DarkSide at Rosewood Hong Kong, currently ranked no.13 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, has created a new cocktail menu inspired by Mahjong, the iconic tile-based game integral to Hong Kong society over the years.
With the craftsmanship and artistry of traditional hand-drawn Mahjong tiles in mind, the new cocktails reinterpret the game’s bonus tiles and their associated Confucian plants and seasons into enchanting base flavours: Plum, Orchid, Bamboo, Chrysanthemum, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
In keeping with Rosewood’s A Sense of Place guiding philosophy, DarkSide invited local artisans to contribute their unique skills towards the menu. These included Mahjong tile-makers Masters Ricky Cheung and Karen Aruba Art who re-imagined the flower and season Mahjong tiles for the menu’s artwork, and local glass-blowing workshop Soekjing Studio who designed and handcrafted the cocktail glassware.
Highlights of the new menu include Plum (above), a savoury stirred martini with a sweet undertone made with Grey Goose Vodka, tomato consommé, Mancino Secco vermouth, calendula cordial and salted plum that’s served in a small rice wine terracotta pot, and poured into an elegant ceramic martini glass with bespoke plum patterns.
In China, the orchid flower represents refinement, innocence and elegance, as well as wealth and fortune and the bar’s new cocktail of the same name combines Altos Blanco tequila infused with spring onion and dendrobium orchid with Siete Misterios Doba Yej mezcal and is served in a beautiful handcrafted ceramic bowl with engraved orchid patterns.
Inspired by Mahjong’s summer season tile, Summer is created with lychee, inspired by a local café drink that uses preserved lemons and soda. Salted lemon is replaced with salted lychee, which is paired with Japanese Nikka Days Whiskey and Hong Kong Amaro, made using locally grown herbs, before being garnished with salted lychee. The resulting cocktail is fizzy and refreshing, fruity and sweet, and served in an elegant hand-blown glass.
Also look out for Spring (above), in which DarkSide reimagines the Gin Highball with Star of Bombay Gin, seasonal tangerine and longan flavours. The effervescent and refreshing drink is infused with bitter notes from Amaro Santoni with hints of rhubarb, while London Essence White Peach and Jasmine Soda further elevate the drink with a balance of aromatics.
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