#DrinkUpAsia – New Cocktail Menus of 2023

Some of the best bars across Asia have given their cocktail menus a serious makeover and here are some we think you should check out on your travels this year.

Showcasing a high level of creativity from some of the finest talent in the continent, these menus are a phenomenal tribute to the rich diversity of ingredients available across Asia. They also offer a glimpse into the much talked about cocktail culture across the continent – one that is progressive yet rooted in local traditions, modern yet classic, complex yet approachable. We hope you’ll try them all.

ART OF MAHJONG at DarkSide (Rosewood, Hong Kong)

DarkSide at Rosewood Hong Kong is a sultry jazz and cocktail parlour, popular with locals and travellers with a taste for fine and rare spirits and sophisticated cocktails. This year, DarkSide introduces a new cocktail menu inspired by Mahjong, the iconic tile-based game integral to Hong Kong society.  With the craftsmanship and artistry of traditional hand-drawn Mahjong tiles in mind, the new cocktails reinterpret the game’s bonus tiles and their associated Confucian plants and seasons into enchanting base flavours. In keeping with Rosewood’s, A Sense of Place® guiding philosophy, the DarkSide duo – Director of Bars Simone Rossi and Assistant Bar Manager KT Lam along with DarkSide team invited local artisans who remain faithful to time-honoured crafts, to contribute their unique skills towards the menu. Mahjong tile-maker masters Ricky Cheung and Karen Aruba Art were commissioned to re-imagine the flower and season Mahjong tiles for the menu’s artwork, while local glass-blowing workshop Soekjing Studio designed and handcrafted the cocktail glassware. Ceramics were created by Tung Yao Ceramics, a long-standing local brand renowned for developing and celebrating Chinese pottery. The result – one of the most visually stunning menus worthy of a museum. 

The Art of Mahjong Menu

Menu Highlights

Plum (Flower)

The plum, seen as a symbol of winter and harbinger of spring, represents nature’s vigour. Plum is a stirred martini – savoury with a sweet undertone – with Grey Goose Vodka, tomato consommé, Mancino Secco vermouth, calendula cordial and salted plum. The drink is served in a small rice wine terracotta pot, poured into an elegant ceramic martini glass with bespoke plum patterns.

Plum – The Art of Mahjong (Flowers)

Orchid (Flower)

In China, the orchid flower represents refinement, innocence, and elegance, as well as wealth and fortune. A shaken drink, the Orchid is composed of earthy notes from Chinese celery, followed by spicy and sweet notes from Altos Blanco tequila infused with spring onion and dendrobium orchid. Siete Misterios Doba Yej mezcal imparts a slight smokiness, making it the perfect drink for agave or Margarita lovers. The cocktail is served in a beautiful handcrafted ceramic bowl with engraved orchid patterns.

Orchid – The Art of Mahjong (Flowers)

Spring (Seasons)

For the Spring cocktail, DarkSide reimagines the Gin Highball with Star of Bombay Gin, seasonal tangerine, and longan flavours. The effervescent and refreshing drink is infused with bitter notes from Amaro Santoni with hints of rhubarb, while London Essence White Peach and Jasmine Soda further elevates the drink with a balance of aromatics. The cocktail is served in a hand-blown glass adorned with elegantly drawn spring blossoms. 

Spring – The Art of Mahjong (Seasons)

Autumn (Seasons)

Inspired by Chinese culinary spices, Autumn is rich with the flavours of star anise, goji berry, Chinese dates, and persimmons. The complex layers of spices and flavours are elevated with Michter’s Bourbon Whiskey, making this the chosen drink for any whiskey cocktail lover. Depth is added by persimmon and just a hint of coffee, and the cocktail is served straight up in a handmade ceramic teacup with autumn Mahjong tile patterns and garnished with goji crumbles.

Autumn – The Art of Mahjong (Seasons)

FORAGED MALAYSIA at Bar Trigona (The Four Seasons, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

An immersive journey of discovery & rediscovery of the diverse abundance of Malaysian offerings, this menu is a result of some outstanding team work by Rohan Matmary and his colleagues from various provinces around Malaysia.  As always, sustainability blooms at the heart of Bar Trigona’s unique offerings. Taking a hyperlocal approach, the team procures the majority of its ingredients from Malaysian farmers and beekeepers, supporting the natural habitats of honeybees and promoting sustainable farming practices. Foraged Malaysia highlights local flavours and nostalgic traditions, unique to Malaysia’s culinary landscape. Traditional delicacies like Teh Tarik, Bak Kut Teh and even Laksa are celebrated in a cocktail through innovative mixology techniques and contemporary twists. 

