Hong Kong’s unique mix of Eastern and Western cultures has led to a drink’s scene that is hitting its stride. From comforting soft beverages to glamorous cocktails, there is a drink for every palate and occasion.
As a vertical city, a cocktail at the World’s Highest Bar, Ozone at Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, is a good place to start for a drinks exploration of Hong Kong. Cocktails at the 118th floor, offer a view like no other, overlooking both sides of Victoria Harbour. One of the bespoke cocktails to try is Hong Kong Rooftop, created by mixologist Teresa Moon and consists of fruits such as Kumquats, Strawberries, Pears and Grapefruit, with a good measure of vodka and salted caramel.
For visitors who like their drinks hot, there is Milk Tea. More popular than coffee, a total of 900 million glasses are drunk a year; Milk Tea is the drink of choice to give locals a caffeine boost. Made with strong black tea and condensed milk, it is served in local Cha Chan Tengs across the city’s districts. The tea leaves are repeatedly filtered through a sackcloth bag, which resembles a pair of silk stockings, which has also given this drink the name “Pantyhose Tea”.
Another popular soft drink favoured by locals, and perfect for those with a sweet tooth is Sugarcane Juice. Sold by street vendors in the Central district, this cooling drink offers a sweet pick me up. The juice is extracted from pressed sugarcane, which is obtained by crushing the peeled sugar cane in a mill.
Some drinks in Hong Kong, are also seen to have health benefits. For those who are feeling under the weather or are curious to learn more, a visit to the Chinese Medicine Shop for Herbal Tea will offer a valuable insight. Customers can either purchase a cooling herbal tea, or see one of the in-house doctors, who will provide a prescription for the pharmacists to prepare an herbal tea to make at home.
Back on cocktails, but this time at ground level, at the Lobby lounge at The Intercontinental. The only hotel situated on the harbour front, offers one of the best views for Hong Kong’s nightly laser show, The Symphony of Lights. For this show at 8pm, visitors can take a seat and enjoy one of the hotel’s V Sip signature cocktails, such as Smoke & Mirrors, including Chivas Regal, Cherry Liqueur, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura Bitters and Oak Wood Smoke.
To get a feel of traditional and colonial Hong Kong, visitors can head to Whiskey@Stables at Hullett House, a landmark destination in the city. The colonial white-stucco building was formerly the Marine Police Headquarters, and at a dedicated museum, visitors can learn more about the role of the Hong Kong Marine Police. At the bar, over 100 various types of Whiskey are available, the widest collection in Hong Kong. Mixologists offer appreciation classes to those wanting to learn more, but as a starting drink into the world of Whiskey, try a cocktail with traditional Hong Kong ingredients such as red bean.
The final drink on the list is Beer, and to be enjoyed during the Hong Kong 7s. During the famous four day tournament, over 200,000 pints of beer are drunk, 3% of Hong Kong’s annual intake. A popular drink of the time it seems, but craft beer pubs and bars, are starting to pop-up to meet the demands of punters, such as Black Star in Sheung Wan and Tipping Point Brewery in Central.