Shaken Not Stirred: New Cocktail Bars in Beijing

Shaken Not Stirred: New Cocktail Bars in Beijing

Beijing’s life cycle is one of destruction and renewal. One day the familiar little hutong you walked past every day is still bustling with life, the next day it’s turned into a heap of rubble and on the third day you find yourself glaring at a new, colossal department store. Okay, while the time frame is a bit exaggerated the moral of the story is not. Things come and go at a dizzying pace in China’s capital, and with so many new bars opening daily, it’s extremely easy to fall out the loop. Below is an introduction to recent bar openings in Beijing that serve intoxicatingly good cocktails.

D Lounge

D Lounge Beijing

This trendy new addition to Beijing’s glamorous bar scene makes you feel like you’re sitting in an Upper East Side lounge bar in Manhattan. And indeed, the bar’s decor and design is modeled after the backstreet lounges of major cities like New York and Tokyo. The six metre high ceilings and bare, brick walls add an arty touch and industrial feel to the bar, which partially explains why it has quickly become a magnet for the city’s trendy, young hipsters. Meanwhile, the bar is almost reminiscent of an altar, worshipping not some kind of God, but the majestic alcohol bottles and barmen whose powers combined serve expertly made cocktails. Colourful seating and lampshades add a touch of coziness to an otherwise converted factory/church like interior.

In terms of location D Lounge manages to dodge to gaudiness of nearby Nanjie and Sanlitun Bar Street as masterfully as their fresh fruit martinis. Centrally located and within walking distance of a whole array of other bars and clubs, D Lounge seems set to become a popular fixture in the bar-hopping circuit. The bar serves an excellent selection of tasty cocktails. Standing out above the rest is the rum martini with orange, Campari Mojito or the Saketini, all 50-60 RMB. The bar currently has a dress code to preserve its upscale reputation which inevitably invites an air of pretentiousness, but as long as the cocktails are good I don’t think those who are left in will be complaining anytime soon.

D LoungeView In Map
Add: Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区工体北路4号
Tel: 010 6593 7710
Opening Hours: 18:00-late

Though apothecary also serves Creole food, the bar’s main draw is its choice of sublime cocktails expertly mixed by experienced barmen trained in Japanese-style mixology. That, combined with its warm, relaxing ambience has ensured that since it’s brief existence in Beijing’s thriving bar scene, Apothecary has already won a devout following and outstanding reputation. Beijing barman Leon Lee and Max Levy, executive chef at Bei are the masterminds behind the establishment. Currently featuring over 50 classic American drinks using imported or home brewed tonics, the bar seems well on route to achieving its desired aim: namely to provide quality cocktails that will draw people back time and time again. The owners hope to expand the menu regularly so as to achieve an extensive drinks list with hundreds of top quality cocktails in the future. Most drinks are priced at 55 RMB per glass, an average price for an excellent venue. Comfortable, unassuming and masterfully mixed drinks, Apothecary is set to become one of the main forerunners in Beijing’s cocktail bar scene.

ApothecaryView In Map
Add: D302, 3 F, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Beilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 5208 6040
Opening Hours: 18:00-late (Tue-Sat)

Fubar Peking 福吧

Here’s a refreshing change; a bar that recreates the vibe of a bygone era as opposed to the oft excessively futuristic, neon-lit dens that are all too plentiful in China. Fubar is Beijing’s first self-proclaimed “speak-easy”, and with its “secret” location, sleek red and black decor and vintage jazz tunes it comes pretty close. The entrance to the bar is hidden behind a grey faux brick wall in the back of Stadium Dogs. To the right of the wall you’ll see a light switch that must be pressed in order for the walls to slide back.

The bar’s main attraction however is its impeccable choice of mixed drinks. The more simple drinks like gin tonic cost 30 RMB, but the real highlights are the more exquisite cocktails with a matching theme to boot. The most interesting has got to be the “Fu-Manchu” cocktail (60 RMB), which is composed of vodka, rum, tequila, amaretto and juices, served in a mug depicting the villain of the Fu-Manchu classics, which by the way can be brought home for a little extra. However, the question is, can another bar match the wicked cocktail the way Nayland Smith manages to defeat Fu Manchu? Watch this space.

Fubar PekingView In Map
Add: Gongti East Gate 10-11, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区工体东门10-11
Tel: 010 6546 8364
Opening hours: 14:00-2:00 (Sun-Thurs), 14:00-4:00 (weekends)

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