When it comes to cocktails, too often is the refrain heard that "I don't drink cocktails because they're too sweet"—despite the fact that cocktails are defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "an alcoholic drink consisting of a spirit mixed with other ingredients", and can encompass any number of flavours and components that are anything but sweet.
While it's true that artificial syrups and juice mixes reigned supreme in the so-called Dark Ages of mixology in the '80s and '90s, savoury drinks have had as long a history in the cocktail canon as their more sugary brethren, including, most famously, the Bloody Mary and the Gibson. And as cocktails cement their place as a sophisticated accompaniment to all stages of a meal—rather than being limited to a spritz during brunch or a strong nightcap to wind down the night—they're taking on more flavour cues from the food they're served alongside.
Here, we've rounded up eight of Hong Kong's best savoury cocktails below, so next time you hear that infamous refrain, you'll know exactly where to lead them for some liquid enlightenment.
So good that they named it after the restaurant, the Vesper-inspired Salisterra cocktail is part of the revamped cocktail menu and takes the salis (Latin for salt) literally. Featuring a mix of Tanqueray gin, Mancino dry vermouth, Ketel One vodka, dill, and housemade tomato tincture, it's poured from an iced sidecar into a martini glass at your table, and finished with a pickled pearl onion for a complex and savoury libation.