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Hong Kong wins top spot at Asia's 50 Best Bars awards

Coa wins Asia's 50 Best Bars

A delighted bar team from Coa celebrates winning first place for the third year running.

Hong Kong has taken the top spot at this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards.

The live ceremony was hosted by Hong Kong’s Rosewood hotel in collaboration with the Hong Kong Tourist Board.

The winner of best bar was Hong Kong’s Coa for a record-breaking third year in a row, followed by Singapore’s Jigger and Pony in second place and Bangkok’s BKK Social Club in third place. Jigger and Pony also took home the award for Best Bar in Singapore.

Argo and Darkside also represented Hong Kong in the top ten, placing at numbers eight and nine respectively. Singapore’s Nutmeg & Clove took seventh place while Sago House came in tenth.

In total, eight Hong Kong bars made the list, but Singapore dominated the night with 11 entries.

The awards for Asia’s 50 Best Bars began in 2016 and they recognise the best and most innovative talent in the drinks industry in the Asian region. The list is put together by 260 bartenders, bar owners and drinks writers from across the region over an 18-month voting period.

Top Hong Kong bars

Coa (1)

Coa took the top spot for the third year running after debuting with a Highest New Entry Award in 2019. Talented owner and bartender Jay Khan scooped the Bartenders’ Bartender Award in 2020.

Coa boasts Hong Kong’s largest agave collection with an impressive 200 bottles on its shelves. Try La Paloma de Oaxaca, the only cocktail that has been on the list since the bar opened.

Coa, Shop A, LG/F Wah Shin House, 6-10 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong.

Argo (8)

Argo opened in Hong Kong’s Four Seasons hotel and is named after the ship that sailed Jason and the Argonauts to the Golden Fleece in Greek mythology.

Argo is led by Four Seasons’ beverage manger Federico Balzarino, assistant food and beverage director Summer Lo and head bartender Yvonne Chan.

The menu showcases Asian-sourced ingredients and cocktails that play on Hong Kong’s gastronomic heritage. Try the BBQ & Tonic with gin, tonic, fig leaf and vegan char siu pork distillate.

Argo, Lobby, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong.

Darkside (9)

Darkside, housed in Rosewood Hong Kong in Tsim Sha Tsui, takes its name from Kowloon-side’s nickname. As such, the bar focuses on all things dark, including dark spirits, cigars and chocolate.

The bar is helmed by bar director Simone Rossi and boasts its own specially sourced cask of grande champagne cognac and exclusive cask-aged port.

Try ‘The Art of Mahjong’ menu with cocktails inspired by the bonus tiles and their associated Confucian plant.

Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

The Aubrey (17)

The elegant Aubrey is a collaboration between Mandarin Oriental and Hong Kong food and beverage group, Maximal Concepts.

The bar is an eccentric Japanese izakaya on the hotel’s 25th floor, boasting dazzling views of Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour.

The Aubrey is ably tended by Devender Seghal and specialises in Japanese libations. Try the Banana & Champagne highball with sweet potato and rice shochu, banana and champagne.

The Aubrey, 25/F, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong.

Penicillin (26)

Penicillin takes its name from Alexander Fleming’s antibiotic discovery and has been designed with a white-tiled, lab-style interior.

The bar prioritises environmental practices and, along with reducing waste and using local and upcycled ingredients and materials (the tabletops are made from trees felled by typhoons in Hong Kong), it also partners with ecoSPIRITS and Green Step Group for the ‘One Penicillin, One Tree’ project; for every speciality cocktail bought, a new new tree is planted in the Kalimantan rainforest area in Borneo.

Try the speciality cocktail, made with apple skin whisky, turmeric sherbet, burnt milk and homemade apple cider.

Penicillin, L/G, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong.

Quinary (31)

This modern, industrial-style bar was opened in 2012 by Hong Konger Antonio Lai and channels ‘multisensory mixology’ to stimulate the senses.

The Quinary takes a modernist approach, using technology such as rotovap distillation and centrifuges.

Try the bar’s signature cocktail, the Earl Grey Caviar Martini, with orange liqueur, citrus vodka, elderflower syrup and topped with Earl Grey caviar ‘air’ created through a ‘spherification’ process.

Quinary, 56-58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong.

Mostly Harmless (33)

Mostly Harmless is a new entry, helmed by Venezuelan bartender Ezra Star. The bar takes its name from the fifth and final book in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams.

The walls at Mostly Harmless are decorated with white tiles on which the staff mark-up the day’s cocktail menu in magic marker.

The almost-daily-changing menu of four cocktails is inspired by Hong Kong’s wet markets and farms with plenty of seasonal produce and unusual combinations.

Mostly Harmless, 2/F, 110 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong.

The Old Man (47)

The Old Man pays homage to Ernest Hemingway; the name of the bar is an abbreviation of Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea. A mural made from upcycled materials that would otherwise have been thrown out during the bar’s construction is dedicated to the author.

Drinks have been named after Hemingway’s works. Try the The Doomsday cocktail with vetiver rye, jasmine, grapefruit and a flammable garnish.

The Old Man, Lower G/F, 37 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong.

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