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Terrible Baby
Photograph: Calvin Sit

6 must-try summer tea cocktails in Hong Kong

Meet your new summertime favs

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong

Whether it’s bubble tea, or cha chaan teng milk tea, it’s no secret that Hongkongers are die-hard tea lovers. Well aware of the locals’ tea obsession, bars around town have been dipping their toes in the tea-tail culture by injecting a bit of booze into this comforting drink. That said, looking for your favourite sip can be pretty overwhelming with so many options available. Read on and check out some of Hong Kong’s most tea-tastic cocktails you need to try this summer. By Ann Chiu and Natalie Lam

RECOMMENDED: Want to leave out the alcohol and stick to tea? Take your pick from our round-up of the best bubble tea shops in Hong Kong. You can even follow our ultimate guide to ordering and customising your own bubble tea!

Best summer tea cocktails in Hong Kong

  • Bars and pubs
  • Hotel bars
  • Admiralty

Inspired by iconic cocktails from bygone eras, Lobster Bar has created a new cocktail menu, The Archivist, which features 12 cocktails and six mocktails. By adding a modern twist to classic cocktails around the world, this hotel bar will take you on a journey through the centuries of cocktail renaissance, with each drink representing a significant cocktail era. Red are Roses ($110) is one of them. Made with non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip Grove 42, homemade rose fruit vinegar, chamomile tea, and cherry syrup; this delightful drink also comes with a refreshing hint of lemongrass. If you’re a person of classic tastes, you’re going to love this one.

  • Bars and pubs
  • West Kowloon
  • price 4 of 4

Sitting on the 118th floor of the ICC, Ozone is the highest watering hole in not just Hong Kong but also the world. Apart from promising its guests a sweeping view of the Victoria Harbour, the rooftop bar has also taken inspiration from Chinese philosophy, the Five Elements Theory, and launched an innovative cocktail menu that features five different tea-tails, – metal, wood, water, fire, and earth – each distinctly flavoured and coloured to highlight the uniqueness of these elements. For example, Metal ($168) mixes the refreshing taste of kombucha with the fragrant flavours of Italicus liqueur and plum wine, presenting the zingy cocktail in a perfect balance of sweet and sour.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • West Kowloon

Located in West Kowloon, Rest Coffee Gin is a popular café by day and a laidback gin bar by night that offers a variety of brightening tea-based cocktails such as Bolero ($100). Named after the famous Spanish dance, this milky pink aperitif is built on a homemade Jinxuan oolong tea-infused vodka base. Combined with a simple mix of fresh grapes, lemon juice and Sauvignon white wine, the tannin is balanced by the bittersweet and fruity flavours. With award-winning local bartender Wallace Lau in the house, Rest Coffee Gin is definitely a top choice to lift your spirits this summer.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Jordan

Translated from the French phrase ‘L’Enfant Terrible’, Terrible Baby is an unconventional hotel bar that stands out for its cool selection of sustainable cocktails and impressive collection of rosés and gins. Take the I’m so Trendy ($95) as an example, this new addition to the menu combines homemade cardamom gin mixed with Los Javis mezcal, blackberry rum, chai tea, lemon juice, milk, and a pinch of Himalayan salt, perfectly blending the milky tea flavour with a bit of booze. With an outdoor terrace linked to the bar, you can enjoy a refreshing sip of this tea-based concoction while taking in the stunning view of Jordan. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Tucked inside Rosewood Hong Kong, DarkSide is a chic bar that specialises in aged spirits and signature cocktails. Many of its drinks are named after significant Hong Kong historical jargons like The Yamen ($130). Transliterated from its Chinese name, this cocktail combines chrysanthemum tea, cognac, honey, and bee pollen grains. Finished off with a generous spray of frankincense, this energy booster carries a woody and lingering aroma. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Central

Located inside the stylish H Code complex in Central, Tell Camellia has always strived to fuse tea and cocktail culture in a way that challenges staid cocktail notions. Its simple yet innovative menu features a lineup of five signature tea cocktails, all of which are formulated with redistilled house gin and infused with exotic teas and local spices from various world regions. For instance, Japan ($95) is not only crafted using Japanese staples like matcha, fermented soybean, and shochu but it is also decorated with planktons and algae powder. If that’s not enough to blow your mind, this inventive drink is even delivered to your table levitating in a traditional Japanese yunomi teacup!

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