An impromptu supermarket sweep. Ice balls being carved in the bathroom. Endless streams of liquor and a karaoke reworking of a Ronan Keating classic. A lot happened over two days in September at Tatler House, our penthouse suite at The Upper House in Admiralty. After months of bar closures and uncertainty in the air, for a brief moment in time this haven in the heart of Hong Kong provided a group of top mixologists with a way to forget about the outside world and focus instead on the possibilities of creating an original cocktail inspired by the city they love.
Their mission was simple: they would form four teams and, armed with an impressive arsenal of spirits, take part in an intensive yet liberating session to come up with a drink that would represent Hong Kong. After all, New York has its Manhattan; our neighbours in Singapore, the Singapore Sling. For a place so rich with history and points of inspiration, it is truly baffling that the closest we had ever gotten to a cocktail to call our own until now was the Gunner, a low-alcohol drink made by mixing ginger ale with ginger beer or lemonade and a dash of Angostura bitters— hardly a thrilling proposition or an accurate representation of this crazy city.
The need for something a little stronger, both in kick and symbolism, inspired The Hong Kong Cocktail concept, one that will, this winter, come alive in bars around the city as part of Tatler Dining’s United We Dine campaign. From November 11, 2020 to January 31, 2021, you’ll have the chance to try the four original cocktails created by leading mixologists at their bars as well as others listed at unitedwedine.hk. Then you’ll be able to cast your vote to decide on the final recipe that best represents Hong Kong, the winner of which will be announced in 2021.