Behind the scenes of Foraged Malaysia

Menu Highlights

Embark on a liquid exploration of Malaysian culture with 16 new signature drinks. Must-try creations include:

Kunyit Royale

This hero drink finds inspiration in the Sabahan custom of using turmeric leaves to wrap foods fragrant with ginger and herbs. Four types of ginger root, foraged from the Malaysian landscape, showcase a fine balance of heat, aroma and taste.

Kunyit Royale – Foraged Malaysia

Sarawak Bubbles

This sustainable cocktail evolves through the year, incorporating the freshest local citrus fruits with every changing season. Asam Paya, a palm fruit from Sarawak, lends a delicate blush to the bubbly concoction.

Sarawak Bubbles – Foraged Malaysia


A ’gram-friendly tribute to the fruity abundance of Sarawak. Unique local flavours such as Bambangan wild mango and rainforest honey find their way into the glass, anchoring this cocktail firmly in the region’s vibrant landscape.

Mangoism – Foraged Malaysia

Penang Laksa

Penang’s favourite curry gets a cocktail counterpart. Iconic coastal flavours breathe new life into the bittersweet Negroni.

Penang Laksa – Foraged Malaysia

Alongside spectacular cocktails, the new menu also invites guests to explore two special offerings:

Bottled Cocktails: The bottled cocktails at Bar Trigona are perfect for a night out with friends or colleagues. Created by renowned Four Seasons bartenders in the Asia Pacific region, each signature drink offers a portal to a new destination, from Tokyo to Bengaluru.

Honey Flights: Explore different expressions of the same cocktail with experiential honey flights. Infused with seasonal produce, each honey produces subtle yet distinct changes in the taste and feel of the drink. Served in three small portions. You can also adopt a beehive via the bar’s bee adoption programme, in collaboration with beekeepers across the country. Ask the team for more information.

IDENTITY at Jigger & Pony (Amara Hotel, Singapore)

The acclaimed cocktail bar’s latest thematic ‘menuzine’ showcases a thoughtfully curated drinks list featuring engaging and relatable narratives for cocktail lovers. Jigger & Pony is known for its highly curated and designed magazine-style menus, always driven by a watertight concept and delivered in a casual reading format. In addition to being an accomplished menu from one of the world’s best bars, IDENTITY traces the evolution of Jigger & Pony that has formed its identity through the years, and more importantly, poses questions as to what the future holds for the bar, the bar community, and all of us. Keystone topics such as sustainability and environmental impacts are significant and important to consider. In high volume bars with large-scale operations like Jigger & Pony, initiatives like zero waste and upcycling are challenging ideas to aspire to. Thus, the team has taken a different yet measurable step with Ugly Tomatoes, a cocktail designed to celebrate imperfections, propagate biodiversity, and promote conservation of species. All the drinks are carefully designed by a highly skilled bar team led by Uno Jang and represent the ethos of Jigger & Pony in its entirety.

Jigger & Pony

Menu Highlights

Dirty Martini: Dirty Delicious

A challenge to the bar’s DNA of keeping cocktails improved and true, the Dirty Martini has been reinvented through the engineering of a housemade brine and olive oil emulsion. Built upon Bombay Sapphire Gin, it is garnished with a housemade olive garnish stuffed with miso, cream cheese and black olive crumb for an umami explosion.

Dirty Martini – Identity

Godfather: Improved & True

Reinvented with ingredients that did not exist at the time of its conception, progressive, homemade amaretto is combined with sweet akai umeshu, Empirical Spirits’ complex plum kernel spirit and smooth Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch for a sweet and salty alchemy.

Godfather – Identity

Cloudy Kangaroo: Natural Cocktails

A dry vodka martini that is left intentionally cloudy, the kangaroo is given a second life with the use of typically discarded byproducts. The use of sake kasu from sake production and strained soy curd with Haku Vodka, sherry and peach creates an aromatic tipple with fruity flavours.

Cloud Kangaroo – Identity

Super Lemon Highball: A Tribute to the Bar Community

A tribute to the bar community, created with the freezing technique invented by Iain McPherson of Panda & Sons, Edinburgh, freshly squeezed lemon juice is frozen to extract lemon water – combined with Hokkaido super soft water and Suntory World Whisky AO and blended with the maewari technique for 72 hours. The remaining lemon concentrate is then made into a fun lemon jelly garnish that everyone can enjoy.

Super Lemon Highball – Identity

If you find yourself in any of these cities this year, give these drinks and try. We’d love to know what you thought.

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