Barrel-aged cocktails can take a step back, because this autumn you can treat yourself to clay pot rested cocktails at ON Dining Kitchen and Lounge. Designed by celebrity bartender Giancarlo Mancino, the nine new cocktails, made under three categories ‘Stirred,’ ‘Shaken,’ and ‘Built,’ are rested in humongous four-litre Italian clay pots for several weeks before being bottled and served.
What’s the deal with clay pot cocktails? Used since ancient times (and even today in rural villages), the porous clay pots help to remove impurities from liquids it contains, and in this case it sucks out sugars from the liquor as well, creating an overall lighter cocktail.
We love the ONegroni #2 of the ‘Stirred’ cocktails, a twist on ON Dining’s famous negroni, using vermouth from house label Mancino, gin, an orange bitter aperitivo (also from Giancarlo Mancino’s other brand Rinomato)—and unusually, finished off with cold brew coffee. It’s quite sweet on the nose, with toffee and orange, and a lovely chocolatey flavor when you take a deep sip. It’s much lighter in terms of the alcoholic kicks you normally get at the beginning of a negroni, but it rounds back in later—making this an excellent drink for after a tiring day! It’s got our HK Clubbing stamp of major approval.
Of the ‘Shaken’ cocktails, the Champagne Punch is for those who want a sweeter, fruitier drink. After all, it’s got all things sugar and spice and everything nice in it: bubbly, strawberry puree, cognac and maraschino (cherry) syrup, all mellowed with a touch of herby yellow chartreuse.
From the ‘Built’ cocktails, the Tutto a Posto—meaning “Everything’s Good” in Italian—is the Goldilocks of the two, not too sweet, but not too intense either. The orange vodka, Rinomato, rhubarb and rhubarb bitters all give it a sweet, yet verdant flavor, balanced out by Chinotto orange soda. It’s sweet, but the freshness of the citrus and rhubarb make it something you’ll want to keep drinking all night.
So for your next cocktail hour, be sure to round up the crew at ON Dining’s beautiful terrace that overlooks busy Central from a serene vantage point—and do order a delicious craft cheese platter while you’re at it!
All cocktails $140 a glass or $980 a bottle, available from September 21.
Written by Evelyn Lok