208 Duecento Otto
G/F, 208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. Tel: 2549 0208. One of the most talked-about additions to the Hollywood Road nightlife scene is a former meat storage warehouse transformed into a slice of New York cool by a team who were named the best young designers of 2004 by Wallpaper. Recommended: the extensive wine and cocktail list.
4 Baby Buddha
18 Wo On Lane, Central. Tel: 2167 7244. Its tucked-away alley location and cool, minimalist decor make this the perfect spot for a quiet drink before hitting SoHo or Lan Kwai Fong. Recommended: the Around the World cocktail, a lethal combination of gin, Scotch, brandy, rum and vodka masked by the fresh fruity flavours of orange, lemon and pineapple.
Berliner German Bar and Restaurant
Shop G01B, D Deck Discovery Bay. Tel 2987 8203. This relaxed spot with a seaview and spacious outdoor seating has a welcoming atmosphere. The large selection of German beers is no surprise but they are joined on the list by several cocktails and schnapps, all good matches with the hearty German fare. Recommended: Guinness-like Fishers Hell (half a litre, HK$60).
77 Wyndham St, Central. Tel: 2525 0808. This Wyndham Street wine bar has partnered with more than 20 Californian wineries, offering more than 80 tipples from around the Golden State. Recommended: the pinot noir 2007 Fritz Reserve from Russian River (HK$140).
Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd, Central. Tel: 2825 4006. Despite its location next to the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental, the Captain's Bar has a relaxed atmosphere, with comfy brown leather chairs and plenty of room around the bar. Recommended: the signature Royal Blush (HK$168) is a smooth combination of vodka, lime, mint and cherry puree, topped with champagne.
1/F Wo On Building, 8-12 Wo On Lane, Central. Tel: 2525 3599. An atmospheric, whimsical place with eccentric touches, the lounge's drinks list is extensive, with a champagne list that stretches to a HK$17,800 bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Some cocktails hit the spot but others were a little sickly sweet. Recommended: the G6 (HK$90), a blend of raspberries, vodka, Chambord and pineapple puree.
1/F, 16 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2957 8041. Don't dress up to visit this cigar smoke-laden Latin-vibe bar. Generous pours of powerful margaritas, daiquiris and mojitos, and one of the best pina coladas in town are the real draw. There's little point in drinking beer and wine when the cocktails are this good. Recommended: the ginger mojito, packed with freshly crushed mint and ice (HK$65).
77 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2520 5818. This slightly dark but definitely cosy nook moves from escape to midnight dance floor. Take advantage of excellent happy hour offers on champagne and cocktails such as the Penicillin (Scotch, lemon, honey and ginger). Recommended: Grimbergen draught (HK$65), an orangey, toffee-flavoured Belgian beer.
The Lawn Bar
1/F The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty. Tel: 3968 1107. The large, swanky outdoor space with plenty of furniture to sprawl on offers a wide variety of wines to choose from and a few of master mixologist Sam Jeveons' innovative cocktails. Recommended: the Elderflower Collins, made with elderflower syrup, Tanqueray gin, fresh lime juice, fresh grapes and soda (HK$110).
52A Peel Street Central. Tel: 3114 6320. French d?cor, wine and patrons make for a casual spot for wine lovers, that also occasionally hosts jazz nights. Recommended: from a boutique winery list, the sweet gewurtztraminer from Vallee Noble Seppi Landmann (HK$70).
G/F The L Place, 139 Queen's Road Central. Tel: 28571333. This dark bar with booths that act like time machines is sure to be the cause of many an entertainingly lost night. The cocktails are all HK$58 and while there were some experiments that didn't work for us, others were more successful. Recommended: the bourbon, lemon and mint combo Whiskey Smash.
Prudential Hotel, 222 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 23118222. This hotel lobby lounge experience left us cold. The drinks were limited and unimpressive. Recommended: the house red wine (HK$78) was drinkable.
G/F 65 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2537 5702. Bars don't get much Frencher than this temple to anise-based drinks. As well as pastis, there is an interesting selection of French spirits. Recommended: the Pastis Henri Bardouin (HK$70).
Basement, Imperial Hotel, 32 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2782 3383. A friendly crowd and helpful, pleasant staff create a calm atmosphere in hectic Tsim Sha Tsui. The bar offers excellent spirits, limited but good wines and an interesting list of beers. A good choice for a laid-back evening. Recommended: the Casa La Joya Merlot 2009 (HK$81).
Ra Restaurant and Lounge
Shop 1, G/F Wing On Plaza, 62 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. Tel: 2721 3600. The Egyptian theme includes the smell of shisha as much as the ancient relics used for d?cor. The drinks may be underwhelming, bar some minty cocktails, but the place is unpretentious and friendly. Recommended: the pint-sized lychee mojito (HK$95).
18/F Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2369 1111. A welcome relief from the bustle below, the bar has a glamorous 1950s feel and is an elegant eyrie to recharge batteries. Recommended: the kiwi martini ((HK$95), a show-stopping blend of vodka, kiwi liqueur and kiwifruit syrup.
5/F Mira Hotel, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2368 1111. The secluded alfresco bar is very relaxed. A few twists on classic cocktails enliven a list that is heavy on whiskies but also includes premium vodkas and rums. There are also shisha and cigar menus. Recommended: the S&M (Scotch and mint, HK$90).
2/F Mandarin Oriental Macau, Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen, Outer Harbour, Macau. Tel: (853) 8805 8928. A chic, sophisticated bar with views over the Macau Tower and Nam Van Lake, the bar serves manly cocktails designed by a New York mixologist and has great nooks and crannies to hide in. Recommended: the Lagavulin 25-year cask-strength single malt whisky (HK$490 per shot).
G/F, 52 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 6768 5252. Our favourite bar on Wyndham Street is as chic and sophisticated as ever, as long as you stick to spirits and cocktails and don't bother with the wines and beers. Aside from the signature and Grey Goose-based cocktails, standouts include Patron Anejo tequila. Recommended: the W Spice, a buttery concoction of butterscotch schnapps, vanilla vodka, pineapple juice and freshly ground black pepper (HK$98).
31/F The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai. Tel: 2893 6960. With amazing views over the city through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and from the breathtaking rooftop bar, Woolloomooloo is bringing a new kind of cool to Wan Chai. Recommended: everything tastes pretty good when you're already on top of the world.
Lower Basement, 79 Wyndham St, Central. Tel: 2147 2383. This popular bar attracts the music obsessives and is best known for its ear-bleeding sound system and top-quality DJs. Recommended: the mojito (HK$85) is one of the best in town, with freshly muddled mint served with Cuban rum in a classic highball glass.
Levels 5-6 The Landmark, 15 Queen's Road Central. Tel: 3657 6388. Zuma is as popular for its innovative cocktails as it is for its divine Japanese cuisine. The well-placed terrace offers a smog-free, chic view of busy Queen's Road Central. Recommended: summer cocktails blending classic western liquors with Japanese drinks such as sake and shochu.