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Quinary: One of Hong Kong’s Best Cocktail Bars

By Sarah Baird

Mar 16, 2015

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Quite possibly Hong Kong’s most envelope-pushing gift to the international cocktail scene, Quinary seeks to engage all five senses (and maybe ones that haven’t been discovered yet).

At the ever-expanding bar, bartenders stack layers upon layers of nuance and subtle beauty, from the Marshmallow Duo, which combines “marshmallow milkshake” with grilled marshmallow, to the The Cinema Set, anchored by a caramel popcorn-infused rye whisky.

See three of our favorite cocktail bars in Hong Kong.

See three of our favorite cocktail bars in Hong Kong.

Drinking there is a completely immersive experience and not just because of the sipping. The space itself brings together unlikely bedfellows—chestnut-colored leather Chesterfield sofas, slick brushed concrete floors, mesh-like metal cabinets full of trinkets and treasures—to form an industrial elegance that feels equally ripe for experimentation and lounging.

Above all else, the bar draws from its home in Hong Kong, tinkering with traditional flavor profiles and using all the tricks and tools in the book until something novel and exciting emerges from the familiar. “We have so many markets around us that sell all sorts of spices unique to Hong Kong. We want to reflect that in our drinks,” said Charlene Dawes, Quinary’s co-owner.

Most of the drinks there can only be experienced in Hong Kong. Key ingredients are just not found in the States. That said, the bar kindly offered us this slightly tweaked, almost-as-good recipe for their Quinary Sour (a spicy, bright gold take on the whiskey sour) that budding at-home bartenders can enjoy until they make the pilgrimage.

Quinary Sour

45ml Ballatine’s Finest Whisky
30ml Fresh Lemon Juice
30ml Egg White
10ml licorice syrup (we like Anisette)
3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

For more drinking tips, check out our feature “How to Drink Anywhere in the World” from the May 2015 issue.

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