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Jay Khan's agave-focussed bar Coa set to take over the old Neo space

Written by
Holly Graham

Forget whisky dens. Agave-forward drinking programmes are so now in Hong Kong. Hot on the heels of 11 Westside came Los Sotano, joining the year-old Mezcalito and stalwarts such as Brickhouse. And now, say hi to new kid on the block Coa.

The brains behind this new bar – taking over the old Neo space on Shin Hing Street in Sheung Wan – is Jay Khan, a man with quite the CV. He’s won several awards, tended bars from Melbourne to Macau, is the Remy Cointreau ambassador and was at the helm of Hong Kong bars Foxglove and Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour. But now it’s time for him to do his own thang.

Coa – named after the agave harvesting machete – is set to serve a unique cocktail programme, featuring fermented drinks such as tepache – made with pineapple skin and cinnamon – artisanal cocktails and Mexican liquors such as agave spirits tequila and mezcal.

jay kahn in mexico 2
A man and his agave

Khan, who’s currently upping his knowledge in Oaxaca, Mexico, tells us, “In a nutshell, it’s a craft cocktail bar focusing on agave spirits and Mexican inspired drinking culture, in a rustic, industrial setting. So we’re going to have things like tepache which is traditionally made with pineapple, but we’ll have flavours such as watermelon, mint and a few more flavours depending on seasonal ingredients. We are also going to serve our mezcal exactly the way they do in Oaxaca, in a jicara – a small bowl-like vessel, with sal de gusano (worm salt) or chapulines (grasshoppers)”. No more tequila slammers, then!

Coa is set to open later this month. Look out for our interview with Jay next week.

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