Before we talk about +852 cocktail and wine bar, here is a little interesting fact: In 1806, the first definition of Cocktail appeared something like this : “Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.” Not much has changed since then in terms of the ingredients; it is now however enjoyed by all.
Nestled relatively quietly in Glenealy Road, right above Lan Kwai Fong is the new +852 Wine & Cocktails Lounge. With by far the most interesting cocktails any bar/club has to offer, +852 is the perfect spot to chill with friends over some beautifully crafted concoctions. Alexandre Chatte, a veteran of 13 years in the art of mixology who is the main man behind the bar (literally) took out 6 months to painstakingly design the menu. Its not the usual cocktail fare that you normally get. We are talking about Szechuan chocolate martini, Roasted pepper bloody mary, Gingerbread bellini to name a few.
The Szechuan chocolate Martini is a drink made from bitter chocolate and peppercorn. Its not as heavy as it sounds and the peppercorn flavor tingles in the throat long after you’ve finished the drink, and that’s where the “Szechuan” part makes sense. It might be a little too spicy for some, but definitely worth its price for those who like a bit of challenge.
For the mojito aficionados there is Yuzu Sake Mojito, a sake based mojito. The twist is that this is not just another sake, it’s made from the “Yuzu” citrus fruit which is tangy, bitter and very, very unique in its flavour. The sake lends itself so beautifully to the Mojito that it makes me wonder why it’s not used more often. This is simply because the sake is not mass produced and its brewery actually takes pride in its close personal relationships with importers.
This is what forms the foundation of +852 cocktail bar, the use of unique and quality products. From the Yuzu sake to the Juniper based Boomsma gin from Netherlands. And its not just the drinks. The music is non-commercial (If you think they’ll play the latest electronic floorbanger here, you should ‘Guetta’out now!) and down tempo.
Alexandre tells us what to expect with +852 in the near future. “We will have one artist with one instrument playing live, simple and elegant”. Which works out in the best interest of the club since it is below a residential building. There’s comfortable seating with a open air space at the back. But the best seats are the bar stools, as watching Alexandre and his fellow bartender Tim Ching juggle and flip the drinks (flairing) is as much fun as savouring them.
For people who are not cocktail inclined, +852 serves Peroni on the tap and some really excellent wines chosen by Alexandre. The prices for cocktails start from HK$ 90 and well worth the mini escape you get from the usual.
+852 Cocktail and Wine Bar
G/F, 2 Glenealy Road, Central District, Hong Kong