Now open in Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Argo, a game-changing bar that seeks to drive innovation in cocktails and spirits, is already shifting the conversation in Hong Kong. Styling itself after the ship that carried Jason and the Argonauts of ancient Greek mythology into terra incognita, Argo's cocktail menu is an exploration of familiar classics reinterpreted in novel and unexpected ways, as well as in entirely new concoctions that highlight the rapidly changing nature of global climate and food ecosystems.
Central to the bar's philosophy is the question of which of the commonplace ingredients we know today will become scarcer in the near future as they are threatened by climate change. On the list are staples like honey, cacao, vanilla, coffee, rice, and apple, endangered due to the massive change that global warming will impose on their ideal growing conditions.
The task of ideating recipes to capture this unique concept fell to Lorenzo Antinori, beverage manager at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, whose creations for the launch menu—titled 'Here Today, Gone Tomorrow'—seek to turn current cocktail conventions on their head. These include the Single Origin Negroni, which ages the a mix of St. George Terroir gin, cascara vermouth, Campari and smoked jalapeño not in a barrel, but in a single-origin Hulu Gali cacao pod sourced from Malaysia's Chocolate Concierge; meanwhile, the Bark, Leaf & Love cocktail utilises mono-floral lychee and longan honey sourced from Argo's own beehive at HK Raw Honey to create a deliciously fruity, cognac-based drink.
True to its mission of celebrating innovation in the world of fine drinking, Argo has compiled what it calls the Field Guide to the World’s Innovative Spirits, a tome of cutting-edge liquors that break the rules in one way or another. Divided into five categories, half of the 54 spirits in the guide are available for the very first time in Hong Kong. While it makes for fascinating, if not technical, reading, the guide is best experienced in person at Argo, where guests can try the spirits as part of a tasting flight, or as the base to a classic cocktail. Keep reading for our pick of five spirits from the guide to sample for a taste of the future.