Layla has quickly established itself as one of the premier cocktail bars in Ho Chi Minh City. Along the 11-metre long bar sit jars of fresh botanicals — herbs, spices and berries — that go into Layla’s acclaimed cocktails. Grown men gush here over Raspberry Cardinals, Kiwi Basil Delights and Salted Caramel Espressos. For a cocktail, expect to pay around VND160,000 (US$7-8) or VND95,000 (US$4) during Happy Hour between 5pm to 8pm Monday to Saturday.

Licky Tiki Mai Tai. Photo: Bao Zoan

Try the macho-sounding Viking Funeral made from Grey Goose vodka, peach liqueur, freshly-squeezed passionfruit juice, a dash of sugar syrup and a passionfruit “boat” doused in absinthe and then set alight.

Photo: Bao Zoan

Or embrace the tropics with the Licky Tiki Mai Tai, a chest-beating cocktail served in a chilled tiki vessel with a burning sugar cube floating on top before being extinguished beneath a concoction of Bacardi Superior rum, Bacardi ORO rum, orange curacao, infused orgeat, freshly pressed lime, black walnut bitters and crushed ice. If that doesn’t get you on your knees, nothing will. 

Photo: Bao Zoan

Where: 2nd floor, 63 Dong Du (opposite the Sheraton Hotel), District 1, HCMC