Light the Night

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a little attention, it’s only natural. We groom ourselves, we accessorize, and we dress well, not only because it makes us feel confidant, but because, like it or not, we’re judged by how we present ourselves to the world. We (many of us) bask in that attention, especially when it comes from the fairer sex, with some likely lads going to great lengths to maintain a sense of notoriety, especially in their social lives. Fortunately, it might be as easy as waving your hand at a waiter next time you’re hitting the club.

Introducing Midnight Sabre, a breakthrough, eye-catching, and certainly attention-gaining new luminous bottle from Polish vodka gurus Belvedere. Available exclusively at Asia’s top nightclubs, this very special bottle of vodka (sibling to Belvedere’s 2014 precision cut Night Sabre club bottle) features exquisite laser etching and a delicate black coating, which helps set the scene and captivate the crowds when you turn on the built-in LED lamps in the bottle’s base. The effect of misty trees emerging from within the bottle is sure to act like a welcoming beacon to the lovelies with their eyes on the VIP tables.

Go ahead, bask.


 

Belvedere Midnight Sabre
Available in good wine stores
www.belvederevodka.com


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Making Mixology Easier

Perhaps this is a familiar scenario: you’ve been on the town, honed in, worked your magic, and brought a lovely little thing home to your man pad, where, as a gentleman, you’ve made the debonair offer of a “cocktail or perhaps a glass of champagne” without looking in the fridge first. Sadly, when you do you realize there is no champagne, and sadly no ingredients for home-style mixology, save for a bottle of Stella, a well-intentioned miniature of absinthe, a low sugar juice box, and an onion that’s starting to get attitude. How do you ensure your love pad offers real hospitality without filling your rarely-explored fridge with perishables?

One way is with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot’s new RICH champagne, available in brut and rose. The first French champagne designed specifically for use in cocktails, the new wine takes its inspiration from the sweeter champagnes Madame Clicquot once sold to the Russian aristocracy, tipples that were described as ‘rich’ champagnes. With a blend of 45 percent pinot noir, 40 percent pinot meunier, and 15 percent chardonnay, this blissfully-light wine is packed with summer fruit flavours, from honey and ripe apples to citrus, with a touch of floral notes – essentially it already has most of what you need for home mixology. Simply add ice to a glass, add a few slices of cucumber, a touch of lime, perhaps a grating of ginger, a spoon of marmalade, a splash of fruit tea or almost anything you can lay your hands on, and hey presto, you’ve made something we think could impress the pants off her.

And that’s the idea, right?


 

Veuve Clicquot RICH
Available in good wine stores
rich.veuve-clicquot.com


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Time to Turn Over a New Leaf

You may only now be seeing guys outside bars, at bus stops, or virtually anywhere else, vaping, but it’s not all that new a trend. The first e-cigarette was created by Herbert A. Gilbert in the 1960s. His smokeless, non-tobacco e-cigarette included flavor cartridges and heating elements, and produced smokeless flavored air. Skip forward to the 2000s when Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik created the first modern e-cigarette, motivated by his own addiction to traditional smokes. He released his invention, which contained a battery, an ultrasonic atomizer, and a cartridge filled with nicotine-laced propylene to the public in 2006, and the rest, so they say, is history. Today, vaping, with or without nicotine, has taken off globally, with vaping technology keeping pace.

You can learn more about vaping at Hong Kong’s first dedicated vape shop, located in Sai Ying Pun. The tiny boutique features a huge array of imported non-nicotine vape e-juices – from Naked and Five Pawns to the innovative Bi-So range – as well as a vast selection of vaping devices including Vapresso and iStick,  – from simple unregulated puff-n-gos, through to mods packed with computer chips. Owner Tom knows the ins and outs of the global vaping scene and can answer any questions you have; suggest a starter kit for those looking to break the habit of traditional cigarettes; or help you upgrade to a truly modern vaping experience.

Because it’s never too late for good habits.
 


