Embracing the revival in popularity of premium gin- Hong Kong’s first specialist gin bar
April 16th, 2013
Celebrating the revitalised appreciation of premium gins in recent years among the global cocktail community, the team behind several of Hong Kong’s cutting edge cocktail establishments have opened the city’s first specialist gin bar in February this year. ORIGIN enjoys a strong pedigree- with sibling establishments the specialist whisky bar Angel’s Share, and molecular mixology den, Quinary, and serves up a stellar cocktail experience to discerning cocktail enthusiasts. With probably the largest selection in town of premium and micro-distilled artisan gins, Origin has an enticing drinks program combining both the classic gin cocktails originating from the Prohibition era, and modern concoctions created by local master mixologist Antonio Lai.
Occupying a street level space on the burgeoning nightlife strip of Wyndham Street in Central, Origin blends a contemporary chic style with some eclectic references to both the historical British connection with gin, and the speakeasy bars of the 1920’s, to create a comfortable atmosphere for relaxation, conversations and spectacular libations.
After the massive popularity of vodkas over the last couple of decades as the white spirit of choice for cocktails, a new generation of bartenders in cocktail hot spots, led by London and New York, have re-discovered the classic gin-based cocktails of the Prohibition era, and taking the smooth finish and richly complex botanical flavors available from the current premium gins, created modern re-interpretations of the classic cocktails, and a host of totally new styles of mixed drinks. For the drinks program at Origin, founding partner Antonio Lai has drawn on his considerable knowledge of molecular mixology techniques to create his own range of house-infused flavored gins, which are then used as the base spirit for both his interpretations of classic gin cocktails, and his own outstanding signature drinks. A “laboratory” section at the far end of the bar features modern processing equipment for micro-batch redistilling of various botanicals and flavors into a base of Beefeater Gin. Currently the selection of twelve house-infused flavors include a number with an Asian-influence such as lemongrass and basil, and others include grapefruit, cucumber, raspberry and lime.
Stand-out drinks from the Origin Signature Cocktails include the Classic Earl Grey Martini– slow cooked Earl Grey Tea, Beefeater gin, Cointreau, egg white, lemon juice; Aviation Extra– combining Beefeater gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, lemon juice & homemade extra dry bitters; and Barrel Aged Negroni– 3 months ex-bourbon barrel aged Beefeater gin, Martini Rosso & Campari. A well-crafted of classic gin cocktails includes Clover Club; Martinez; Vesper and French 75; and Gin & Tonic fans will find eight different versions to select from. The beverages at Origin are not limited exclusively to gin-based drinks- vodka, rum and whisky based classic cocktails can also be requested from the bartenders. Wines and other beverages are available.
Origin is open Monday to Saturday from 5 pm to 3 am, and with its close proximity to the vibrant nightlife and dining venues of the SOHO area, makes it an attractive proposition for unwinding with some after-work / pre-dinner drinks, or as a relaxing venue to enjoy late night libations in a laid-back lounge atmosphere.
Metal mesh screens enclose the bar area- referencing the Speakeasy era of American bars when many gin cocktails originated. Gleaming brass bar stools are upholstered with a contemporary tartan fabric- adding an element of “Britishness” to the decor.
The long narrow space is made more spacious with its high ceilings and uncluttered decor.
Twelve house-infused flavors of Beefeater Gin are showcased on the back bar shelving.
Wallpaper featuring images of vintage English postage stamps covers the wall facing the bar counter.
A wall of recycled timber planks- adorned with antique cocktail equipment- stands on top of an old enamel bathtub- and separates the bar area from the rear washrooms behind.
Recipes for the cocktails are written out on the blackboards, and on the glass-fronted refrigerators behind the bar.
Rotary evaporator for re-distilling unique botanical flavours into the gin. A water-bath and vacuum are used to slow cook the infusions.
Signature Gin Cocktails
Super Lemon- slow cooked lemon gin, lemon sorbet topped with soda
Green Hornet– redistilled pandan gin, homemade pandan syrup, with lemon juice and soda water
Basil Smash- basil redistilled gin, egg white, simple syrup, dash of basil bitters.
ORIGIN G & T– Lemongrass infused Beefeater Gin, tonic water, lime. Garnish with lemongrass.
ORI♦GIN Bar- specialist gin bar in Hong Kong
Address: G/F Winning Centre, 48 Wyndham Street. Central. Hong Kong
MTR: Central station – Exit D1 – 5 minutes walk.
Enquiries: + 852. 2668 5229
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/originhk
Monday to Saturday 5:00 pm ~ 03:00 am