The much-anticipated new cocktail bar Argo has arrived at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong as a homage to fine spirits.
Once upon a time – and we’re talking a few decades ago now – the only place you could get a decent libation in Hong Kong was a hotel bar. These big, luxurious houses of slumber had the in-house training and the budgets to ensure a long workday was rewarded with a perfectly made martini (or three) and even today, some of the city’s best cocktail bars, from the Lobster Bar at the Island Shangri-La to the MO Bar at the Landmark Mandarin – are found in hotels. So it is with the city’s newest cocktail divan, with the arrival of Argo at the Four Seasons Hotel Kong Kong.
A vital component of the hotel’s second phase in its transformation, the new venue, which is joined by a new lobby cafe called Gallery, opens this month with an inspired bar programme, insightful collaborations and innovative cocktails. With a neo-classical design by AB Concept, Argo has been created as a homage to great spirits and the stories behind them.
The new bar’s debut cocktail menu Here Today, Gone Tomorrow celebrates six staple ingredients that may be endangered in the future – honey, cacao, vanilla, coffee, rice, and apple – and unfolds their flavours and stories in a unique and creative way – and who doesn’t love that?
The bar has partnered with local bee farm HK Raw Honey and cacao farm Chocolate Concierge in the sourcing of ingredients for cocktail creations. In fact, Argo’s very own beehive, located in Mai Po in the New Territories, produces mono-floral lychee and longan honey that is used in the venue’s honey-based cocktails, while Chocolate Concierge focuses on ethical sourcing of single-origin cocoa from the indigenous communities in Malaysia, bringing taste profiles that are unique from batch to batch.
A special rotating section of the menu called Canvas focuses on seasonal creations and collaborations with producers and likeminded people, pushing the boundaries of cocktail creativity.
Alongside the cocktail menu, Argo also introduces the Field Guide to the World’s Innovative Spirits (now that’s a tome worth reading), a collection of spirits that celebrates and highlights the stories, provenance, production methods and transparency of fine spirits across categories as diverse as Modernist Spirits, Collaborative Creations, Philanthropic and Socially Conscious, Sense of the Land, and Clash of the Worlds. Half of the collection is available for the very first time in Hong Kong.
Argo will also collaborate with producers, craftspeople and thought leaders in the global spirits industry, as well as with local players creating exceptionally crafted drinks made exclusively for the bar. The custom-made Argo Gin debuts as the bar’s first collaboration, created in conjunction with award-winning Australian distillery Never Never Distilling Co. The new cocktail bar will also host regular networking events to bring together industry trailblazers, special guests and enthusiasts in celebrating the fine art of mixology.
Led by Lorenzo Antinori, Beverage Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong and Beverage Ambassador of Four Seasons Asia Pacific, and managed by local award-winning mixologist Summer Lo, Argo’s design persona is based on a conservatory, with sweeping architectural curves playing with the boundaries between exterior and interior, bringing the outdoors in with small terrariums, mirrors, and stunning Victoria Harbour views.
In addition to Argo the Four Seasons welcomed Gallery, an inspiring dining space centred around the hotel’s grand spiral staircase that offers comfort food with a local flair and a beverage program that bridges the world of coffee and tea. The venue also features an afternoon offering inspired by the hotel’s Michelin-starred establishments that focuses on beautifully presented East and West tea-time treats paired with single-origin coffee (including brews from Tokyo’s Omotesando Koffee) and bespoke tea blends.
Long live the hotel bar!
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