Summer is just around the corner, making brightly colored cocktails and frozen fruity drinks the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer’s day.
As social distancing rules gradually ease, the Lobster Bar & Grill at the Island Shangri-La welcomes guests with a new cocktail menu.
The Archivist includes six classic cocktails from different eras and 12 liquors with a modern twist inspired by these eras.
“Since the team went through dozens of vintage cocktail books from 1863 to the 1940s, we named the menu after the fictional character who went through all the eras of cocktails and shared knowledge about them and their history,” said bar manager Bob Louison.
Fish House Punch (HK$130), first created in 1732, tastes strong and fruity, while its modern reimagining by the bar, Lobster House Punch (HK$140), is sophisticated with delicate port wine notes.
Refreshingly minty Prescription Julep (HK$130), first conceived in 1857, is so named because alcohol was believed to have health benefits at that time. Its modern counterpart is the tropical Hangxiety (HK$140).
Brandy Crusta (HK$130), a sharp, citrusy drink that was invented in 1850, represents the Victorian age, known as the era of mixing drinks.
The modern version, Calling Card (HK$140), is Louison’s favorite. A mix of apricot brandy, Cointreau chipotle, Luxardo maraschino, yuzu juice, Ole Saccharum and Boker’s bitters, it is garnished with a rim of sugar and a chipotle dried powder mix on half of the coupe glass.
Little Egypt (HK$130), which made its debut in 1882, is nutty and delicate, while Peaky Lobsters (HK$140) has unusual ingredients – hay and grilled salted pineapples – to highlight the creativity of the golden era.
A 13-year prohibition in the United States forced the industry to migrate or go underground to survive. The iconic cocktail from this era is El Presidente (HK$130), a citrusy floral Cuban concoction.
Women took over bartending jobs during the World War II period. In a nod to that, the bar recreated the Deep Sea Cocktail (HK$130) with a feminine hue and citrusy tang.
But if you’re not the type who goes in for alcohol, a short walk away is Matchali. The first local matcha brand has opened a pop-up at The Landmark for six months until November.
Beloved drinks for matchaholics are the classic matcha and hojicha latte (HK$55), which provides a caffeine boost, while a new approach to the Americano, the Matchacano (HK$50), is added to the menu to celebrate the brand’s debut.
The highlight is the delightful fruity mix Starburst matcha (HK$65), made with a mango and raspberry fruit base, mixed with pea-milk and topped off with hand-whisked matcha.
Another fruit-inspired drink is the watermelon passionfruit matcha (HK$60), which is sweet and slightly sour and sure to refresh your spirits amid the summer heat.
Looking for something mellow? Grey Latte (HK$65) made from black sesame, activated charcoal, cashew cream and a shot of matcha goes down smoothly and helps absorb toxins.
Even healthier options are on offer at Avobar at K11 Musea. The avocado-themed restaurant has taken the trendy dalgona coffee to the next level with a new recipe.
Offered in three flavors, the Superfood Dalgona Lattes (HK$58) cover all your overall health needs: pineapple matcha for increasing metabolism; beetroot for improved heart health; and soymilk-based turmeric mango for moderating the immune system.
Also in Kowloon, open-air bar Flower Years at Eaton HK releases three Insta-Worthy Milkshakes (HK$58).
Movenpick ice creams are used in the milkshakes. The quirky green avocado lime is made with yogurt-flavored ice cream, fresh avocado, lime juice and crispy breadsticks.
Strawberry and cream is one for the ladies. Its pink sweetness is achieved with strawberry ice cream, whipped cream, white chocolate, marshmallows, fresh strawberries and sprinkles.
Finally, chocolate caramel – made with chocolate and salted caramel ice cream, heart-healthy dried apricots and walnuts, and crushed Kit Kat – is one for chocoholics.
In a rush? Pacific Coffee has launched thirst-quenching drinks featuring Williams pear and cranberry yuzu that will awaken your taste buds.
Yogurt TimePOP! (HK$42), which uses two types of sodas, is perfect if you’re looking for something mildly sweet. The drinks in the series are filled with sour yogurt balls, which perfectly balance the sweet fizzy soda.
Or Shake It Up instead. The series mixes fruity tea with agar jelly and a silky tea foam on top. Choose oolong or black tea, the drink infused with Williams pear offers a layered taste with the lusciousness of fruit and the bitter-sweetness of tea, while the cranberry yuzu shaken tea provides a tangy flavor.
(This article was published at The Standard on May 22, 2020: Weekend Glitz: Thirst quenchers )