Specialist agave spirits bar – features craft cocktails and small-batch Mexican spirits
Update: COA takes No.1 position again at Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 – the 2nd successive year COA rated as Asia’s premier bar.
Opened in December 2017, COA boasts Hong Kong’s most extensive selection of agave spirits – personally selected by owner and local bar industry veteran Jay Khan. Occupying a compact space down some steps off Hollywood Road, COA is conveniently located on the fringe of the bustling SoHo bar and restaurant precinct. Created as the expression of the founder’s passion for the unique artisanal spirits and drinking culture of Mexico, the rustic minimalist interior of COA exudes a relaxed, laid-back style of hospitality – with owner Jay either behind the bar or interacting with patrons. COA serves an impressive selection of small-producer agave-based spirits – served either neat – or from a list of classic spirit-forward cocktails.
One of Hong Kong’s most accomplished and industry-respected bartenders, Jay has acquired, through numerous visits to Mexico, an encyclopedic knowledge of both Mexico’s traditional agave farmers and the small-batch producers of agave spirits. An impressive back bar array showcases an evolving selection of rare and special bottlings of mezcal and tequila sourced directly from the producers in Mexico.
Highlights from the cocktail list include the Caffeinated Negroni – a bold interpretation of the classic made from Don Amado Rustico Mezcal, Master’s Gin, coffee-infused Mancino Bianco Vermouth and Aperol. Another must-try cocktail is the Oaxacan Paloma – a rewarding combination of Mezcal Joven, Tequila blanco, grapefruit soda, lime, worm salt, and grapefruit zest.
In addition to agave spirits, COA (named after the traditional agave farmers’ harvesting tool) offers a tight selection of other Mexican spirits, wines and craft beers. And for refreshing low-alcohol summer drinks – try the flavourful Mexican-style fermented drinks – exemplified by the Down To Earth – with Gin Mare, lacto-fermented cucumber soda, citric acid, pickled cucumber.
COA opens daily (except Mondays) from 6 pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 5 pm on Sunday.
(images credit COA)