Flint Grill & Bar: Pioneering Hong Kong’s Farm to Glass Trend Award-winning cocktail specialist Bryson Rivera inspires his team to seek unusual ingredients for their latest creations
The latest trend for artisanal, farm-fresh cocktails has arrived in Hong Kong, challenging the city’s greatest to reach back to the land for new recipes. Hong Kong’s sophisticated Flint Grill & Bar is pioneering the movement by combining robust vegetable flavours and seasonal fruit with classic spirits for cocktail creations that are sure to be the talk of the town.
Award-winning cocktail specialist Bryson Rivera is a local legend for his creativity and relentless pursuit of the next big thing. He has led the team behind the bar to seek inspiration from Hong Kong’s symphony of sensory experiences, from the savoury scents of market spices to the fast-moving clouds of a Hong Kong typhoon. The resulting cocktail menu is an instagrammer’s heaven, including dramatic cocktails made with cotton candy clouds, rose-scented carbon dioxide and a garden’s-worth of fresh herbs. His latest concept pioneers such unusual ingredients as beetroot, baby corn, asparagus and thyme.
The farm to glass concept is rooted in the locavore movement, sending chefs and baristas alike to their local markets in search of natural, local ingredients to feature in their recipes. At Flint, this trend takes on an exciting new edge by introducing the alchemy of balanced flavours from an ingredient list so unusual that each cocktail promises the ultimate craft experience: a completely new combination of flavours, balanced to perfection. Each recipe starts with a heathy base of pure vegetable or fruit. From there, Bryson and his team experiment by pairing the fresh produce with other flavours and textures, building layer upon layer until the finished drink is completed.
Flint Grill & Bar –cocktail specialist Bryson Rivera
For me, the farm to glass concept isn’t about just preparing cocktails with vegetables or fruits; it’s about sourcing the freshest ingredients from the best reliable suppliers,” Bryson explains. “I like to challenge the team by starting with unusual vegetable ingredients, like baby corn and yellow pepper. We then look to present these ingredients in completely new ways, like making a green asparagus foam, or rose-scented carbon dioxide.”
Guests new to vegetable-based cocktails should start with the One Way to Paloma (HKD128), with sweet, earthy beetroot that accentuates and mellows the Casamigos Reposado Tequila. Flint’s alchemic study of balance comes into play with every sip: the drink begins with a rich sweetness that is brought to a peppery peak and soothed by the smooth tequila. A baby corn garnish completes the cocktail, adding a satisfying crunch and unique lightness to the drink’s composition.
Flint’s West End Market (HKD128) cocktail recreates the image of a Polynesian woman carrying produce to market, with ingredients that evoke the lightness and freshness of a summer afternoon. Bryson uses Martell VSOP with a homemade raspberry-thyme cordial, and balances vibrant carrot juice with pasteurized egg white and Chinese bitters with notes of Szechuan pepper.
Flint’s latest series also includes the Louisiana Creole (HKD 118), with Appleton estate VX and yellow bell pepper, and the Spiced up the Turkey’s Nest (HKD108), with Wild Turkey 81, pumpkin, egg white and bitters. Flint’s Brazilian Nectar (HKD118) revitalizes the role of the tomato, with cachaça, yellow tomato and rhubarb bitters. The Cooling Cups (HKD108) cocktail with Tito’s vodka harnesses the green freshness of coriander, and An Exotic Bloom (HKD118) features Bloom gin alongside asparagus, tamarind, and ginger ale, garnished with emerald asparagus foam.
Guests looking to be surprised and delighted by unusual new ingredients and photo-worthy presentations should head to Flint Grill & Bar for a taste of the newest trends in craft cocktails.