The new cocktail menu has arrived at Bert’s. Morgan M. Davis selflessly went along for a tasting.
Things are changing behind the bar at Bert’s. Beginning this month, Bert’s is offering a new summer cocktail menu, exclusive to the basement bar. The six new cocktails, designed by FCC beverage manager Michael Chan and bartender Ryan Chong, will be available for a limited time.
For Chan, the distinct drinks offer Bert’s an opportunity to cater to a younger demographic, and to offer more options beyond the wine and beer list that the FCC is known for. “We want to bring some new ideas to the FCC bar,” said Chan.
The new list consists of three alcoholic cocktails and three mocktails, as twists on classic drinks and summer punches. The mocktails, while designed to be non-alcoholic, can have alcohol added upon request, said Chan.
So here are the newcomers…
Like all of Chan’s designs, this delicate take on the classic martini is intended to be Instagram-worthy.
Starting at the top, the drink is crowned with a mountain of chamomile tea air, with bubbles that will last for more than an hour- although that seems unnecessary once you start sipping. The drink itself is a “millennial pink” colour, consisting of fresh gooseberry, vodka, orgeat syrup, lime and apple juice. And the bottom holds a layer of Japanese Kyoho molecular “caviar,” or tiny jelly-like pearls reminiscent of the popular bubble tea drinks.
The result is certainly not your grandfather’s martini. The drink is a perfect pre-dinner beverage with its soft flavours. But don’t be deceived by the floral finishes. The drink still serves up a bite at the end of every sip, and it can pack a punch.
This summer-worthy rum punch is all about the fruit. Nearly every cocktail on Chan’s new menu has a fruity base. Chan prides himself on using muddled fresh fruits to give the drinker more complexity in their cocktails, and something to chew on.
Once you snag the fresh blackberries and raspberries off the top of this one, you’ll taste a perfectly chilled purple punch. With a rum base, the refreshing mixture includes fresh blackberries, cassis liqueur, sweet and sour mix and pineapple juice.
This cocktail is the most traditional of Chan’s inventions, but, of course, it comes with a photo-op.
The drink itself consists of Tanqueray gin, Campari and vermouth rosso, served straight with an orange twist. But when it’s served, Chan or one of his team will appear with a smoke-filled decanter. The smoke, which comes with aromatic vanilla sprays, is poured into the cocktail in a dramatic fashion.
The result is not only theatrical, it also adds an interesting flavour combination, taking the classic negroni taste and making it less bitter. It’s a drink that fans of the original will love, as well as those that want something a bit easier to sip.
The first of the mocktail creations, the Berry Rosa has been dubbed a “lady’s drink” by Chan.
It is bright pink in colour and is topped off with raspberries. While the drink looks a bit like a smoothie, chock-full of fruit, it’s still delicate, and visually elegant in a tall glass. The beverage mixes fresh raspberries, fresh strawberries, peach juice, Calpis and ginger ale.
The flavour sticks to the tongue while also quenching your thirsty sweet tooth.
While the two other mocktails would pair perfectly with a splash of Prosecco, this drink truly needs no alcohol.
The mixture of fresh ginger, mint, sweet and sour mix and soda, topped with lemongrass as a stirrer, is exactly what everyone needs on a hot summer day. The ginger flavour is subtle, while the sour mix packs a bit of a punch, but without an acidic overtone. The flavours balance perfectly, making this mocktail easy to drink.
The final mocktail has been set up to be a signature for Bert’s bar, and consistent with Chan’s fruit theme, it doesn’t disappoint.
The yellow, layered drink, served in a tall glass, includes fresh passionfruit, with orange and pineapple juice. This fruity mix is perfect for brunch. With a fruity aroma, helped along by the chunk of passionfruit garnishing the top, the flavours of this beverage will leave you wanting more.
Morgan M. Davis is a finance reporter at Euromoney’s GlobalCapital. The Illinois-transplant moved to Hong Kong two years ago by way of New York City, accompanied by her trusty sidekick Gizmo the Yorkie. Morgan has reported on multiple sectors of finance, and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University.