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<13th February, 2020 – Hong Kong>> The first speakeasy concept by award-winning mixologist John Nugent, The Diplomat has now opened in Hong Kong’s trendy lifestyle complex H Code, Central.
Presented with an opportunity to sit down and create his dream bar, Nugent envisioned an inviting place to share his passion for classic, reimagined cocktails and their history. This gradually paved the way for the 18-seat speakeasy that is The Diplomat – a high energy space to entertain parties, but also elusive enough for the cocktail enthusiast and small get togethers.
Introducing the Cocktails of The Diplomat
Stocking a range of small batch produced wines and vintage liquors, The Diplomat’s cocktail menu draws from the experience of influential state leaders, ambassadors, and historical figures.
Pearl (HK$95) is inspired by the late American socialite and renowned US Ambassador to Luxembourg Perle Reid Mesta. Known for her lavish parties for the political elite, Mesta was the inspiration behind the first ever Black Russian. Consisting of black coffee amaro, Campari, green chartreuse, pineapple, ginger, and almonds, this classic cocktail pairing vodka with coffee liqueur is elevated at The Diplomat, with a deceptively simple infusion of herbaceous and bitter elements for a sophisticated finish.
Tarling (HK$95) references the 20th Century cocktail, created by a British bartender after the famed train that travelled between Chicago and New York City and, as the story goes, carried diplomats on board. The Diplomat’s rendition pays tribute to William Tarling who first published the recipe and was coincidentally also a “diplomat” for bartenders, having been president of the United Kingdom Bartenders’ Guild. Pandan gin, white port, baking spice, clarified orange juice, and coconut juice make up the Tarling cocktail, which cleverly mimics the rich, nutty profile of chocolate by combining Asian specialties pandan and coconut.
Introducing the Snacks of The Diplomat
Rounding off the selection of original cocktails is a pub brasserie menu of snacks and hot dishes. The bar snacks will infuse ingredients distinctive to various cities and their cuisines to recreate familiar, nostalgic flavors. Highlights include a Suckling Pig Cubano, Black Truffle Mac & Cheese, and Pommes Frites with Espelette Pepper.
Whether for the expertly crafted cocktails, opened armed hospitality or whimsical ambiance, The Diplomat is a place where weary travellers can call home. Stepping inside, guests will find a bar experience befitting of the convivial personality of Hong Kong.
Interiors of The Diplomat
The Diplomat’s interiors are reminiscent of a cozy gastropub, featuring a curved exterior of speckled stone and tinted glass, sleek brown leather banquettes, motif ceiling tiles, and custom brass finishes. Eclectic artwork by trailblazers such as Ryan McGinley and Josh Sperling convey an exuberant mood while doubling as a prelude to the speakeasy’s contrasted spaces. Somewhere Place, a candid photograph by McGinley, depicts a surrealistic scene in cinematic, dream-like composition, and reflects the ambiance change across the room. Moving into the bar, guests may chance upon a mirror from “Friend”, Sperling’s latest collaboration with Case Studyo, which makes use of the artist’s iconic geometric shapes and vivid pop colors.
About The Diplomat
The first speakeasy concept by award-winning mixologist John Nugent, The Diplomat offers a cocktail experience befitting of the convivial personality of Hong Kong. The beverage menu features small batched produced wine, vintage liquors, and reimagined classic cocktails shaped by the legacy of influential state leaders, ambassadors, and historical figures. The Diplomat’s interiors are reminiscent of a cozy gastropub, and feature eclectic artwork by contemporary creatives that accentuate the speakeasy’s contrasted spaces. Whether for the expertly crafted cocktails, opened armed hospitality or whimsical ambiance, The Diplomat is a place where weary travelers can call home.
Contact The Diplomat
A: LG/F, High Block, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong
T: +852 3619-0302
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 6pm-late