Pick your poison

After a dry spell for bars of over half a year, we are now witnessing a reinvigorated scene.

Boticario was hit with the bar ban just one week after its soft opening in November, but it has finally opened its doors at the Tsim Sha Tsui East harbourfront. Based on the early farmacias of pre-war Buenos Aires in the 1920s, the bar has earthy brown and dark timber hues.

“In the 1920s, when medicine was not very easy to access, flowers and herbs were used as parts of the prescription by pharmacies, while alcohol was served as a foundation,” said Navneet Kumar, group beverage manager for S&S Hospitality.

The cocktail menu has 16 drinks in four categories – all inspired by the pharmacy.

Green Aura (HK$98) is a refreshing mix of pandan, lemongrass, green apple, lime, cachaca and vodka. For something with a hint of drama, the rum-based Smoke Bomb (HK$98), containing pineapple, almond, lime and sherry, comes with a smoked bubble on top.

Go wild with The Therapist (HK$98), an aromatic drink with vodka, pomegranate seeds, yuzu, hibiscus and CBD oil. Or try the quirky Peanut Butter Banana Fizz (HK$108), a fun drink with fruity notes from Sicilian orange amaro.

Boticario also offers food to line tummies. In line with the pharmacy theme, tortilla chips (HK$168) are served in a mortar and pestle so that guests can mix their own filling.

Or take your medicine in the form of comfort food such as shrimp empanadas chimichurri (HK$138) and chicken milanesa (HK$188).

More of a beer person? Grain, the former flour store at the Kennedy Town waterfront, is now the home of Gweilo Brewlab, a gastropub with 24 taps that serve a rotating selection of brews created by Gweilo and some other outstanding breweries.

Available are Gweilo’s core beers: lager, pale ale, Session IPA and Hazy IPA (from HK$45).

The only dining venue in Hong Kong to house a working brewery, Grain also features a workshop and beer-tasting space for up to 20 guests to try new concoctions and learn more about brewing.

If your tastes run on the artistic side, Artesian at The Langham is hosting Paint. Sip. Eat. with Francesco Lietti (HK$500, which includes two Italian gin and tonics and canapes) on July 1 and 8.

Sip on your drink while you and other guests work on a 1.5-by-one-meter canvas to produce a piece based on the Hong Kong skyline.

Once finished, the painting will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the Matilda Children’s Foundation.

(This article was published at The Standard on June 25, 2021: Weekend Glitz: Pick your poison )

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