Shanghai: Cocktail Time
The megacity’s bar landscape is flourishing, but it can be dizzying to the uninitiated. We’ve curated the best places to unwind and enjoy China’s liveliest city for a night out...
100 CENTURY AVENUE
The Park Hyatt's sky bar could be the most lavish drinking spot in the city. Travel 91 storeys into the air at the Shanghai World Financial Center (aka ‘the bottle opener’) to enjoy dinner or drinks with uninterrupted views of Pudong and the Lujiazui district. Take a seat after dark to admire a glistening Shanghai while sipping on a fig and cinnamon-infused vodka martini — one of the bar's signature offerings.
THE FAIRMONT PEACE HOTEL JAZZ BAR
If you're more of a low-key kind of drinker, head to Fairmont Peace Hotel, an Art Deco masterpiece that resides gracefully on The Bund. The hotel was established in 1926 by Sir Victor Sassoon, whose favourite cocktail, the Conte Verde, is available at the bar — a fresh concoction of 1934 gin, Cointreau, dry vermouth, crème de menthe and lemon juice. The resident jazz band, comprising six veteran musicians whose average age is 82, whisk you back to the 1920s and ’30s.
At Speak Low — which claimed the No. 2 spot in Asia’s Best Bars for 2017 — adventure is not only found within the inventive drinks list, but in physically locating the secret venue. Behind a slide-away bookcase in a cocktail equipment store is a dark, moody, almost all-timber bar serving a long list of ingenious cocktails. To start off, try the eponymous Speak Low, which fuses Bacardi, Pedro Ximenez sherry and matcha.
UNION TRADING COMPANY BAR
Austin Hu and Yao Lu form an expert bartending team. The duo's creations are inspired by the seasons, but one that has endured the test of time is the Dead Man’s Gun — single malt, blended scotch, Benedictine, honey and spices. Sink into the casual surroundings where style and service come hand-in-hand.
FLAIR ROOFTOP RESTAURANT BAR
Flair stands out because of its outlook. On the 58th floor of The Ritz-Carlton is a split-level outdoor terrace, which offers sensational views of the Oriental Pearl Tower. Request the off-menu Flair in the Cloud, an ever-changing mystery cocktail crafted by resident mixologist, YK Chen.
100 Century Avenue - 100 Century Ave, Lujiazui; https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/china/park-hyatt-shanghai/shaph
Fairmont Peace Hotel Jazz Bar - 20 Nanjing Rd East, Huangpu district; www.fairmont.com/peace-hotel-shanghai
Speak Low - 579 Fuxing Middle Rd, Huangpu district
Union Trading Company Bar - 64 Fenyang Lu, Xuhui district
Flair Rooftop Restaurant Bar - 8 Shiji Da Dao, Lujiazui; www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/china/shanghai-pudong
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