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56-58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

By Sam Bygrave

Step into Quinary and any suggestion that cocktails in Hong Kong are just for expats is quickly dispelled — there are locals at all quarters of the bar. You might see a row of suits at the bar, couples hanging back in the banquettes and, inevitably, more than a few guests with smartphones at the ready for the perfect #drinkporn shot. They’re all here to be wowed by the creations set before them.

Quinary is indeed an Instagrammable bar. The ’tenders will toy with your senses, turn the drinks over, test them and take them apart before reassembling them in a more interesting, flavoursome (and sometimes unexpected) way.

All the trappings of a more avant-garde or, dare we say it, a more molecular mixological bent are there (though co-owner Antonio Lai prefers the term ‘multisensory’). Yes, the rotovap gets a good work out, and Lai and his team set the centrifuges spinning for clarification techniques, make handy use of foams and carbonation, and tinker with different ways of delivering flavour (little ice spheres made with coconut water give an extra tropical hit to the Jax Colada).

But it’s not just about the drinks. Lai’s the type to not only provide a guest with suggestions for other bars to visit (you’ll of course be recommended to visit sister bar, Ori-Gin), but also walk you up the road and show you the next bar, before walking in with you and introducing you to the bartender. That’s hospitality.