being totally Instagram-worthy and packing a potent punch of dry gin, Kyoho liqueur, lemon and lime juice, grape juice and elderflower syrup – all served in a delightful duck-filled bubble bath. An instant best-seller.
Ori-gin, 48 Wyndham Street; 2668 5583