The closest link between the people that make wine and the people that drink it
I was recently challenged by a good friend of mine to name a Hong Kong drinking establishment known for its signature tipple. As one of the world’s foremost cosmopolitan cities (if you’ll forgive the pun) one might think this a relatively straightforward task. In Venice, say, an epicure of any repute might head to Harry’s Bar to savour Giuseppe Cipriani’s famous 1948 cocktail the Bellini. Similarly, a true cocktail aficionado would be hard-pressed to visit London without dropping by to sample one of Alessandro Palazzi’s revered Martini’s at Duke’s Hotel in St. James’s. Hong Kong unfortunately fares less well. After some serious deliberation the only two we could come up with were the strawberry daiquiri at Feather Boa and the jelly shots served at Al’s Dinner. A sad state of affairs indeed!
Things are changing though and classic cocktails are fighting their way back on to the menus of the city’s best drinking dens. This resurgence can perhaps be attributed to a new breed of bartenders who have set out to evangelise the fine art of cocktail making. We were lucky enough to welcome several of these pioneers to the eagerly-anticipated Hong Kong launch of No. 3 London Dry Gin, hosted at The Fine Wine Reserve by BBR Brand Heritage Director Ronnie Cox.
In attendance were Peter Kendall from Sugar, Sam Jeveons from The Upper House, Matt Radalj from Republik and Roy Woo from KEE Club. I was genuinely enthused by meeting these guys. Their knowledge and the enthusiasm they have for their art is infectious. With new venues putting an onus on sophisticated elegance rather than ostentation, the zeitgeist looks like it might endure.