Absolut provides a tonic for swish new Wan Chai lounge

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 February, 2009, 12:00am

Absolut Vodka took over the recently opened Habitat Lounge on the 29th floor penthouse of the QRE Plaza on Wednesday for a bash with its Swedish mixologist ambassador Bjorn Olsson. Here to shake and stir some new fruity flavoured cocktails and tout the iconic Scandinavian booze, the mixer (below, wearing the cheesiest Absolut tie) was adamant that the spirit didn't just arrive in Sweden in 1979 with the brand's modern launch.

'We have been making vodka for 400 years,' he said. 'In that part of the world - Russia, Poland, Finland, Sweden - it's common to all those places. Plus, parts of one country used to be a part of another so they share a lot of similar culture.'

While the drink is still mostly associated with freezing Russian winters, the Swedish label is now the third biggest alcohol brand in the world - largely thanks to its distinctive bottle.

Olsson was doing his part, using watermelons to make drink decorations with the silhouette. 'It's actually an old medicine bottle from 1751,' he added.

As for the lounge, it's the newest club in Jeffrey Tam Chun-kit's Shelter Census Group. Open since the New Year, it is also his largest bar and first in Wan Chai, but he might be tempering his expansion efforts for now. 'Things have gone down. This place is doing fine but some of the others haven't been doing so well, and I know the worst is still to come.'

Sounds like a man who needs a few shots of vodka - straight up.