 

The Vape Shop Hong Kong
Lee Wang Building, 133-134 Connaught Rd West, Sai Ying Pun; 5165 6313
www.thevapeshophk.com


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Time to Chill

This might not be news to you, but a recent report published by the Hong Kong Mystery Shopper Service Association found we ranked dead last out of 60 surveyed countries when it came to…smiling! The report cited a direct correlation between the city’s poor smile performance and the levels of stress in the average citizen’s life. Cramped living conditions, traffic, pollution and long working hours are all normal for the average HongKonger, and none of these strains are doing us any good in the process.

All the way from the land of brutal ice hockey, playboy prime ministers and yes, you guessed it, smiles, Slow Cow is a naturally-formulated mind-cooling beverage that’s now available in our fair city. A unique formula of eight natural stress-relieving ingredients, sans caffeine, sugar or preservatives, Slow Cow promises physical and mental relaxation, all with the refreshing flavor of dragon-fruit. There’s valerian and linden to reduce stress; L-Theanine for sharper focus and enhanced memory; chamomile to relieve insomnia; potassium to stabilize blood pressure; and sodium to get your brain pumping.

Now all we have to do is get taxi drivers to drink it.


 

Slow Cow
Available at 7-Eleven, Park’N Shop and Aeon Stores
http://slowcow.hk


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Sipping in the City of Light

Let us just whisk you back in time for a moment. It’s 1985; Calvin and Hobbes has just run for the first time in US newspapers; the wreck of the Titanic has just been discovered at the bottom of the Atlantic; sweater vests are still cool; and the first version of Windows has just hit the shelves. And yet, all you can think about is which kidney you’re going to sell to buy your first pair of Air Jordans. They were the bad-ass of the shoe world (their 1984 prototype was even banned by the NBA for having too little white) and they fed perfectly into your alter-ego as a kid from the tough side of the street. Of course, if you did survive the drive-bys of suburbia, these sneakers also promised you’d defy gravity on the basketball court; that you too could make it all the way to the NBA (or at least to the rim), just by wearing Michael’s signature.

Prepare to get excited about your next pair of Air Jordans. Delivering a sack load of swagger to a golf course near you, the new Air Jordan golf shoe promises you as much success on the links as they did on the asphalt. For those in the know, Jordan is a massive fan of the great game and even played honorary vice-captain for the US Ryder Cup team. The new version boasts additional ankle padding, with a waterproof upper in leather, Nike Free-inspired spikes below, the iconic Jumpman logo on the lounge, and options for two colours: original white, black and red, or white and metallic. We think it might be time to dust off that bad-ass persona.

"I thought Jordans and a gold chain was living it up," – NAS, Street Dreams
 


 

Air Jordan Golf Shoe
US$200
www.nike.com


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Sipping in the City of Light

Trivia time: did you know that some of history’s most endearing cocktails have their origins in the land of berets, baguettes and Bugattis? Next time you order a drink, you should think about the vital contribution France has made to today’s mixology scene. If it wasn’t for classics like the French 75, a tipple created during WWI said to have the punch of a French 75mm artillery piece; The Sidecar, made for a flamboyant military officer who’d arrive at Harry’s New York Bar on a motorbike with sidecar; and that blissful hangover cure The Mimosa, created by Frank Meier at The Ritz Paris, we might never have moved past gin and tonics.

Fortunately, Le Boudoir, that most French of all Hong Kong speakeasies, is reviving classic French cocktails with a series of concoctions inspired by the City of Light. Made with either classic pours or, for the purist, vintage French ingredients, five new additions to the bar’s menu have restored L'Art de Vivre to Wyndham Street. Try the Pink Squirrel, a drink once made with ice cream and now interpreted with equal parts heavy cream, crème de cacao and illusive Crème de Noyaux, a rare liqueur made with the stones of apricots, peaches and cherries. Alternatively, the robust Tremblement de Terre, or ‘Earthquake’, is a powerful blend of cognac and absinthe created by famed French Post-Impressionist painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec that will either have you bouncing off the walls or cutting off your own ear. Enjoy these classic drinks amidst the Chinoiserie-punctuated Belle Époque grandeur of Le Boudoir’s chandelier-lit salon and toast to alchemists and mixologists past and present.

