Summer Home Bar Essentials

[15/06/15] 

The warm weather of a Hong Kong summer is almost upon us and that means long, lazy afternoons at the beach, evenings dining alfresco, rooftop barbeques and of course, junkathons.

Show your style and class this summer with a well-prepared home bar. After all, you never know when you might be called on to...entertain.


 

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The perfect addition to any summer line up, Kamm & Sons British Aperitif is a fresh, citrusy drop from the Old Country that lends itself beautifully to cocktails or over ice with a dash of good tonic water or soda. With a bittersweet flavour profile and hints of spice and berries – there are 45 botanicals in this savvy elixir including manuka honey, elderflower, hibiscus and goji berries – this is an essential addition if you plan to entertain the opposite sex this summer. Try Kamm & Sons topped with champagne; with fresh summer fruit and soda water; or with a splash of Fever Tree Bitter Lemon and plenty of ice. Kamm & Sons also do a new Ginseng Spirit if you’re feeling a little adventurous at the wet bar. www.shop.drinks99.com

 

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Ask any bartender and they’ll tell you that ice is probably the most crucial component to a good cocktail and at home that can sometimes be tricky. Turn to a local invention that’s taking the home mixology scene by storm since is debuted in 2009 – the Whisky Ball. An award-winning design concept, the Whisky Ball is an elastic silicone rubber sphere that creates perfectly round ice balls that will dazzle your company and ensure your drinks stay chilled, with just the right amount of dilution. Throw a couple in the freezer for drink emergencies and use in a nice rocks glass or in a shaker for great drinks every time. www.whiskeyball.com.hk

 

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Gin is en vogue this summer in a big way; the spirit’s complexity means it’s an essential cocktail ingredient under the summer sun, and for a bold, cheeky new drop, Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin, now available in our fair city, offers all the essential fragrance and spice to long, cold cocktails. Named for a legendary kingdom under the reign of King Solomon, this gin takes its cues from the traditional Spice Route and is crafted with a selection of exotic, hand-picked botanicals, including spicy cubeb berries from Indonesia, black pepper from India, and coriander from Morocco. Made in the traditional London Dry style at the oldest distillery in England, this gin brings a citrus punch to any concoction, followed up by earthy notes, a touch of sweetness, and a long lingering finish. www.opihr.com

 

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If you’re feeling lazy but you like to look like you know what you’re doing, try adding virtually any base spirit to a slug of Mr. Fitzpatrick's English Elderflower & Bramley Apple Cordial. This sweet yet refreshing cordial is a fantastic building block for DIY cocktails and lends itself well to aged spirits thanks to its bold English apple flavour, as well as white spirits thanks to hints of silky elderflower. Ice, garnish, bang. www.thebottleshop.hk

 

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Glassware is also another essential; you can make your femme du jour the best Hemingway Daiquiri this side of Havana, but if you serve it to her in a pint glass she might get the wrong idea. Fortunately Soho Wines has a full range of cocktail glassware, from durable rocks glasses, ideal for end-of-the-night roadies with the wingmen, through to champagne flutes and martini glasses – because let’s face it, any drink looks fancy in one of those. www.sohowines.hk

 

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There is nothing worse than getting home, all set to shake up a storm, only to find you can’t open half of the bottles. A Waiter's Friend is an essential tool to have on hand; it’s ideal for last minute garnishing, it opens wine and beer bottles, and looks stylish in the process. Le Creuset has some stylish Waiter's Friends as well as more conventional wine bottle openers that make great housewarming gifts. www.lecreuset.com.hk

 

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Finally, seek inspiration online or in print. There are tons of great cocktail apps online, including Absolut’s Drinkspiration which is a dead easy guide to simple mixology. But for true padawans of the cocktail culture, reach for the cocktail bible, The Bartender's Guide: How to Mix Drinks: A Bon Vivant's Companion, by Jerry Thomas. This timeless tome talks about the history of cocktails and gives budding bartenders the building blocks to build their own drinks. www.amazon.com

 


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