7 art-inspired cocktails to enjoy this Art Month

by: Johna Baylon
20 Mar 2018

It’s that time of year again – Chinese New Year is over, detoxifying is put on hold, and diets get aligned with art month’s festivities and all of its picture-perfect plates and art-inspired cocktails. For this edition of WOM Drinks, we round up the drinks inspired by artists and their works.

The Martini Constellation inspired by Alexander Calder @The Lodge/The Woods
First things first: the long bar at The Woods is now called The Lodge, a members’ only area available by reservation on weekdays, and bookable to the public starting April 16. The Martini Constellation, inspired by the kinetic works of sculptor Alexander Calder, is served in a martini glass by Tom Dixon, whose collection is part of a collaboration on The Lodge’s inaugural art-inspired menu. Made with Ketel One vodka, Gin Mare, Lillet Blanc, and lactofermented “kitchen sink” seasonal vegetable brine by the Woods, with overhung garnishes: a caviar-stuffed olive, Limoncello lemon peel, sparkling cocktail onion, and sake-soaked gherkin. Central, Hollywood Rd, 17-19號L/G; 2522 0281 ;

Van Gogh X Louis Vuitton @Mrs Pound 
However you feel about art and high fashion collaborations, you might want to keep an open mind about appropriating both to cocktails – especially when it’s served in a mini flowerpot. Inspired by Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’, the drink is a mix of vodka, prosecco, melon liqueur, lime juice, and vanilla syrup, garnished with a small bouquet of chrysanthemums. Served till March 30 as a limited edition cocktail in step with Art Basel. 6 Pound Ln, Sheung Wan; 3426 3949 ;

Yellow Over Red, inspired by Rothko @Commissary
Perhaps over this cocktail would be the best time to ponder and debate Rothko’s hue-blocked works – do you like them? Why or why not? What do you think they mean—no, how do they make you feel? ‘Yellow Over Red’, made with Bulleit bourbon, aperol, peach liqeur and orange juice is inspired by the abstract artist’s ‘Orange, Red, Yellow’. Shop 405, 4/F Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong;; 2602 0707

Sakura sour inspired by cherry blossoms – and Kirk Cheng @Zuma
In another part of the world, cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and contemporary Japanese restaurant Zuma is bringing their sakura season to the city with an installation by Kirk Cheng, a local floral artisan. The site-specific work, 'Yozakura', decks the restaurant’s interiors, setting the scene for their limited edition sakura cocktails – including the sakura sour, a blend of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky, red wine Umeshu, peach, yuzu, Orgeat, and egg white. Level 5&6 Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central; 3657 6388;

Japanese characters and a hand-drawn menu inspired by Hiroshige @Aqua

Hoshii desu, Japanese for ‘wants and desires’, is the concept behind Aqua’s new cocktail menu coinciding with Art Basel. We’re not sure which is more artistic – the four cocktails inspired by characters from Japanese culture, or the fan menu with hand-drawn symbols, inspired by artist Hiroshige, and which also comes in a lovely blue box. We’ll decide that over the Shinobi (or ninja), concocted with Plantation Pineapple Rum, Italicus rosolio di bergamotto, and Peychaud’s bitters shaken with lime, mint and a spiced colada mix. 29-30/F, 1 Peking Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; 3427 2288;
Limoncello da Vinci inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci @208 Ducento Otto
It’s not quite the Mona Lisa of cocktails, but just like one of the four Ninja Turtles, this one’s inspired by the Italian Renaissance artist – whose genius also spanned everything from sculpture and architecture to astronomy and anatomy. Leonardo Limoncello da Vinci is concocted with Limoncello di Ducento Otto, Grappa, lemon, thyme, whites and aromatic bitters. 208 Hollywood Road, Central; 2549 0208;
Pearl of the Orient cocktail inspired by Kim SungHo @Above & Beyond

Perhaps the best cocktail adaptation of art among the bunch, Above & Beyond’s ‘Pearl of the Orient’ shows off the Hong Kong skyline on its surface. The mesmerizingly blue drink, made with Hayman's Sloe gin, Peachtree liqueur, Curacao Blue, lemon juice, egg white and cream is inspired by local artist Kim SungHo’s painting ‘View of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak’ – what another way to take in, quite literally, the iconic sight. 28/F, 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East; 3400 1318;

Johna Baylon