With the seemingly quick arrival of Autumn, the latest seasonal ingredients have embedded the menus at restaurants and bars across the city. Although it’s always exciting to try the new seasonal dinner tasting menus, the drinking scene is just as noteworthy. Caprice Bar at Four Seasons Hong Kong recently updated its signature cocktail menu with a new concept—and its namesake is in the title. Titled ‘Saisons’, the cocktail menu was curated by Caprice Bar’s beverage manager Lorenzo Antinori, inviting guests to embrace new and old libations at one of the city’s most well-loved bars. Cha Siu Papers Times visited the hotel’s best-kept-secret to taste the new cocktails, paired with a selection of inventive snacks.
The ‘Saisons’ concept
- Fig Leaf
Paying homage to cooler months during Autumn and Winter, Lorenzo Antinori’s new concept highlights the best of the seasonal ingredients. Designed in a calendar-inspired menu, guests can interact with each cocktail name on the list by pulling out the wooden tabs to discover the ingredients used behind. There’s no gimmick or confusing labels here—each cocktail is called pretty much after its main ingredient.
We tried the Clementine cocktail first for a zesty and aromatic punch. Made with freshly-juiced clementine from France, the drink is mixed with cognac and gin to form the base. A subtle sweetness is added using aged honey from Château d’Yquem winery and cassia bark. The main profiles are milk and honey, making this an easy-to-drink concoction, ideal for post-work soothers.
As an avid fig enthusiast, I was destined to try the Fig Leaf cocktail, a bestseller by Antinori. Updating the traditional gin sour, this drink uses Hong Kong fig leaves infused into Australian gin (Never Never Triple Juniper), then mixed with lemon juice, fig leaf honey and Mastiha liqueur. The overall flavour profile gives a Mediterranean flavour reminiscent of the South of France.
The Raisin is inspired by the Manhattan and Negroni, whipping up a combination of both classics. Using golden raisin-infused Reposado Tequila, the cocktail is mixed with strong vermouth to lend a bittersweet finish.
Personally, I’m not one for fruity drinks, but I wanted to try some of the sweeter profiles from the list to test my palette. The Pomegranate cocktail was more of a sour drink, using nutty and aromatic flavours to pay tribute to the arrival of Autumn. Made with caramelised fresh pomegranate juice, the drink is deglazed with white wine—a technique borrowed from traditional French kitchens. Next, the pomegranate concentrate is mixed with Mr. Black Amaro coffee liquor, Oloroso sherry and egg white, before its shaken to a smooth perfection. The light complexion makes it a tasty pairing with a selection of bar snacks.
Finally, we had the Guava cocktail—a highly-recommended drink from the list, inspired by the Highball drink. Originally, the cocktail was meant to be pear-centric but was recently swapped for guava, using vegan milk for a rich, floral, and refreshing flavour. The clarified guava juice with cardamom and fennel is mixed with coconut milk, Passion Berry Bitters and White Rum, then shaken. Without being too empowering, the fruity flavour gives it a refreshing touch, whilst the herbs give it a soft complexity.
The infamous, decadent cheese board
To say ‘bar snacks’ doesn’t do enough justice for the gourmet bites at Caprice Bar. Offering a plethora of snacking dishes, the Michelin-starred kitchen is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Guillaume Galliott, a French chef of the highest calibre of gastronomic tradition. We tried the renowned cheese board, featuring a selection of seasonal cheeses, paired with fresh bread—an ideal accompaniment to the exceptional cocktails. We also tasted the Beef Samosa, a unique twist on the Indian dish, updated with a rich, tender beef filling within the crispy exterior.
The Saisons menu changes every four months and the first edition runs from October 2020 to January 2021.
Caprice Bar, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3196 8888, fourseasons.com