Art week will be dominating Hong Kong at the end of March with Art Central (23-26 March), Art Basel (24-26 March) and the Asia Contemporary Art Show (24-27 March). Mixologists around the city have concocted a range of art-themed libations to join the festivities because let’s face it, there’s going to be a lot of partying to do.
M Bar is serving a four art cocktails, each inspired by the Insights, Discoveries, Encounters and Film sections of Art Basel. Our favourite is the film inspired cocktail, (pictured second left) as it’s highly Instagrammable – serving cocktails in novel cups always helps, especially when things start to get meta as you photograph a lens. It’s also a delicious concoction of Buffalo Trace bourbon, espresso, Tawny Port 10 years, vanilla and chocolate bitters, so that definitely helps, too.
M Bar 14-27 March, $148 each, 5 Connaught Rd, Central, 2825 4850; mandarinoriental.com
Mixologist Rajendra ‘Rush’ Limbu of Artesian bar at The Langham, pays homage to world-renowned art whilst demonstrating his precision in a glass. A man of many talents, Rush imitates famous artworks by handcrafting his delicate interpretations on top of blank canvas cocktails. Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ is a swirl of clouds in the night sky giving way to Chalong Bay rum, frangelico, herbal Strega liqueur, Bittermens Xocolatl bitters, fresh lime juice, and a dash of Blue Curacao.
Piet Mondrian’s ‘Tableau I’ is topped with an asymmetrical composition of colours, and the cocktail itself is delicately fresh mix of saffron gin, elderflower liqueur, Chartreuse, lemon bitters, fresh lemon juice, and grenadine.
Our top pick is Salvador Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’, decorated with Dali’s distinct melting clock painted on the drink and glass with a mix of Los Danzantes Mezcal, Grand Marnier, Domaine de Canton, orange bitters and orange juice. Once you’ve got over the initial sadness of destroying these pieces of art for a drink, they go down smooth.
Artesian 23 March-30 April from 3.30pm, advance reservations required, $158 each, 8 Peking Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, langhamhotels.com
Following on last year’s success of artist-inspired cocktails, The Woods is introducing another new series for Art Week, inspired by contemporary artists. Holders of VIP tickets to Art Basel and Art Central are entitled to a 15% discount on these cocktails by presenting their pass. Bonus! The Balloon Olive is inspired by Jeff Koons and switches a boring old martini olive for an over-sized balloon garnish. Pop the balloon with a cocktail pick to release aromas of olive brine. Because smelling is the new eating.
DRNK, inspired by Christopher Wool, presents customers with a clear gummy-bear flavoured shooter with a side of activated charcoal bitters. Create your own artistic libation by using a pipette to drop the bitters into the shooter to create an inky swirl. Get drunk and conduct your own Rorschach test for a really weird night out.
The Woods 21-28 March, $65-$155, 17 Hollywood Rd, Central, 2522 0281; thewoods.hk
Aberdeen Street Social
Aberdeen Street Social will be serving a fruity and refreshing Out of the Blue cocktail inspired by Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima. Miyajima’s huge light installation, ‘Time Waterfall’, will feature on the ICC skyscraper during Art Basel. A concotion of Tanqueray gin, lime juice, Liqueur de Poire Williams Massenez and mint leaves is shaken and double strained.
Aberdeen Street Social 24-26 March, $118, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St, Central, 2866 0300; aberdeenstreetsocial.hk
This collaboration brings James Oster’s immersive ‘Guru Jimmy’s Absolut Ashram of Spirituality’ to Zuma. Inspired by the artist’s outlook that the future is not a given, and that all people should have the right to create their own, Zuma’s lounge will also display Ostrer’s critically acclaimed body of work, ‘Wotsit All About’. Four specially created cocktails include Guru Jimmy’s Happy Inner Selfie – a red cocktail made from Absolut vodka with pomegranate, cinnamon and yuzu) and Guru Jimmy’s Liquid Asset – a green cocktail made from Absolut vodka with kiwi and pandan leaf. Guests who present their Art Central or Art Basel tickets at the bar will receive a complimentary cocktail after the purchase of their first beverage from 8pm throughout the week.
Zuma 21-28 March, $100 each, The Landmark, 5/F & 6/F, 15 Queens Rd C, Central, 3657 6388; zumarestaurant.com
Vibes are teaming up with Absolut Electrik Art Bar to create an art bar in the outdoor lounge of The Mira. Vibes will host an immerse world of street art and Absolut art cocktails by award winning mixologist James Tamang, with some of the cocktails inspired by classic masterpieces that changed the world.
’36 Views of Mount Fuji’ is a chocolate and spice coated mix of vodka and macerated strawberry with a touch of citrus while ‘I Love Mona Lisa!’ blends Swedish vodka, powdered green tea, white guava, sesame and grape juice infused with spices garnished with one of the world’s most recongiseable ‘smiles’ from the famous painting.
Vibes 10–26 Mar, $118 each, 118 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2368 1111, themirahotel.com