Or should we say, daytime drink. A February 2022 Happy Hour now starts at 12 p.m. So rather than an espresso this morning, have an espresso martini instead.
Admittedly, the second month of February saw little, if any, improvement in F&B rules and regulations. In fact, it all went further south: closed bars and shortened restaurant hours were now expected to last until the end of April. Boo! Guess we’ll just have to work a little harder on this home bar cart. And what do everyone’s bartending skills look like?
But while you’re going back and forth from your makeshift office couch to your makeshift kitchen bar, there’s the wonderful invention of the all-day happy hour. You have plenty of time to drink alcoholic beverages at your favorite places during the day. While you stop at your favorite restaurant, find a more comfortable spot in the sun, you’re going to stay here for a while – until 6pm, that is.
Cheers to all day Happy Hour! Where to drink this month of February:
With the arrival of Mizunara: The Library in 2014, Hong Kong’s bar scene gained a new lead in the age-old world of Japanese cocktail-making. Now the whiskey bar brings Kuromaru, a new music and cocktail lounge to the historic M7 structure in Wan Chai, to the city. Like the dining room in which it is located, the Meiji House, Kuromaru draws from the Meiji Restoration; a significant era in the fusion of Western aesthetics with Japanese styles that still prevail today. The stocked bar rocks the craft cocktails of shochu and awamori, most of which come straight from specialty distilleries in Japan. Notable labels include Hachi Shochu, known for its fruitiness, and the exclusive Daiyamae 40 Shochu, for its fragrant lychee aroma. Also on site is a stellar catalog of rare and sought-after vinyl records, curated by music curator Michael Ho, ranging from jazz, rock to pop – a benchmark tribute to local Japanese listening bars.
Kuromaru, 1/F, 7 Mallory Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
No matter what dark days we’re currently going through, trust the team at Quality Goods Club, also behind Shady Acres and Honky Tonks Tavern, to bring some fun back. Even with the 6 p.m. curfews firmly in place. The team traded boozy live music bars for boozy juice in Kennedy Town. Juicy, opened as a quick fix to the recent Fifth Wave bar bans, uses the same warm, sociable hospitality with a few familiar faces – the same Quality Goods Club team will serve you here. As with all Shady companies, don’t expect what you expect: Juicy not only serves freshly squeezed juices, but also alcoholic juices, which means your typical Sunday morning OJ comes with an extra dose of your choice. The menu is an original selection with tastes of Rocket Fuel, mixed with rock melon, turmeric and orange, O’Kale – kale, lime, pear and pineapple – and many more juicy ones.
Juicy, 56 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Woo Cheong Tea House
Dim sum, according to Chinese traditions, is usually accompanied by a steaming teapot. What he does at Woo Cheong Tea House, located in the newly renovated Woo Cheong Pawn in Wan Chai, where the extensive tea program is led by Victor Lau, a tea specialist for more than 10 years. You can choose from more than 20 types of premium beers, discern your ganpu leave to your puerh, but you can also savor your contemporary dim sum orders with a range of tea-inspired cocktails, crafted specifically to complement. Led by bar manager Karlton Cheung, who has over 10 years of experience, the cocktail selection is curated around Woo Cheong’s tea leaves and blends traditional Chinese tea culture with familiar bar favourites. Sip Chrysanthemum negroni or Lap Sang Sour. Other concoctions include Whisper Oolong and Pu’erh Fashioned.
Woo Cheong Tea House, 1-2/F, 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +825 2886 3444
While on the move, make a second stop at:
- Penicillin, which has just launched its daily menu of unlimited cocktails from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with signatures and house ferments as well as a new menu of highballs inspired by seasonal ingredients. It includes founder Agung Prabowo’s latest favorite Ordinary, made with classic bourbon, fresh soda, and lemon, along with other savory ones like Pandan, Strawberry, and Barley. L/G, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
- Hjem. Come for a coffee and stay for Hygge Hour, now served weekdays from 3-6pm. The all-day drinking menu is complemented by Skal, a collaborative Norwegian wheat lager with the Young Master brewery, four types of natural wines from La Cabane and five Hjem signature cocktails prepared with a Nordic touch. The Cloudberry Negroni, Cinnamon Bun Espresso Martini, and Rickey, shaken with Aquavit, honey, lime, and club soda, are favorites. G/F, 161 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
- Dr. Fern’s Gin Lounge, to enjoy gin-based libations at 30% off all week. Among the usual hits, the speakeasy has also concocted new anti-stress ailments that will soothe weary minds. It includes the Tropical Antidote, refreshed with a lemongrass-infused Widges London Dry Gin, and Dr.’s Ramble, designed to ease sleepless nights with chamomile tea mixed with Porcelain’s Tangerine Gin. Boutique B31A, First Basement, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
- Club Yangon, for the weekly Tipples at Tea. There’s not just unlimited service of tasty Burmese finger foods, but an all-you-can-eat menu from 3-6 p.m. of house reds and whites, Aperol spritzes and specialty cocktails, including the Pegu Club, a drink at homemade orange flavored gin base and Burmese black tea liqueur. G/F, 33 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
Hero image courtesy of Woo Cheong Tea House