Beijing is fast becoming an eclectic playground for cocktail enthusiasts. However, with fake alcohol and bad quality drinks sadly being an accompanying feature of the city’s bar scene, we decided to put together a guide that is guaranteed to lead you to delicious cocktails that are definitely a cut above average. So no matter of you’re taking someone on a date, socializing with friends or just in need of an after-work touch up, the cocktail bars below should definitely be on your port of call.
2F View In Map
2F is in the thick of it as far as the nightlife scene goes. On the second floor – as the name suggests – overlooking Nail Patio and next to 3.3 Shopping Centre this is a little cocktail haven. The cocktail philosophy at 2F is simple, that is ‘”keep it simple”. Since its opening in 2008 the emphasis at this fine establishment has been on classic cocktails done to perfection. Starting at 40 RMB the martini is probably 2F’s signature drink; prices go upwards of 60 RMB depending on what kind of gin or vodka you want in the blend; for example, 65 RMB will get you a classic martini with fine Tanquary gin thrown into the mix. A friendly “local” like atmosphere and skillfully crafted mixed drinks made with pride has made 2F one of Beijing’s most popular cocktail spots.
Add: North side of Tongli Studios, Sanlitun Back Street, No. 4, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6416 4549
Opening hours: 12:30-2:00
Fubar 福吧 View In Map
With a cunningly designed entrance hidden behind Stadium Dog, down in a basement accessible by the push of a button which activates a seemingly unlikely door, Fubar is one of Beijing’s lesser known cocktail treasures and possibly the only bar with bond villain lair-esque architectural features. Upper mid priced cocktails are the order of the day in this fashionable and design conscious underground lair for the city’s hip and beautiful. Getting down to the cocktail nitty gritty: Fubar’s most popular cocktail is its OId Fashioned, a whisky based classic (60RMB). Other popular shaken, stirred, twisted, crushed and splashed tipples include their ‘Sex in the Hot Tub’ with imported Australian vodka which is nowhere else to be found in the city, Fubar’s exotic twist on the Latin, fantastic Mojito, the Mango Mojito and the good old reliable Martini.
Add: Gongti Dongmen 10-11, behind Stadium Dog, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6546 8364
Opening hours: 14:00-02:00
Apothecary 酒术 View In Map
Apothecary is said by some to be the maker of Beijing’s Rolls Royce’s of cocktails, with not many of their hefty price tagged house mixes on offer weighing in at below the 70 RMB mark. With a New York bar theme and an obsession with the details of mixology, Apothecary’s beverages are ones which are indulged in by those that truly appreciate the finer things in life. Proof of this is evident for example, in the Chocolate City cocktail named after a parliament album; the funky concoction contains valrhona cocoa nib-mascerated Diplomatico Anejo rum (no less), Aperol, Grand Marnier and cherry vanilla bitters and costs 70 RMB. Apothecary’s Metropolitan includes the following hooch lovers delights of Smirnoff Red Label, crème de cases , Cointreau , lime juice , syrup, lemon twist. All, of course, blended to perfection and similarly costing 70 RMB. Literature in a glass case next to the front door of Apothecary proclaims its success to be down to a number of elements, these include: ice (apparently this a vital but these days a neglected element of mixology), fresh natural ingredients, house made bitters and tinctures as well as constant change and evolution. Who are we to argue with them?
Add: 3/F, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Beilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 5208 6040
Opening hours: 18:00-late
Alfa 阿尔法 View In Map
Alfa touts itself as a restaurant/lounge/super club. This might be a bit of an ambitious claim, but one thing we do know is that it serves as a fantastic cocktail lounge. Ambient lit booths with comfortable suspend benches and a truly exclusive feel; it is the perfect place to take a date and to enjoy a nibble and a mid priced cocktail. Alfa cocktails don't venture out of the ordinary but are nicely made and won't break the piggy bank (too much). Popular staples include Mai Tais, Pina Coladas and Manhattans all at 45 RMB. Those planning on pushing the boat out can try a classic long island ice tea at just 50 RMB and can be counting on seeing doubles or triples of everything should they carry on drinking those devilish concoctions.
Add: 6 Xingfu Yicun, Opposite Workers Stadium north gate, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6413 0086
Opening hours: 11:00-late
Q BarView In Map
Q Bar is one of Beijing’s cocktail fraternity's stars. With an ultra cool open plan bar with one of the longest bars in the city, snazzy red decor that is minimal but does not feel at all cold it is definitely one of the main contenders should you be considering an evening of cocktails. The smart attentive friendly staff at Q Bar takes pride in their cocktails and each beverage they serve up seems to be poured, mixed and stirred in a loving way with the utmost care and attention. Stars of the cocktail menu include the Hendricks gin and tonic at 70 RMB as well as the frozen daiquiris at 65 RMB. Other highlights can be found on Martini Wednesdays 18:00-23:00 on which delights such as the raspberry martini and white chocolate martini are on offer at a very reasonable 35rmb each.
Add: 6/F, Eastern Hotel, Corner of Sanlitun Nanlu and Gongti Nanlu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区三里屯南路和工体南路交接口, 朝阳医院东门逸羽酒店6层
Tel: 010 6595 9239
Opening hours: 18:00-14:00
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Keywords: beijing’s best cocktail bars Beijing cocktail guide cocktail bars Beijing beijing cocktail
I have to say that there's NO really serious competition to the quality of the Apothecary. Ask for their back-room cocktail menu; they make the most amazing things. Being a connoisseur I dare say that I have never in Asia found a mai-tai this good. Mind you, it's the REAL Trader Vic's original, with house orgeat and all - not the average touristy one with fruit juices! These guys are totally pro and take great pride in what they're doing. Ask for Carl, one of their best Chinese bartenders. As for the price, please note that, yes, it goes go up to 70-75 for each cocktail, but unlike most other joints they carry original imported liqueur only, none of the Chinese fake brands. It's worth every penny. A must-visit for the appreciator of real cocktails!
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