The other night, I went back to Lily & Bloom to try the new series of cocktails launched by newly appointed Head Mixologist, John Nugent (@jpnuge). Hailing from Seattle, Washington, the accomplished mixologist was the hand-selected ambassador of spirit brands such as Tequila Ocho, Cynar and Don Q. Soon, he'll be repping Hong Kong at the Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Program alongside other world-class bartenders.
We basically went through the entire new menu of drinks and bar bites (by Executive Chef Chris Grare @grarec) that were just unveiled this month. Since we went through 10 drinks and bar bites for a total of 20 different tastings, I'll just go through my top 3 favourite picks from each list (as hard as it was to pick just 3!) to make for an easier read. Here are my personal recommendations for what to order on your next Happy Hour trip to Lily & Bloom 6/F ;)
1) English Milk Punch (HK$115)
This was my absolute favourite cocktail of them all - the English Milk Punch (HK$115), of which we had at least 2-3 glasses each. Known as the royal drink of aristocrats since the 1700s, the cocktail is created over a 3-day process, with John's recipe of Hennessy V.S.O.P. cognac, plantation original dark & overproof rum, pernod absinthe, pineapple, coriander, star anise, and cardamom. Whole macerated fruits, 9 different types of liquors, and 4 types of rum, cognac, port wine, absinthe, allspice dram, and even a little mezcal are left to sit overnight, and are then strained with whole milk and lemon juice. Once the milk curdles, the mixture is separated via cheesecloth and voila - the result is a creamy, delicious and boozy concoction.
The flavour is light and smooth - so smooth, in fact, that you can hardly taste the alcohol in it (all the more lethal! ;)).
2) Coffee & Cigarettes (HK$120)
Coffee & Cigarettes (HK$120). This is John's innovative take on the classic espresso martini, served in a coffee cup along with a whimsical stick of burning cinnamon. The Dictador cafe-infused rum substitutes for overly-sweet coffee liqueur found almost everywhere else, and is enhanced with a rich, smoky flavour as well as a moreish combination of chile liqueur, bulleit bourbon, and ancho reyes.
3) Manga Brooklyn (HK$150)
The Manga Brooklyn (HK$150) whisky mix struck a delicious chord - surprising as I'm not the biggest whisky fan. The Brooklyn is transformed with a zesty spin - as the cocktail contains Hibiki Japanese blended whisky, amer picon, dolin dry vermouth, luxardo maraschino and even angostura orange bitters. The drink comes with a piece of orange skin and a fun manga clipping.
1) Smoked Salmon Tartare (HK$95)
My favourite of the ten bar bites we tried was the colourful dish of smoked salmon tartare with caper berry (HK$95) , which arrived on wasabi leaves to be rolled and dipped in the accompanying zesty yuzu dressing. The end result was like a flavour bomb of deliciousness in each bite, and I couldn't get enough!
2) Dry-Aged Beef Sliders (HK$110)
Honestly such a sucker for everything dry-aged beef, and I was so happy to see it incorporated into the sliders - it really made that difference between mediocre, run-of-the-mill sliders and the phenomenal mini burgers that they turned out to be. Sandwiched between squid ink buns, the sliders were cheesy with medium-rare dry-aged beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and a nice touch of truffle mayo.
3) Nam Nam Wings (HK$120)
According to Chef Grare, the Nam Nam wings are so named because they just make you wanna go NAM NAM NAM - and turns out, rightly so! These crazy good wings arrived smelling like heaven with homemade sambal sauce, crispy garlic and fresh lime. The wings maintain a slight crisp on the outside despite the sauce, and have a super tender bite. I really couldn't stop nommin' on these.
Note: Last order for both cocktails & bar bites on MON-THUR is @ 12:30am, and on FRI-SAT, last order is @ 2am - one of the only bars in HK to serve food this late! Lily & Bloom's "More Is Less" Happy Hour goes from 5pm - 9pm on Mondays - Saturdays. First drink is HK$50, second drink $25 and third drink $5. Genius!
Address: 6/F Lily & Bloom, LKF Tower, Central
Tel: +852 2810 6166
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