“A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink” ~W. C. Fields


 

Le Boudoir’s New Classic Cocktails
Basement, 65 Wyndham Street, Central; 2530 3870.
www.french-creations.com/boudoir


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When Worlds Collide

In case you haven’t scrubbed up on your Peruvian immigration history recently, 7,000 Japanese workers descended on Peru in 1889 with the promise of gainful employment.


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Fresh Pasta, Done Right

You may not know this, but pasta has its origins in Asia. Although many countries have their versions, from German spaetzli and Greek orzo to Polish pierogi, we usually associate pasta with Italy, where it was introduced from China by that wandering vagabond Marco Polo during the 13th century.


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Bringing Style to a Mountainside Near You

So you fancy yourself as an outdoorsman, but you have a certain style to maintain, so the last thing you want to do is sport the type of psychedelic hiking pack usually found on the backs of sunburnt cash-strapped backpackers.


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Time to Treat Your Mouth Right

While the rest of the world – including Hong Kong – is steadily catching up, there’s little doubt that the contemporary craft beer movement has its origins in North America, where rather unimpressive, mass-produced lagers have ruled supreme since the 1950s, leading to a consolidation of breweries and a homogenization of product.


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California Dreamin’

It’s easy to dismiss Californian cuisine as health-conscious, salad-driven hippy fare that’s become a favourite with LA tai tais and San Francisco hipsters, but you might be surprised how many influences Californian cuisine – a term only created in the past decade or so – has, and just how satisfying it might be for lads with an appetite.

You can delve into the contemporary Southern California foodie scene at Commissary, which has opened at Pacific Place. JIA’s Yenn Wong has teamed up with Aussie chef Morgan McGlone and Cali culinary guru Adam Shoebridge to bring the zesty and vibrant dishes of the Golden State, many with touches of Latin America and the Southern US, to the Fragrant Harbour. Heralding the state’s move towards farm-to-table dining and its dedication to fresh locally-grown produce, Commissary’s menu is packed with light and fragrant Southern California favourites, from tuna poke tostada and kingfish crudo, to fried chicken burgers with spiced fries, and moreish, Baja fish tacos. Open three squares a day (as well as doing a mean brunch menu), look out for highlights like house-smoked meats, pickle platters, and killer homemade BBQ and fermented hot sauces, all served amidst rustic retro interiors by Siew Hui Lim that expands out to al fresco seating that’s the perfect spot for after work Cali-concoctions or a glass of wine from the Artur Aronov-curated wine list.

Almost worth singing about.
 


 

Commissary
Shop 405, L4, Pacific Place, Admiralty; +852 2602 0707 
www.jiagroup.co


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A Lullaby for Your Face

You know, sleep is a hell of a lot more important than you may think. Sure, we can conjure up a few good reasons for a late night (and even an early morning escape) but you may not be doing your body any favours burning the candle at both ends, especially when that late night is spent in a foreign time zone (as the best always are). The lads in white coats have found that a lack of sleep leads to a reduction in memory retention (not always a bad thing); an increase in your waist line as your metabolism goes haywire; and an increased risk of illness. Anyone who’s lain in bed at 3am, wide awake thanks to the Jetlag Fairy, will also testify that good sleep is one of the most important components of successful international travel. Fortunately, there’s a solution that will have you sleeping soundly in no time.

Neuroon isn’t your average sleep mask. Laced with sensors, computer chips, and LED lights, Neuroon is a ‘wearable technology system’ that not only tracks your sleep thanks to advanced software that links to your smartphone via Bluetooth, but gives you tips on how to get to sleep quicker, sleep better, and wake easier. Personalised light therapy sessions while you sleep can help boost energy levels when you wake or ensure you sleep in enough to wake refreshed, and insomniacs can learn when they wake in the night and why. If you’re passing through time zones Neuroon helps you fight drowsiness and exhaustion thanks to its Jet Lag Blocker and Light Boost features, and uses its Biorythm Adjuster to get you in step, wherever in the world you might be slipping under the covers.

