After the saketini, what next? Chances are, the next Asian cocktail to tantalize international taste buds will be Chineseat least if top Hong Kong mixologist Jackie Ho has anything to do with it. Working the bar at the city's chic Yun Fu restaurant, tel: (852) 2116 8855, Ho concocts nuanced, heady tipples from ingredients like yellow rice wine and ginseng liquor. Alone, the spirits can feel almost hazardously strong and bitterbut swirled with cassis or Cointreau, or bejeweled with Thai dragon chilies, their subtleties become clear. Ho's lighter drinks eschew the molar-rotting sweetness of the lychee liquors that are perhaps the only Chinese spirits to have made headway among younger drinkers overseas; instead, you can expect flavors of osmanthus flower, golden passion fruit and plump mandarin, tempered with things like coffee beans, tiny curls of mint and even the occasional dried seahorse. (And you thought mezcal worms were unusual.) Don't forget to try Ho's homemade preserved-plum liquora rum-based drink with a complex bite that conjures up licorice and cocoa.
If Hong Kong's not on the horizon, you can find almost all of Yun Fu's liquors and wines at Chinese grocers abroad. Or better still, get hold of some Baojing by calling its U.S. importers on tel: (1) 212 473 1100. This new baijiu (or grain spirit) is aged in terracotta pots and then filtered through 168 carats of diamonds. Try it neat or in cocktails like the Diamond Martini and the 8 Carat Cosmo. How's that for a taste of China's newfound potency?