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2021 Bar Awards nominees
Time Out Hong Kong

Time Out Bar Awards 2021 nominees and judging criteria

Here are our nominees for this year's Time Out Bar Awards. Check out how we choose them for each category.

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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The Time Out Bar Awards annually celebrates the very best institutions and players in Hong Kong's vibrant bar scene. Now in its fourth year, this year's awards ceremony will take place on December 7, 2021, at our official venue partner Zuma, and we are once again inviting our readers to join us on this great occasion to celebrate together with the best of the city's drinking scene. (Click here to get your tickets!)

We have also expanded our programme with new award categories based on recent trends in the industry. Along with nominations from Time Out editors, we have also enlisted the help of Hong Kong's top drink experts and industry leaders to shortlist and ultimately crown the 2021 honorees. 

Curious about this year's nominees? Read below to see if your favourite establishments and industry personalities made the cut, and check out how we will select the winners.  

RECOMMENDED: Voting is now live for Time Out Bar Awards 2021: Readers’ Choice Award. Make sure to cast your vote! See the full list of 2020 Bar Awards winners here

Full list of nominees and judging criteria

Bar of the Year
2020 Time Out Bar Awards Best Bar winner, Caprice Bar I Photograph: Courtesy Four Seasons

1. Bar of the Year

For this year's Best Bar award, we are looking for establishments that not only offer exceptional drinks, a great bar atmosphere, and five-star service, but provide unique experiences and continue to stay relevant to the current bar scene. Behind the bar are expert personalities crafting classic cocktails and innovative riffs, along with a programme that is accessible to new cocktail drinkers.

Nominees:
DarkSide  
Mizunara: The Library  
Quinary 
Tell Camellia  
The Daily Tot 

Bartender of the Year  
2020 Time Out Bar Awards Best Bartender winner, Lorenzo Antinori I Photograph: Courtesy Caprice

2. Bartender of the Year  

The Best Bartender is a true expert behind the bar, whose personality and service style is well regarded in Hong Kong's bar community. The past year has been another challenging time for the industry, and this award goes to the bartender whose continued effort in promoting their bar, as well as the industry, can be seen in bar programmes, guest bartender shifts, and educational platforms that they’ve championed throughout the year. They're also the reason we keep coming back!

Nominees:
Arlene Wong, co-founder, creative director,  Awa Awa    
Devender Sehgal, beverage manager, The Aubrey   
Gerry Olino, bar operations manager, The Daily Tot 
Nikita Matveev, director of operations, The Old Man Hong Kong 
Simone Rossi, beverage manager, DarkSide  

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Best New Bar 
2020 Time Out Bar Awards Best New Bar winner, The Diplomat I Photograph: Courtesy The Diplomat

3. Best New Bar 

The Best New Bar must have opened within the last year. It is a unique addition to the cocktail scene that has amassed a loyal following in the short time since they have opened. Along with a great cocktail programme, the atmosphere, design, personality, and service stands out from the rest of the new kids on the block. 

Nominees:
Argo    
Boticario 
Kyle & Bain 
Penicillin   
The Aubrey

Best Beer Bar 
2020 Time Out Bar Awards Best Beer Bar winner, Blue Supreme I Photograph: Calvin Sit

4. Best Beer Bar 

The best beer bar in the city is a destination pub that customers are willing to travel across town to visit. Along with a great selection of beers and a rotating programme of new brews for customers to discover, the bar provides an exceptionally friendly, inclusive, and welcoming atmosphere. Bonus points if their food menu is just as tasty and serious as the pints being poured! 

Nominees:
Grain    
TAP: The Ale Project (Mong Kok) 
Moonkok
Ho Lan Jeng 
Second Draft 

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Best Hotel Bar
2020 Time Out Bar Awards Best Hotel Bar winner, St. Regis Bar I Photograph: Courtesy St Regis Bar/Michael Weber

5. Best Hotel Bar

The best hotel bar winner is a destination bar that offers the same quality service and atmosphere as their accommodations. It must be a welcoming bar where locals and hotel guests can mix and mingle in an intimate yet comfortable environment. The bar's beverage programme crafted by expert personalities behind the bar must reflect expressions of the place and the brand story.  

