By Chris Dwyer
Jan 21, 2022
LET’S BE HONEST, January can be a tough month. The post-holiday blues. That back-to-work feeling. Worst of all? Resolutions to diet, exercise and cut down – temporarily at least – on booze. But help is at hand if you’re doing Dry January this year… in the form of delicious cocktail recipes!
While we obviously don’t want to encourage anyone to give up their goals, if you do happen to slip off the wagon, at least do it right. You may be locked down and unable to go to bars, or prevented from traveling by quarantines, but creative creations – always with a kick – are perfect when you want to craft something at home.
The libation explanations below come straight from some of the finest, award-winning mixologists all across Asia. The only real challenge? Choosing one to make first. Handily there are seven in total, so maybe one for each day of the week?
So, channel your inner Stanley Tucci (Covid’s favorite Instagram bartender), try these cocktail recipes at home, then let us know via social media if they helped you make Dry January as distant a memory as Christmas (wait, was that only last month?).
Argo at Four Seasons Hong Kong
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hong Kong (2)
Red Lantern is a creation from affable Italian maestro Lorenzo Antinori at Argo in Hong Kong, launched last July at the city’s Four Seasons Hotel and packing them in – at least when dining and drinking restrictions allow.
As he explains: “The drink is a riff on a classic martini, with an Asian soul, introducing nutty and complex elements with the yellow wine. Shaoxing wine replaces the vermouth in the classic recipe, while the chili oil garnish adds texture and character, bridging together east and west.”
Ingredients for 700ml format:
- 350ml London Dry Gin
- 150ml Dry Shaoxing Wine (alternatively, swap the Shaoxing for an Amontillado Sherry)
- 200ml Still water
- 5cm Orange peel
- Combine all the ingredients into a 700ml size bottle. Insert the small orange zest in the bottle and let it infuse
- Store in the refrigerator and serve when chilled
- Garnish with a few drops of chili oil, no ice needed
- Serve in a coupette or any chilled glass
Woobar at W Bangkok
Woobar’s mantra of Detox. Retox. Repeat has been enticing drinkers to the W’s glam skyscraper on Sathorn Road for nearly a decade and their Miss Tiffany creation perfectly reflects their vibe, as mixologist Aungsumalin Ninklad explains:
“Bangkok is famous for being an LGBTQ-friendly city. Inspired by extravagant cabaret shows, both the name and presentation of this exotic drink celebrate the confidence and fierceness among LGBTQ community friends.”
We’ll drink to that!
- 40 ml. Absolut vodka
- 20 ml. Giffard lychee liqueur – or lychee juice
- 15 ml. Giffard strawberry syrup
- 15 ml. Raspberry purée
- 30 ml. Lime juice
- Ginger ale
- Put all the ingredients except the ginger ale in a shaker. No shaker? No worries, put everything in a glass and stir well.
- Add some ice into the shaker and close the lid, shake it well and hard while remembering to hold the shaker securely closed with both hands, on top and at the base of the shaker.
- Pour into your glass and top up with ginger ale.
- Add some sense of style to your home-made cocktail with any accessory – maybe a Mardi Gras mask?
Beverage director Francis Fulgencio is the drinks guru at Toyo, one of Manila’s most renowned and iconic independent restaurants, thanks to chef Jordy Navarra’s brilliant takes on his country’s produce and techniques. Pasko is one of the cocktails that make the trip there worth it for the drinks alone:
“A staple Philippine spirit called lambanog is made from fermented and distilled coconut sap. Clean-tasting but potent, lambanog is the bedrock of the cocktail called Pasko, which combines the breezy tropical flavors of passion fruit and coconut juice.”
Ingredients – one serving:
- 45ml Lambanog
- 15ml Passion fruit syrup
- 7ml Local lemon (tublay)
- 90ml Coconut water
- Shake with ice!
Connection 12 Rooftop Bar at Cordis Shanghai Hongqiao
Cordis Shanghai calls rooftop bar Connection 12 ‘The peak of chic’ due to its panoramic views across the city’s skyline and being handily located next to their pool. They channel a British vibe with an iconic classic from the man known by one name: Bond.
“James Bond’s favorite, the 007 Martini! Gin blends perfectly with vodka’s special, stronger flavor, while lemon peel as a decoration makes it more stylish and delicious.”
- 45ml Gin
- 20ml Vodka
- 30ml Lillet Blanc
- Garnish: Lemon peel
- Do you really need to ask? Shaken, not stirred!
MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental Singapore
Adrian Besa is bar manager of MO Bar at one of Singapore’s grandes dames, a favorite haunt for many that claimed 45th place on the most recent prestigious list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars. As he explains, their Formosan reflects a mix of cultures:
“MO BAR’s signature cocktails are inspired by our travels around Southeast Asia. During our trip to Taiwan there was nothing more comforting than a warm Taiwanese coffee in the cold weather. Pairing the delicate coffee with whiskey and gula melaka creates that sweet warm comforting drink, then we finish it off with a creamy coconut foam on top for that Asian twist on a classic Irish Coffee.”
- 45ml Michter’s Bourbon
- 60ml 100% Arabica coffee
- 15ml Gula Melaka syrup
- 50ml Cream
- 50ml Coconut milk
Pour the whiskey, sugar and coffee into a stemmed cocktail glass and stir. Dry shake the cream and coconut milk till frothy, and layer on top of the drink using a bar spoon. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
1914 Lounge & Bar at Josun Palace, Seoul Gangnam
The 1914 Lounge & Bar at Josun Palace in the heart of Gangnam is named in honor of the opening year of the old Josun Hotel, a favored spot for the elite and glam a century ago.
“In the early 1900s, the Josun Hotel had an associate called a ‘Room Boy’ who acted as a kind of butler. The Room Boy cocktail reflects that embodiment of hospitality by using the traditional Korean ‘Omija’ berry. The cocktail uses Omija’s five flavors – sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness and pungency – as well as star anise, cloves, and pepper, to create a rich and intense scent.”
- 45ml Blanco tequila
- 15ml Homemade omija cordial
- 10ml Fresh lemon juice
- 3ml Fernet-Branca Menta
- 5 drops Tabasco
- Garnish : Strawberry hibiscus tea foam, touch of lemon
- Shake all the ingredients together, serve and garnish
Maria Do Leste
The St. Regis Bar Macao
Considering January 1 is Bloody Mary Day in honor of everyone’s favorite hangover cocktail, perhaps you didn’t start this month dry after all, but if you need good recipes, we can’t think of a better source than The St. Regis. In the SAR of Macao, the Maria Do Leste is The St. Regis Macao‘s take on the hotel brand’s iconic signature drink, which famously varies by location. As mixologist Vicky Fu explains:
“It’s inspired by Macau’s unique East-meets-West culture and features lime juice, black vinegar, pink and black peppercorns, cinnamon, paprika and piri piri sauce to reflect global voyages of the sailors whose exploration established Macau as an important trading port.”
- Tomato juice
- Fresh lime Juice
- Dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Sea salt and black pepper
Rim an old-fashioned glass with sea salt and fill with ice. Mix the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake well to blend. Pour over the ice.