Hunting for the Best Rooftop Bars

 

Excelsior Restaurant
Excelsior Restaurant offers alfresco dining with exhilarating views of Victoria Harbor and the stunning Hong Kong skyline.

 

The Excelsior, Hong Kong: 

Mandarin Oriental’s chic hotel has alfresco dining with exhilarating views of Victoria Harbor and stunning Hong Kong skyline from its 34th floor, where its TOTT’s and Roof Terrace offers a combination of indoor and outdoor dining. There’s also a private dining room for eight.

Sunday Brunch (views included) with live jazz is a major event here; how can you go wrong with free-flowing champagne? 

But we say any time is a good time to visit the Roof Terrace, which is open to guests and non-guests of the hotel. Classic and contemporary cocktails are served here, accompanied by music played by a live band. We managed to get hold of the most popular cocktail recipe, called the “Shakerato.” Want to try this one at home? Here’s the 411:

Cocktail: Shakerato

China Moon Roof Terrace
China Moon Roof Terrace has views of the twin domes of Munich Cathedral.

Rum shaken with fresh mint leaves, lemon juice, brown sugar cane and Angostura bitters. This cocktail is served with a shooter of champagne on the side. The idea is that the guest will drink the champagne first, followed by the cocktail, which will bring a more refreshing taste to the palate. The recipe includes eight pieces of mint leaves, two spoons of cassonade, one drop of Angostura bitters, 50 ml of white rum, 25 ml of lemon juice, 15 ml of simple syrup and a dash of egg white.

Mandarin Oriental, Munich:

This hotel gives guests a taste of the high life with a decidedly Asian twist on its China Moon Roof Terrace. If you like hot bars that are slightly under the radar, this is the place for you, especially, if you’re into imbibing with 360-degree views of the city at your feet—including the twin domes of the Munich Cathedral to the mountains in the distance. P.S.: Non-guests of the hotel are welcome, so feel free to put this on your bar-hopping agenda for the evening.

The bar, open during the summer months, has a chic design, thanks to its pool-and-garden setting, complemented by cushy orange cushions and potted plants.

The tastings here are worth a try (think Asian, Mediterranean and Arabic delicacies on the menu), but we personally cannot wait to try the top drink in the house, called the “Spicy Japan.”

Cocktail: Spicy Japan

Pound fresh chili in a glass and add 50 ml of shochu, 30 ml of yuzu juice and 30 ml of ginger liqueur and shake well. Pour the drink through a strainer into the glass with ice and add a splash of Thomas Henry ginger beer. Decorate the drink with a fresh chili.

La Cigale, Doha:

La Cigale’s Sky View bar
La Cigale’s Sky View bar, perched on the 15th floor, shows off all of Doha and its West Bay.

This member of The Leading Hotels of the World has a Sky View bar 15 floors up, showing off views of all of Doha and its West Bay. Stop by this Middle Eastern retreat if you’re game for some cool house music that draws a smart mix of stylish locals and hotel guests, but be sure you’re over 21 and have a valid ID or passport. The entire vibe will make you feel you’re in one of the city’s hippest spots. We say what we’d enjoy most while snacking on some light fare is our favorite cocktail of all time, and the most popular one at La Cigale, to boot.

Cocktail: Cosmopolitan

Take 15 ml orange-infused vodka, 15 ml vanilla-infused vodka; 30 ml cranberry juice and 10 ml sweet-and-sour syrup. All of the above beverages are placed in a shaker with ice. Once chilled, they are poured into a martini glass.

The Marker Hotel, Dublin

New to Dublin, this hotel, also a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, rises above the Dublin Docklands, one of the most vibrant cultural hubs of the city. Its rooftop lounge opens this month to the public with views of the city and the sea. Open year-round, the lounge (which also has indoor seating) serves up food with locally sourced ingredients, as well as artisan beers from Irish craft brewers. But if you really want to unwind atop The Marker, we suggest you go with its signature cocktail—the Bourbon Blush.

Cocktail: Bourbon Blush

Take 45 ml (2 shots) of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, 34 ml (¾ shot) crème de fraise, 11 ml (¼ shot) Canadian maple syrup, 3 fresh strawberries. Muddle strawberries in a mixing glass. Add all other ingredients and shake well. Fine strain into a pre-chilled martini glass.

 

The Marker Hotel
The Marker Hotel opens its rooftop lounge to the public this month.

 

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