2/F Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Rd. Tel: 2805 8388. Whisky has always transcended all notions of class and the people behind Angel's Share have rightly put this lovely drop back in its rightful place, with more than 100 varieties on offer. Recommended: the 20-year-old Macallan.
2/F Chater House, 8 Connaught Road, Central. Tel: 3583 2828. The 5,000-sq-ft terrace is the star of the show at the sister bar to Armani/Aqua restaurant; take in the views from cosy, candlelit seating. Not so impressed by the signature cocktails, the classy wine and spirits selection more than compensated. Recommended: Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996 (HK$5,200 a bottle).
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: Around the World cocktail, a lethal combination of gin, Scotch, brandy, rum and vodka masked under the fresh fruity flavours of orange, lemon and pineapple.
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. 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. Recommended: the ginger mojito, packed with freshly crushed mint and ice (HK$65).
28/F Crowne Plaza Hotel, 8 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 3980 3300. The vibe: this rooftop bar is sleek, stylish and far from understated. Inside it's bright and glitzy, with a circular bar and glass windows on either side, one of which leads to the venue's real gem - a wood-decked terrace. Recommended: the J-Cube cocktail, made with vodka and crushed strawberries.
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.
29/F QRE Plaza, 202 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai. Tel: 2907 0888. Habitat Lounge tries (too) hard to please but can be a romantic spot for a date. The bar offers more than 100 cocktails, many of them fresh and fruity. Recommended: Richito (HK$70), made with light rum, lychee liqueur and Yakult.
1/F, 10 Wing Wah Lane, Lan Kwai Fong, Central. Tel: 2877 1100. At Le Jardin you can gather friends round a table and enjoy the atmosphere rather than just stand and be bombarded by pop music, as is the norm elsewhere in LKF. Recommended: Hoegaarden.
52A Peel Street, Central. Tel: 3114 6320. French decor, wine and patrons make for a casual spot for wine lovers, that also occasionally hosts jazz nights. Recommended: from a boutique winery list, we liked 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. Recommended: the bourbon, lemon and mint combo Whiskey Smash.
The Living Room
6/F W Hotel, Kowloon Station. Tel: 3717 2222. It's easy to kick back and feel right at home in this sprawling, beautifully designed bar complete with board games and bookcases - just help yourself. Recommended: the awesome lychee martinis.
Basement, 49 Staunton Street, Central.
Tel: 2858 3129. Bring your own party to possibly Hong Kong's smallest bar with its decor theme of severed heads. Its standard and signature cocktails are all well-made. Recommended: the soup bowl-sized lemon daiquiri (HK$78).
27-28/F Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Rd, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2890 3182. Occupying roughly 5,000 sq ft in Cubus, Mamoz offers a panoramic view of the area, as well as glimpses of Victoria Harbour. Forget the crowds milling about on street level while you sit in a comfy leather armchair, snacking on a bowl of cashews. Recommended: the Southside Fizz (HK$88), a combination of Tanqueray No Ten, fresh lime, mint and soda.
G/F The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen's Road Central. Tel: 2132 0077. This fashionable hangout spread over two levels offers some impressive signature cocktails. Recommended: the Asian Mind MOtini, with premium gin, muddled ginger, pink grapefruit and fresh lime juice.
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.
118/F The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon. Tel: 2263 2263. The highest bar in the world doesn't disappoint with its bird's-eye view of the city. Prices here are as steep as the venue, but then you're paying for that view. Recommended: wines are the main attraction, with a choice of several by the glass (HK$90-HK$170) and scores of reds and whites by the bottle.
G/F, 65 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2537 5702. Bars don't get much more French 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).
1/F, 30-32 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2868 6102. This deliciously decadent addition to the Wyndham Street scene is all comfortable relaxed hues, while the Central nightlife bursts out around you. Recommended: the lemon drops (HK$76).
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 relics used for decor. The drinks may be underwhelming, bar some minty cocktails, but the place is unpretentious and friendly. Recommended: the pint-sized lychee mojito (HK$95).
5/F Mira Hotel, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2368 1111. The secluded alfresco bar is so relaxing. A few twists on classic cocktails enliven a list that is heavy on whiskies but also includes premium vodkas and rums. Recommended: the S&M (Scotch and mint, HK$90).
LG/F, 62 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan. Tel: 2857 7683. A pink nightclub with a loyal following for its eclectic music. Stiff cocktails are a strong feature. Recommended: Strawberry Mini Boom champagne cocktail (HK$120).
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.