October has a bit of a reputation. It’s when its evil twin; its Sasha Fierce; its very fun alter ego, Oktoberfest, makes a sneaky return appearance. It also lays the backdrop for spooky Halloween festivities that will most probably take tequila shots of courage to muster through. If you need some new ideas, here are the latest boozy contenders to make your October a touch easier to wade through. Or, at least, a little more fun. A little more inebriated.
The Aubrey’s itinerary of seasonal cocktails place a loving spotlight on a single fruit of choice. The rotation first began with strawberry, then melon, then peach. For Assistant General Manager Devender Sehgal and the bar team’s fourth seasonal edition, it’s the Japanese Nashi pear that takes its turn as the star of the show.
A triptych effort, the nashi pear menu brings to life the Tottori (gin-based), the Kokumi (whisky-based) and the Nijuseki (infused with Lillet Blanc and Champagne Vinegar), with each highlighting the Japanese fruit’s crisp, delicately sweet flavour. Each cocktail is priced at HK$180 and available until late December; we say go with two friends and try all three.
“Recipes for our Friends” is LPM Restaurant & Bar’s love letter to Jean Cocteau — a tremendously influential French artist and writer rightly attributed to informing the evolution of the Dada and Surrealism movements. The cocktail menu, designed by award-winning LPM Global Bar Manager Tibor Krascsenics, is a labour of love; having been in development for 18 months prior to its release on 11 October in commemoration of Cocteau’s passing. From the 1889 Americano (HK$120), which chronicles Cocteau’s birth year, to Room 22 (HK$220), in tribute to the hotel room Cocteau frequented in the legendary Hotel Welcome in the Southeast of France, the menu’s library of drinks honours the life and times of an artist whose work continues to reverberate today.
CENSU’s brand-new cocktail menu is separated into five categories: highballs, shochus, craft sakes, prime liquors and natural wines, with all perfectly complementary to Chef Shun Sato’s seasonal bites. High on the list of must-tries are the curated gin-tempered highballs like the Sakurao Limited Gin Tonic (HK$148), concocted with locally sourced delicate rose tea and oyster water-infused ice cubes; the Roku Gin Tonic (HK$108), tempered with roasted peppercorn and fresh grapefruit; the Sakurao Gin Sonic (HK$108), tangy with citrus twists; and the Kanomori Gin Tonic (HK$118), infused with toasted fennel and anise for a spicy finish.
When: 1 October to 30 November
Some wrap up in scarves and tartan for autumn; others celebrate with an annual first sip of a Pumpkin Spice Latte. If you’re firmly seated (with no apologies!) within the second camp, Winstons Coffee’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Martini (HK$100) is the after-hours, hair-down variation that combines the comforting warmth of cinnamon, spice and all things nice with house-spiced rum and a cheeky splash of Bailey’s. Pull on your Ugg boots and head to Winstons Coffee’s Kennedy Town or Sai Ying Pun locations for a sip that will, undoubtedly, feel like autumn — bring on the pumpkin patch photo-ops.
An espresso martini is a perfect drink. You get all the fun, boozy reverberations of alcohol while also, in the same sip, the heart-churning twang of caffeine. It’s a sip for champions — the kind that is up for dancing and whiling the night away. Made with Moët Hennessy Diageo’s roster of spirits, Fuel Espresso’s exclusive cocktails include: Fuel Martini™ (paired with Ketel One Vodka), Fuel T& T™ (a Tanqueray No.Ten Gin tribute), Double Happy™ (combining espresso with the award-winning Talisker 10-year-old Single Malt Whisky) and The Rhumba™ (smooth and balanced with Ron Zacapa Centenario Rum). Try all four espresso-laced cocktails at all Hong Kong Fuel Espresso Bars, including ifc, Landmark Men, Landmark Chater, Pacific Place, One Taikoo Place, ICC and The Quayside.
It’s, you know, October, so ready yourself for the city’s slew of Oktoberfest events.
BaseHall’s jamboree on 9 October is separated into daytime (read: family-friendly) and nighttime festivities (learn more here), whilst GRAIN’s Oktoberfest, the gastropub’s first-ever, will be thoughtfully held on 13 October from 7-10pm, coinciding with the public holiday on 14 October. HK$280 will get you a Gweilo Festbrew and a Currywurst Hot Dog, with à la carte items also available. Make your reservations here.
The Murray Hong Kong’s brand-new beer garden will be hosting its Garden Oktoberfest event from 4 to 16 October, complete with Gweilo Oktoberfest Märzen (Märzen was the original beer served at Oktoberfest) for sampling, brews from Young Master Brewery and authentic German bites like the Smoked Herring Salad (HK$90), Nürnberger Sausage (HK$95) and Brezel Bread (HK$95). Make your reservations here.