With the holiday season now in full swing, you might be looking for places in Hong Kong to celebrate the end of this crazy year. If you’re not quite into mulled wine or spiced cider, why not try a few eco-friendly cocktails instead?
Did you know? Bars are among the world’s biggest consumers of plastics, paper and aluminium – just think about the many straws, bottles and bottle caps consumed daily. On top of that, there’s the significant amount of water used for ice and food waste derived from garnishes. Fortunately, there are plenty of low waste bars in Hong Kong where you can clink glasses with your gang in a more sustainable way:
Eksotika Bar, Potato Head
Part of Potato Head’s Indonesia inspired tropical venue, Eksotika Bar is a well-loved place for wanderlusts dreaming of Bali. At Eksotika, you’ll find refreshing, tropical cocktails concocted with repurposed and locally sourced ingredients. Using parts of fruit that would otherwise by wasted, Eksotika’s mixologists create delightful bitters, garnishes and syrup to enrich their flavourful libations.
Since its launch in 2016, Potato Head has embraced a zero-waste philosophy, banning all plastic and ending partnerships with suppliers who were not ready to take this step. The venue also invests in local waste management facilities and runs its own compositing facility for its food and garden waste.
Served on the rocks, its ‘Tropics Old Fashioned’ is an intoxicating blend of coconut fat washed bourbon, roast pineapple skin syrup and turmeric bitters. For a spicier drink to match the season’s spiced adorned dessert, the ‘Pedas Margerita’, made of Cimarrron tequila, mezcal, pineapple and lime and ancho chili syrup, might just be for you.
Potato Head Hong Kong, 100 Third St, Sai Ying Pun, +852 2858 6066
Draftland Hong Kong
In search of more sustainable ways to quench the thirst for high-end cocktails, mixologists Angus Zou and Antonio Lai have masterminded the concept of ‘cocktails on tap’ or ‘draft cocktails’. Hong Kong’s award-winning mixologist Antonio Lai, also the founder of Quinary, affirms that “the precision and technology on tap requires a high level of mixology, on par with anything else you would get at a bar.”
Guests looking for a caffeine fix to continue festive celebrations will delight in the ‘Rum Stout’, a cocktail which combines dark rum, pandan, black tea and porter to create a layered, roasted flavour. A lighter, but equally decadent option is the Irish Gin Fizz, composed of whisky, honey, pandan and citrus, a cocktail which ends on a lighter, pristine note.
Draftland, 63 Wyndham St, Central, +852 2711 8809
Rosewood Hotel’s trendy DarkSide bar has partnered with closed-loop spirits technology brand ecoSPIRITs to concoct eco-friendly cocktails crafted with locally sourced ingredients and ecoSPIRIT’s low waste technology. Green thumbs will also delight in the bar’s ecoCocktail, which is printed on compostable paper and embedded with tree seeds that guests can take home and plant.
Margherita lovers will adore DarkSide’s Eco Aloes Margarita, a cocktail with an infusion of low-waste Arquitecto 100% blue agave spirit local honey syrup blended with clarified lime and lemon stock made with leftover husks and homemade Aloes Liqueur. Sourced from local aloe plants, the aloe is flavoured with a dash of low waste ‘Tried & True Vodka’ and melon and cucumber juices collected from the hotel’ kitchens.
There’s also an Eco Mocktail version for those who want to a milder, yet equally joyous experience. DarkSide’s refreshing Eco Berries Cooler mixes fresh berries from Rosewood’s kitchens and bars with the local ‘KUPPA’ kombucha and cold brew tea.
Darkside, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 3891 8732
Hong Kong’s first sustainable bar championing a closed-loop production model, Penicillin was launched in 2019 with the mission to become Hong Kong’s first ‘scrap-less bar’. Inspired by Alexander Fleming’s 1940’s breakthrough discovery of the antibiotic ‘Penicillin’, the bar wants to achieve sustainable breakthroughs in the heavy waste F&B industry
Partnering with ecoSPIRITs, Penicillin’s menu changes with the seasons and uses locally foraged ingredient to create unique twists on classics and modern signatures. Their climate positive cocktail ‘One Pencillin, One Tree’ is crafted with white chocolate whisky, strawberry brine water, coconut kefir and avocado stone from Taqueria Supermacho. With each serving of this cocktail, Penicillin plants one native tree in the endangered Kalimantan Rainforest.
True to its name, The Upcycled uses upcycled grapefruit cava and a combination of sous-vide corn tequila, mushroom and lacto peach liquer to produce a tangy, earthy flavour.
Penicillin, Amber Lodge, L/G, 23 Hollywood Rd, Central, +852 9880 7995
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See also: Is your cocktail eco-unfriendly?