Last month marked two and a half years of living with the pandemic. Just when we thought the social distancing policy couldn’t get worse in Hong Kong, the government announced that all bar attendees will now have to present a negative Covid RAT test before happy hour (face palm). However, there is nothing that can stop us from grabbing a good drink, even at home. This week, we have compiled some local brewers and cocktail labels that recreate the bar experience in your home.
If you love a good cocktail but are too lazy to learn to mix your own, Homeshake Cocktail is what you would want at home. Presenting a variety of bottled cocktails and pre-measured cocktail giftboxes, the label aspires to bring joy and a DIY experience to its customers making their own drinks at home. If you are looking for some Hong Kong influences in your drink, Homeshake Cocktail’s versatile bottled Tipsy Lemon Tea and Lip Flower Tea would be a great pick — add more vodka, lemon tea or ice to your liking, or simply drink them as they are. And if you are envisioning a bartending moment at home, the house’s DIY sets with pre-measured alcohol and flavoring beverages will be right up your alley.
Available at: Homeshake Cocktail online shop, AbouThai physical and online stores
For our readers with a sweet tooth, we are sure Conspiracy Chocolate wouldn’t be a name you haven’t heard of. But besides the famous bean-to-bar artisan chocolate ranges, the house is also the first to offer the market a single-origin coffee liqueur that’s made entirely in Hong Kong: the Acan. Infused with the roasted nutty aroma of cocoa, the coffee liqueur is a nice choice if you want something besides the regular — plus, can you even call yourself a chocoholic if you haven’t tried chocolate in everything?
Available at: Conspiracy Chocolate online shop
Gin is a popular drink for many reasons, including its potent aroma and versatility. Inspired by the botanicals from Hong Kong, Perfume Trees Gin is an interpretation of Hong Kong heritage infused with aromas unique to the Fragrant Harbour, including white champak, sandalwood, 15-year-old dried tangerine peel, Long-jing green tea and Chinese angelica. Its sugar-free coffee liqueur Pale Ink with the House’s gin as the base would make a drink worth trying if you want to go beyond the norm.
And here comes Magnolia Lab, where liquor meets Chinese medicine. Founded by a mixologist and a practitioner of Chinese medicine, Magnolia Lab is known for its products rich in herbs commonly used also in Traditional Chinese Medicine: for instance, jujube and aged tangerine peel. As much as the house encourages a more in-depth conversation for modern drinkers to traditional Chinese remedies, it also introduces newcomers to cocktail recipes designed to complement its products.
Available at: Magnolia Lab website and multiple locations
When it comes to local beers, Gweilo Beer is one of the most popular within and beyond Hong Kong. Inspired by the energetic city, Gweilo beers are light and breezy. Taking care of literally everyone, the house also serves non-alcoholic ale, promising a good time even for those who are alcohol-shy.
Available at: Gweilo Beer online shop and your local supermarkets
Born in 2014, Maksbeer’s drinks are now one of the most popular beers to pair with Izakaya fares in Hong Kong. Despite classic ales, the brewery is also known for its seasonal batches infused with traditional Chinese ingredient longan, childhood taste chocolate milk, and some other infusions that you never knew could go so well with beer.
Available at: Multiple locations
Guaranteeing a unique taste of Hong Kong through its craft beers that are brewed locally, Lion Rock Brewery can be found in numerous retail locations including your local supermarket, hotels, bars and restaurants. The brewery is also known for its limited-edition beers that come with unique packaging — celebrate with the KungHeiFatChoi beer wrapped in a counterfeit HK$1,000 note — both a good time and a good laugh guaranteed!
Available at: Multiple locations
If you are a fan of local brews and have tried all of the above, put Bear Beard Cheung on your radar. Opening just this year, Beer Beard Cheung works frequently with local boutique brewery Hong Kong Whistle for its beers. You would also find most of the local beers, even limited edition ones, as well as a selection of its founder’s favorites in its physical shop in Tai On Building, where Hong Kong street foods appear in their most authentic form.
Available at: Bear Beard Cheung online and physical shops