Alcohol Monogamy: Enjoying Shanghai’s Specialised Bars

Alcohol Monogamy: Enjoying Shanghai’s Specialised Bars

A sure sign of Shanghai’s maturing bar and nightlife scene is the growing number of successful bars that are choosing to specialise in just one type of spirit or beverage. We all know the result of mixing liquors, beer and wine all in one night, so why not stick to just one? The options are greater than ever now, though it may not be easy to stop at just one glass. From fancy new whisky bars to brewery mainstays, here’s where to tipple the night away when you’ve got just one thing on your mind.

1) Craft-Vodka View In Map
Attracting a full house of hip young expats on the weekend (for now at least), Craft puts vodka center stage with a range of specialty cocktails and re-imagined classics. The location isn’t obvious, so look for the revelers coming out of the all-you-can-drink teppanyaki by the Donghu Hotel, then climb the stairs. Depending on the evening, the house DJ may be cranking up the noise level, so it’s not the place for long, intimate conversations. If you’re into vodka, however, this may be your new favourite place.

Add: Donghu Hotel South Wing, 7 Donghu Lu (above Cinderella KTV), Xuhui District, Shanghai
地址: 上海市徐汇区东湖路7号,东湖宾馆西翼
Tel: 139 1798 5763

2) The Brew/Boxing Cat– Beer
Beer lovers finally have a solid option in Pudong thanks to the opening of the new Kerry Hotel on the edge of Century Park, its signature restaurant, The Meet, and the bar next door, The Brew. Brought in from New Zealand, Leon Mickelson has painstakingly crafted a range of beers to suit a variety of beer lovers, including a rotating seasonal ale. He’s even got a hard cider if someone in the party isn’t down for beer. If you can’t decide, just go for the paddle, which gives a healthy-sized sample of the range of small-batch beers at a bargain of just 70 RMB. 

As always, those in Puxi have the Boxing Cat Brewery, which late last year expanded into Sinan Mansions, just south of Fuxing Park. The new branch has a bit more space, with better flow and room for private functions as well, making it a great after-work dinner and beer spot. If you’re sick of another Carlsberg happy hour, Boxing Cat won’t disappoint.

The BrewView In Map
Add: The Kerry Hotel, 1388 Huamu Lu, near Fangdian Lu, Pudong New District, Shanghai
地址: 上海市浦东新区花木路1388号, 近芳甸路
Tel: 6169 8888

The Boxing Cat (main)View In Map
Add: 82 Fuxing Xi Lu, near Yongfu Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai
地址: 上海市徐汇区复兴西路82号, 近永福路
Tel: 6431 2091

The Boxing Cat (Sinan Mansions branch)View In Map
Add: Sinan Mansions, Unit 26A, 519 Fuxing Zhong Lu, near Sinan Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai 
地址: 思南公馆26A, 上海市徐汇区复兴中路519号, 近思南路
Tel: 6426 0360

3) Malt Fun- WhiskyView In Map
Tucked away from the main Yongfu Lu bar street, Malt Fun surely boasts the widest selection of whisky of any bar in Shanghai, and perhaps China, with more than 150 brands, from Scottish single malts to rare, 500 RMB/glass pours. With a snazzy, brand new interior that is low lit and relatively quiet, yet spacious and with VIP private rooms, there is something for every whisky aficionado. Waiters have iPads, which actually may just make sense in low-lit bars where waiters with flashlights are more common. With the weekend craziness of Yongfu Lu, Malt Fun is a quick retreat for a bit more of a civilised experience. It’s also within walking distance of Shanghai Library metro stop on line 10, though you’re more likely to see people arriving in a Rolls Royce. 

Add: 123 Hunan Lu, near Yongfu Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai
地址: 上海市徐汇区湖南路123号,近永福路
Tel: 6212 8728

4) Rhumerie Bounty - Rum
The tried and true combination of pirates and rum is proving to be a growing Shanghai sensation. Starting in the Jing’an District and then expanding to Yongfu Lu, the team’s next effort will be in Sinan Mansions. Expected in October 2011 with more of a focus on food (we’re not sure what pirates eat either), the new location will not be without Rhumerie Bounty’s signature infused rums. Order a small bottle with shot glasses and a bucket of shaved iced, then toast your friends for a long, prosperous life with plentiful booty. Our favourites are coffee, ginger and cinnamon. For a Chinese twist, get yangmei (red bayberry). Pro tip: Order a bottle of cinnamon and mix with ginger ale for an addictive, off-menu cocktail.

Yongfu Lu branchView In Map
Add: 1F, 47 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai
地址:上海市徐汇区永福路47号, 近复兴西路
Tel: 2661 9368

Wuding Lu banchView In Map
Add: 550 Wuding Lu, near Xikang Lu, Jing’an District, Shanghai
Tel: 2661 936

5) Mokkos- ShochuView In Map
From the cozy low tables to the friendly bartender (and fancy toilet), it’s all about the little touches here. This quaint bar feels a bit like drinking in your living room. But not everyone can have a wall full of imported Korean Shochu at home though, or a bartender that will patiently explain to you the wide range of offerings. Ask for the citrus cocktails for an easy introduction to the powerful spirit.

Add: 1245 Wuding Xi Lu, near Wanhangdu Lu, Jing’an District, Shanghai
地址: 上海市静安区武定西路1245号, 近万航渡路
Tel: 6212 1114

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Keywords: craft alcohol in Shanghai Vodka bars in Shanghai specialized bars in Shanghai pirate themed bar in Shanghai


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