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The best cocktail award 2020
Photograph: Shutterstock

Time Out Bar Awards 2020 winner: Best Cocktail

The best cocktail in the city not only for balance in flavour, presentation, and inspiration but for providing an experience that is either nostalgic or can transport guests to a different place.

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Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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2020 Winner - Tuxedo #852 (The Diplomat)
Photograph: Courtesy The Diplomat

2020 Winner - Tuxedo #852 (The Diplomat)

The Tuxedo is a classic aromatic semi-dry Martini that has had many renditions since its birth in the 1880s. Tuxedo #852 ($50/mini), is The Diplomat's interpretation, composed of gin, dry vermouth, pear brandy, and maraschino liqueur, served in a mini size coupette and garnished with a tiny pear. This new entry to The Diplomat's cocktail programme is so moreish you'll wish they served it in large portions. The drink evokes the feeling of sartorial elegance when donning a tuxedo, but don't worry, at The Diplomat, you don't need to wear one to enjoy it. 

 

Runner-up - Truffle Negroni (Caprice Bar)
Photograph: Courtesy Caprice Bar/Kensey Tsang

Runner-up - Truffle Negroni (Caprice Bar)

Elevating the classic aperitif with black truffles is Caprice Bar's nod to the 100th anniversary of Negroni, and a tribute to the finest ingredients used in the kitchen at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong's French restaurant of the same name. The indulgent Truffle Negroni ($220), made with gin infused with fresh Australian black winter truffle, takes the prize for adding a nutty-earthy, savoury, and velvety complexity to the iconic Italian cocktail. 

 

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Shortlisted - A Golden Age (Red Sugar)
A Golden Age I Photograph: Courtesy Red Sugar

Shortlisted - A Golden Age (Red Sugar)

A Golden Age ($128), is part of Red Sugar's new cocktail menu, Our Little Time, inspired by the eight most significant Hong Kong industries from the 60s to the 80s. The drink is a mildly mouth-numbing riff of the classic Bee's Knees using Sichuan green pepper-infused gin, lychee liqueur, tomato water, lemon juice, and honey, served with dried squid shreds, which doubles as a great snack while sipping on the citrus-spicy concoction. Unlike most Sichuan cocktails you'll try in the market, this drink does not have a serious sting. 

 

Shortlisted - Hung Shing Ye (St Regis Bar)
Photograph: Courtesy St Regis Bar

Shortlisted - Hung Shing Ye (St Regis Bar)

Paying tribute to the God of the Sea, Hung Shing Ye (HK$148) is the kind of cocktail that allows you to drift somewhere beautiful and exotic, an experience that we could all do with now that we are confined within the city. The drink is a coconut-milk washed cocktail featuring Beluga caviar-infused vodka, St Regis Vetiver Essence, oyster leaf, and spices. It's so good you'll definitely ask for seconds.  

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Shortlisted - Pepper Smash 2.0 (Coa)
Photograph: TA

Shortlisted - Pepper Smash 2.0 (Coa)

A refreshing mix of jalapeno-infused tequila, yellow bell pepper, pineapple juice, orange liqueur, and agave spirit. Coa's Pepper Smash 2.0 ($120) is sweet, herbal and fruity, potent and delicious with a heady kick of pepper – it's the kind of drink that can help ease you out of work mode and into the evening, and you shouldn't have to wait for the weekend to get it!

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