5 bars for tempting mocktails and low-ABV delights in Hong Kong
Written by TimeOut Hong Kong
Hong Kong has countless great places to get a drink — you can barely go five minutes in Central without walking past one. Heady libations are all well and good, but what about a place that offers drinks that are a little less hangover-inducing? We feel you. After all, who needs another morning headache? Well, if you thought the city’s bars only catered to the ‘work hard, play hard’ crowd, you’d be wrong. More and more bars are taking into consideration customers who prefer their cocktails light or even entirely alcohol-free mocktails. Here are five such bars that you’ll love in Hong Kong.
With ‘surreptitious’ bar Room 309 just next door, The Envoyin Central tends to get a little overlooked. That’s a shame because this Antonio Lai original shakes up a number of great soft cocktails to go with its various enticing happy hour deals. If you’d like a virgin version of the bar’s famous Dinosaur, you’re in luck. The mocktail Dinosaur Roar ditches vodka for a ‘secret recipe’ malted chocolate milk, a frozen Milo ice ball and a generous heap of Milo powder. The Morning Dew (pictured) — Dilmah green tea, jasmine double-strength tea and homemade pandan syrup all carbonated in a Perlini shaker — is another alcohol-free mocktail to try before you leave.
Buenos Aires Polo Club
This restaurant in Central may be best known for its fine cuts of Argentinian steak but Buenos Aires Polo Club also boasts a fantastic, if unfairly forgotten, bar. Notably home to an excellent range of fernet — the hipster spirit du jour — and an excellent range of mocktails also resides on the drinks menu. Under the Teetotallers section are creations like the Boedo, which combines cranberry, mint and ginger, and the Recoleta, a mix of mate, orange and grapefruit.
Located on Peel Street in Sheung Wan, Bella Lee is a great place to hang out with your pals while enjoying some low-ABV drinks since spritzes are the name of the game here. There’s more than just a wide array of spritzes available, though, as there are also miniature bottles of Peroni Piccola for when less is more.
Like sister bar The Envoy, VEA Restaurant in Central is another product of Antonio Lai’s fertile imagination. In similar fashion, there’s a spirit-free section of the drinks menu that mirrors the more boozy portion of proceedings. If you think these drinks aren’t as complex and creative as their alcoholic counterparts, think again. Their mocktail menu is updated every two weeks, bringing customers delightful surprises with each visit.
Le Garçon Saigon
This Vietnamese restaurant in Wan Chai is another surprising purveyor of many excellent mocktails. Don’t worry if you’re not interested in the food — which is of a high standard nonetheless — as you’re still free to stop by Le Garçon Saigon for drinks only. Les Innocents, as they’re called, include a number of invigorating mocktails, and we don’t just mean the Vietnamese-style coffee. For something refreshing, opt for Les Amoureux — a blend of mango, guava, lemon and soda water — or Lotus Lemonade, a fusion of Vietnamese dry lotus tea and lime.
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