Finally this week, some good news from Hong Kong! Billed as the highest rooftop bar in the world, Ozone has just launched an epic new cocktail menu that draws inspiration from the five elements of nature — metal, wood, water, fire and earth. Promising a tasting experience that’s worth the journey to the top of Hong Kong’s tallest skyscraper, the International Commerce Centre building in Tsim Sha Tsui, these drinks coupled with sweeping views of Victoria Harbour are most certainly – in our view – a celebration of both freedom and the spirit of individuality.
Mexican-born mixologist and Ozone bar manager Oscar Mena explains his inspiration: ‘I have always been fascinated by how each element has its own place in this world, while interacting and complementing each other.’ Each of the five new cocktails resembles the essence, colour and most importantly flavour of each represented element. Difficult to source ingredients accompanied with striking visual presentation make Oscar’s new cocktail collection clear world leaders.
Water (HK$148), is decorated with pearl-like spherified yogurt pieces served in an oyster shell. With a vivid ocean-blue visual appeal it uses clever savoury hint of Japanese umami bitters to connect the drinker with flinty taste of fresh sea oysters. Coconut water is added to its vodka and sake base and strikes a neat balance.
Made with a base of Alipus Mezcal (spirit distilled from the agave plant hat’s aged in wooden barrels for a month before being served), Wood (HK$198) features a collection of smoky overtones and wild aromatics. Stirred with dashes of chocolate bitters and Fernet Hunter, a bitter liqueur with aromas of lavender and citrus, this rather complex cocktail is Oscar’s personal favourite. Served in a carved timber tumbler, it further showcases the beauty of this natural element.
Oscar says his sweeter styled Earth cocktail (HK$148) is reminiscent of the earthy scent of the forest after the rain and is a strong childhood memory. Shiitake mushroom-infused rum creates the essence of Earth, while one of Essentials’ favourite non-alcoholic spirits, Seedlip Garden 108 coupled with pandan syrup present additional delicate floral notes. It’s served in its very own garden housed in a ceramic mug.
Finally, there’s the crimson-colored Fire (HK$198), which includes a blend of hibiscus flower-infused whisky with a Thai chili tincture and carrot with blood orange liqueur. Visually elegant this designer drink is flavoursome and has a warming chili bite.
If you’re keen to work your way through a cocktails in one sitting, then Mena has this bit of advice: ‘If you taste the cocktails in the order of Water, Metal, Fire, Wood and Earth, you are going to have a taste of how these five distinct cocktails strike a perfect flavour balance.’
Ozone at The Ritz-Carlton
Floor 118, International Commerce Centre (ICC),
1 Austin Rd W, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Open: Mon-Sat 5pm until late, Sun noon until midnight
Tel +852 2263 2270