Nominees:
Argo, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong 
Champagne Bar, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
Cruise, Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong
DarkSide, Rosewood Hong Kong 
Terrible Baby, Eaton HK 

Best Rooftop Bar  
2020 Time Out Bar Awards Best Rooftop Bar winner, Terrible Baby I Photograph: Courtesy Terrible Baby

6. Best Rooftop Bar  

The winner for the Best Rooftop Bar category is a bar offering the most breathtaking views that Hong Kong has to offer. Aside from the quality drinks on offer, bar ambience, a modest food menu, and a welcoming crew, the bar must be a destination that the public are willing to cross town for. 

Nominees:
Cruise
Faye
Ozone
Popinjays
Skye

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Best Restaurant Bar
2020 Time Out Bar Awards Best Restaurant Bar winner, 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana I Photograph: Courtesy 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana

7. Best Restaurant Bar

Come for the food but stay for the drinks. Manned by an expert mixologist, the best restaurant bar offers well-crafted cocktails and a good selection of drinks that caters to various tastes. The bar must have a unique feature that stands out and has a standalone bar that is just as appealing as a seat at the table.

Nominees:
Ami Wood Ear
Caprice
Margo, Kyle & Bain 
Roji
Sake Central

Rising Star 
2020 Time Out Bar Awards Rising Star winner, Jade Lau I Photograph: Calvin Sit

8. Rising Star 

The one to watch this year. This bartender has made significant progress through the ranks and has gained the attention of the industry and senior peers in the last year. This honoree has personality and demonstrates service skills that are a cut above the rest, poised to move the bartending community forward.

Nominees:
Art Fatkullin, assistant beverage manager, Veda
Himson Lam, bar supervisor, The Wise King 
Joe Wong, head mixologist, Apothecary 
Princebir Singh, bar manager, Zzura
Saan Dhakal, beverage supervisor, Penicillin

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New: Best Cocktail Programme
Photograph: Shutterstock

9. New: Best Cocktail Programme

This year, instead of honouring one particular cocktail we are recognising the cocktail programme that stands out. This menu reflects the bar's philosophy, tells an interesting story, and offers a selection of drinks that caters to all tastes. It should offer a combination of signature drinks along with the classics. 

Nominees:
Cures for the modern age, Boticario
Five Elements Cocktail Menu, Ozone
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Argo
The 5 Elements, Penicillin
The Moon Menu, DarkSide

New: Best Zero-Proof Cocktail Programme
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. New: Best Zero-Proof Cocktail Programme

Long gone are the days of thoughtless virgin drinks. There is an increasing number of bars that are taking preference for alcohol-free libations into consideration. This award goes to a bar that presents a zero-alcohol drink list that matches its cocktail programme. The mocktails are thoughtful, well-crafted, balanced, and cater to various tastes and preferences. 

Nominees:
Asaya Kitchen 
DarkSide
Roganic Hong Kong
Salisterra
Wood Ear

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New: Best Cafe Bar
Photograph: Shutterstock

11. New: Best Cafe Bar

Another new addition to the roster this year. We are honouring the establishments that serve up a good cuppa to keep us going in the morning, and cocktails that keep us going into the night, and the winner does both exceptionally well. This is a casual and laidback venue that offers a solid coffee menu and cocktail selection, supported by welcoming and friendly staff.

Nominees:
Barcode
Coffee Analog 
Dio
Doubleshot by Cupping Room
Rest Coffee Gin

New: Best Sustainability Initiative
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. New: Best Sustainability Initiative

Sustainability is being discussed more and more in the bar industry, and we've seen Hong Kong embrace the balance between serving up a good cocktail and a good time, while doing what they can for the planet. The winner of this category is championing projects and initiatives that set a new standard in the spirits and cocktail world for driving social and environmental change.

The winner will be revealed on December 7, 2021. 

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Legends Award 
2020 Legends Awards: Christopher Mark and Syed Asim Hussain I Photograph: Courtesy Black Sheep Restaurants

13. Legends Award 

This year's Legends Award celebrates the influential and cultural figure(s) who are shaping the way we drink in the city. This award recognises the personality who has left an indelible mark in the industry and has continued to push the boundaries, never shying away from trying something new.

The winner will be revealed on December 7, 2021. 

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Readers' Choice 
2020 Time Out Bar Awards Reader's Choice winner, Tell Camellia I Photographer: Alvin Luk

14. Readers' Choice 

Of course, this list will not be complete without asking our readers about their favourite drinking establishments in the city. Cast your vote here and help us crown your favourite hangout spot in town. 

The winner will be revealed on December 7, 2021. 

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