2/F Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Rd, Central. 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, especially a pinot grigio and an aged rum. Recommended: Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996 (HK$5,200 a bottle).
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).
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 and there are interesting aged spirits. Recommended: the G6 (HK$90), a blend of raspberries, vodka, Chambord and pineapple puree.
The Excelsior, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2837 6782. This unpretentious English-style sports bar with unobtrusive TVs is a great if noisy place for conversation, drinks and food. Recommended: the Peachy Ice tea is a potent trip round the top shelf of the bar.
G/F, 48 Wyndham St, Central. Tel: 2522 8318. A breezy, inviting space in neutral and beige tones that feels intimate, the bar has a wine-heavy, girly cocktail-dominated drinks list balanced by a few heavy duty drinks such as the Contemporary Fashioned (a new twist on the Old Fashioned with 23-year-old Ron Zacapa rum). Recommended: Lambloch Estate's South Australian Shiraz (HK$52).
27 Elgin Street, SoHo, Central. Tel: 2810 0005. What could beat an unpretentious atmosphere in a prominent SoHo spot (below)? The extensive drinks list that includes many champagnes, wines and cocktails is a strong lure but the wines are generally a safer bet than the cocktails, although the Flute is a deceptively potent champagne and fruit drink. Recommended: the Domaine Magellan Merlot 2007 (HK$70).
2 Lower Albert Rd, Central. Tel: 2521 7251. The ground-floor bar is a hip hangout for the city's arty crowd, regularly offering great live music, while the roof bar is a bit rough around the edges but offers a casual alternative for those wanting to enjoy the nighttime sky. Recommended: the evening tapas menu offering chorizo, Thai fish cakes and braised wings.
Garley Building, 45-53 Graham Street, Central. Tel: 2543 1941. The Globe is a smart English pub, with one of the widest and best selections of beers in Hong Kong, as well as excellent pub fare. Recommended: Typhoon T8, which is brewed on Lantau Island.
13-15, G/F Lan Fong Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2577 7981. Made internationally famous by its role in a Wong Kar-wai film, it has been serving Hong Kong-style diner classics since 1962. It has kept its charms and its provision of privacy in comfortable booths for all that time. Recommended: any of the classic cocktails at HK$39 each.
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, if you like old-school hip hop and carp projected on to the floor. Over 100 cocktails, many of them fresh and fruity. Recommended: Richito (HK$70), made with light rum, lychee liqueur and Yakult.
Hard Rock Cafe
LG/F LKF Tower, 55 D'Aguilar St, Lan Kwai Fong. Tel: 2111 3777. The Hard Rock Cafe's return to Hong Kong is music to the ears of local rock fans. Recommended: the Hurricane, with Bacardi Superior rum, Captain Morgan dark rum and Disaronno Amaretto plus grenadine, orange, mango and pineapple juice.
Shop A, 101/F International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon. Tel: 2972 2666. Once found, this quiet bar with glorious views (right) is a tranquil spot for conversation. Cocktails blend Canadian ice wines with Japanese spirits and plenty of fruit and the wine and shooters are pretty good too. Recommended: the blend of ice wine, Yoichi whisky, cranberry juice and lemon called a Maple Route.
G/F, 2 Gleanealy, Central. Tel: 2537 2281. This chill-out bar away from the hubbub of nearby Lan Kwai Fong and Wyndham Street offers a casual place to unwind, particularly on the outdoor rattan lounges. Recommended: the impressive molecular cocktails such as the Mr Grey (HK$110), a refreshing martini made of crushed cucumber, apple juice, Earl Grey tea, gin and elderflower syrup.
2-3/F Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central. Tel: 2522 2608. Spread over two floors, this New York loft-style venue incorporates a lounge, club and terraces spread over 12,000 sq ft. Classy but unpretentious. Recommended: the vintage Macallan whisky.
Inn Side Out
Sunning Plaza, 10 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2895 2900. The peanut husk-strewn floor and throngs of regulars make for a relaxed atmosphere in a crowded beer hall with an extensive outdoor seating area. Come for a wide range of great, relatively cheap beer and great drinking food to match. Recommended: Trappist Westmalle Tripel Belgian beer (HK$42).
G/F, 40 Staunton Street, Central. Tel: 2522 8329. Unstylish but somehow inviting and cosy in atmosphere, the bar offers a fairly standard mix of cocktails, beers and wines. The wine list has a few misses but some notable hits, such as a Louis Latour chardonnay and a McGuigan Shiraz. Beer drinkers will enjoy the Kronenbourg Blanc. Recommended: the Brazilian caipirinha, made with real cachaca (HK$58).
B/F, 65 Wyndham St, Central Tel: 2530 3870. This atmospheric basement bar modelled on 19th-century Parisian salons is dark and lovely, with one of the best cocktail menus in town: Recommended: the Unconventional martini (HK$95), blending gin, lemon juice, mint and kaffir lime syrup.
G/F, 20-22 D'Aguilar St, Lan Kwai Fong, Central. Tel: 2525 6628. Yes it's in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong but still manages to feel like a hidden gem, with its low lighting and down-tempo jazz. Recommended: the espresso martini cannot be missed.
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).
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. Recommended: the Southside Fizz (HK$88), a combination of Tanqueray No Ten, fresh lime, mint and soda.
118/F 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.
2 Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Tel: 2730 6622. Phonograph isn't a music venue but is one frequented by musicians. Staff don't mind plugging your iPod into the sound system while you sip a Yakult cocktail. Recommended: any of the Yakult cocktails.
25/F Prince's Building, 10 Chater Road, Central. Tel: 2537 1388. Indoor and (spacious) outdoor seating gives Sevva a nice edge, particularly given the incredible skyscraper views. Recommended: at Sevva it's the desserts which will steal your heart.
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.