Cocktail cheer

Traveling has been long off the menu, as have cocktails. But cocktails are finally making more sense now people can dine in until 10pm in groups of four – which might relieve your desire to travel.

Spanish restaurant Rubia’s taberna-style bar is a go to destination to unwind after work, especially with its two for one happy hour from 3pm to 7pm every day.

The team there has introduced two new cocktails with tropical flavors to beat the heat. The Longan Potion (HK$95) pairs longan-infused Absolut Vodka with fresh lime juice. “It goes beautifully with our cold cuts, as the fruitiness from the longan pairs well with the saltiness of the ham,” said the Rubia team. “It is a familiar fruit and ham Spanish concept.”

Second on the list is the Manzana Acida (HK$110), a concoction of Lola & Vera, Quenz Hierbas and Estrella Cordial finished off with apple syrup. The Estrella Beer foam gives the drink a hoppy bitterness, and the team recommends having the cocktail with the oyster Daniel Sorluit special (HK$65), as its citrusy taste perks up the creamy oyster.

The restaurant has also launched a new section featuring Spanish and Hong Kong gins. The Le Tribute (HK$130), comprising orange peel, grapefruit, juniper and exotic Indian Tonic water, is a crowd favorite.

But if you want to do as the Spanish do, there is a special offer of HK$298 for three cheeses or cold cuts with a wine flight, or HK$398 for cheese and cold cuts and a wine flight from Sunday to Thursday.

At LPM Restaurant & Bar, bar manager Benjamin Boyce has recreated five fresh versions of the restaurant’s signature cocktails with a summer twist, each named after sunshine hotspots in the south of France.

The highlight is the Camargues (HK$120). A twist on a classic Old Cuban, it combines heritage rum with a homemade, sustainable champagne cordial and is sweet on the nose with its delicate mint freshness.

Fans of the Whisky Sour shouldn’t miss the Calanques (HK$120), which blends whiskey with a house-made apple and pear cordial, delivering a fruity acidity through a touch of cabernet sauvignon vinegar and floral hints from a cherry blossom and violet vermouth. Shaken and served on the rocks with a single cube of ice, this complex cocktail is sweet and tart with a citrus kick.

Next stop, Italy, and LucAle’s range of Italian cocktails will not disappoint. The most Italian of all is the LucAle Spritz (HK$88), which features Sirene Liquor – a gold bitter made with 23 botanicals in northern Italy. Mixed with prosecco and soda, this uplifting concoction pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s Burrata Deliziosa (HK$268).

A customized Spritz (HK$88) allows guests to choose their favorite flavors among Aperol, Campari and Cynar to combine with prosecco and soda to create the perfect sparkling cocktail for aperitivo hour.

For something with an Eastern twist, the new Lounge Hakuba in Causeway Bay offers an assortment of cocktails to go with its Japanese food. The drinks are either created in collaboration with other local bars, made by other bartender friends or specially curated in house.

The menu contains the coffee-based Breakfast in the Alps (HK$118) rum cocktail, highlighting flavors from the Teara Hojicha liqueur, buckwheat syrup and chocolate bitters, paired with a glass of milk on the side to resemble a morning meal.

Gin lovers can choose among a classic G&T Morning Dew (HK$138), which has hints of lemon and shiso liqueur; the citrus-centric and shiso-flavored End of Autumn (HK$108) with its yellow chartreuse and pineapple for more sweetness; or the Akori cherry blossom gin Purple Ski (HK$128), with its dash of sake, lavender rose syrup and lemon, topped with egg white foam.

(This article was published at The Standard on September 11, 2020: Weekend Glitz: Cocktail cheer )

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