You’ll be counting sheep in no time.


 

Neuroon
US$299
https://neuroon.com


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Madness in Madrid

Once in a generation, a hotel comes along that helps define a city; that puts a destination on (or sometimes back on) the map for trend-driven travellers looking for the sharpest point of the cutting edge.


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Keep the Good Stuff for Yourself

So the silly season is over and you managed, through a series of perfectly-executed smoke screens, bluffs and slights-of-hand, to hide that really good bottle of wine from thirsty visiting friends and relatives, pawing off instead the bottles left over from the company Christmas party.


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Look Aging in the Eye

So, you’ve decided that in 2017 you’re going to be a little more adventurous, a little more daring, a little more inspiring.


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Look Aging in the Eye

Sure, it may not have happened yet, and we’re not saying it will any time soon, but eventually, there’s going to be a morning when you look in the mirror and realize that age is catching up with you.


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An Entertainment System for Your Face

Ah, the modern jet age, an era when the seats are smaller, the cabin crew snarlier, the delays longer, the screaming children louder.


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A Touch of Real Mexico

Unless you’ve toured the country, you could be forgiven for thinking Mexico’s culinary heritage is steeped in taco shells and guacamole.


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Two Hands, Two Feet, Four Wheels

Few destinations lend themselves to a driving holiday quite like Scotland. With its more than 10,000 kilometers of ruggedly-beautiful coastline, historic castles, pristine scenery and friendly (if not intelligible) locals, Scotland has long been a favourite for classic car lovers looking to hit the open road sans crowds and pesky police traps.


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Satisfy Your…Curiosity

There are a few things you must do if you’re visiting Amsterdam, the global city of free love (or not so free as the case may be). Sure, you should walk the canals of Jordan; knock back a few cold ones in Dam Square; or even visit some of the city’s world-famous coffee shops (while non-residents still can).


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Singapore’s Newest Hideaway

You may not have thought about it much but the bag you carry can define you as much as those expensive shoes, that vintage watch, or that flashy haircut. You may have just stepped out of a Thai boxing session but if you’re sporting a backpack with that pinstripe suit, you might as well be wearing trainers and a pocket protector.


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Singapore’s Newest Hideaway

There’s something magical about giving an old building a new lease on life. It’s something that we don’t do as often as we should in Hong Kong, and those few times we do, it seems to take a generation to actually make the change.


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And You’ll Never Believe Where

You’d have to live under a rock not to know about chef James Sharman and his innovative monthly pop-up restaurants, held in Sheung Wan.


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Embrace the Power of the Sun

Did you know man has been worshipping the sun for millennia? The sun, or Ra, was pretty important to the ancient Egyptians, with a whole solar dynasty of gods created over centuries.


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Part Restaurant, Part History Lesson

Being a soldier in Napoleon's army was a tough business. Not only did you have to risk bullets and cannon fire far from home, but you didn't even get a decent meal afterwards.


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Taking Your Wine to the Next Level

So you might not know why we decant wine, and even if you do, you might not be 100 percent sure when to do it, and that’s ok because let’s be honest, even if it makes the wine taste better, the whole process can look a little wanky.


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Groom to Win

Today’s gents looking to maintain their debonair persona should count themselves lucky. The men of the past didn’t have the raft of grooming options we now take for granted. In the late 1700s Pierre Fauchard, known as the father of modern dentistry, recommended rising with one’s own urine to kill germs and maintain good oral health.


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Your Next Great Adventure

List off the countries in Africa you’d associate with the classic safari and you’d be forgiven for leaving out Zimbabwe. The former colonial territory of Rhodesia has had a rough time over the past decade or two;


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Tech Meets Style

When Steven Sasson, an employee of Kodak, invented the first digital camera in 1975, it consisted of several off-the-shelf devices jerry-rigged together. Of course the company wasn’t all that impressed with the idea of digital photography


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Time to Brazilanese

Fusion cuisine may have become the culinary craze of the 1990s (and the cocktail equivalent of Midori by the Noughties) but it’s been around a lot longer than that.


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