To toast the end of the dry spell and to welcome the summer season, Woo Cheong Tea House has shaken up a range of innovative house cocktails made with Chinese teas.
Bars, you remember those? You used to go there after work and blow off steam, catch up on the day’s news, and maybe make a new…friend or two. Hong Kong has long had a vibrant bar culture, with entertainment epicentres like Lan Kwai Fong and Nutsford Terrace vital social hubs in a city that likes to work hard and play even harder. The city’s bar scene took a beating through the pandemic forced closures but those that have survived are ready to thrive, including one of Wan Chai’s favourite haunts.
Woo Cheong Tea House’s new Chinese tea-based cocktails – each of which are paired with Chinese snacks – are the creation of bar manager Karlton Cheung, who employs innovative techniques to reinterpret classics in new and surprising ways. In particular, he uses traditional Chinese teas, including jasmine, osmanthus, pu’erh and more, to create speciality cocktails that are balanced in flavour, fragrance and hue.
To kick-start the evening, the Jasmine cocktail is the perfect choice. A reimagining of the classic daiquiri, this sleek tipple uses verjus – a highly acidic juice made by pressing unripe grapes, crab-apples or other sour fruit – instead of citrus for extra acidity. It is then mixed with two types of rum to create a complex and layered drink.
The Chrysanthemum Negroni is a variation of the beloved Italian classic. Sweet chrysanthemum tea is combined with refreshing sauvignon blanc, gin and violette to create an elegant white cocktail infused with floral aromas. A lighter version of the original negroni, this tipple makes for a fantastic apéritif.
Finally, those who like bolder beverages should go for the Pu’erh Fashioned. This balanced, multi-layered cocktail starts with savoury notes of salted tangerine peel that lead into rich flavours of pu’erh tea and a whisky-driven acerbic finish. Bold and sophisticated, this is a great option to end a meal.
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