In no particular order
1. Glenfiddich 40 year old: Blended with whiskies from Grant’s 1920s and 1930s vats, this special Glenfiddich was sweet, smooth and very long in taste. We sampled this recently at Constellation Bar, together with another dozen or so whisky fanatics, the bottle being one of only 600 bottles in the world. Estimated retail price for this very special Scotch, according to the Constellation manager, would be about RMB3000 per dram!
2. Crown Lager: This is our favourite Australian beer and is now available at many pubs in Shanghai, courtesy of Just Beer. A case of 24 bottles costs RMB324.
3. Our first pint of Guinness after 3 months in hospital.
4. ‘Stormin Norman’: A very special cocktail using a Russian Standard vodka base, with lots of basil and mint, served on crushed ice, shaken rather than stirred.
5. Hendrick’s G&T: Like a regular G&T, but using Hendrick’s gin from Scotland. Best served with a large, thin cucumber slice in the glass.
6-7. Mai Tai (The Old Way) and Tortuga: Only available at Trader Vics. We’re not really into cocktails, but these two special drinks are potent and rather fruity, and exceptionally palatable in warmer weather. We take the Tortuga in a barrel, not a glass.
8. Donnafugata, ‘Mille E Una’, 2004, Sicily. A fantastic, big-bodied red wine ideal with red meats. Retails from ASC just over RMB900/bottle. We indulged in it at Martini Bar on the Bund where they were selling it at RMB90/glass, until they realised they were pouring me the top-of-the-range Donnafugata, instead of a much cheaper one they also had on their wine list. Price for the ‘Mille e Una’ bottle at Martini Bar was actually RMB1800.
9. Pedroncelli merlot 2002, Sonoma County, USA. Made from 88% merlot and 12% cabernet franc grapes, this merlot is full of spice and blackberry flavours, with pleasant toasty oak finish. Fantastic! Tasted at a Sashas Friday wine buffet.
10. The Macallan 18 year old whisky, in sherry oak cask. The colder weather recently has encouraged us to enjoy a few tipples of this lovely sherried whisky. Selling for about RMB1000/bottle in Shanghai, it is fetching much higher prices in Europe where stocks have almost run out. One bar in Switzerland is reportedly selling it for 50 Euros (RMB500) a shot!
LOUNGE 18 (4F,18 on the Bund): This large space is superbly furnished with lots of sofas, tables and chairs, plus large windows with excellent Bund views. Things go downhill from there. There’s a pokey bar and probably the smallest drinks list we’ve ever seen. For beer drinkers there is the ubiquitous Heikenen or Tsingtao priced at a massive RMB60; For wine drinkers, a glass of run-of-the-mill Jacob’s Creek (either shiraz or chardonnay) is priced at a wallet-gouging RMB89! You cocktail drinkers won’t fare any better: there’s a choice of Mojito or Cosmo (at RMB60 or 70) …and that’s all folks! Any entrepreneurs wanting to open a Bund drinking spot should wait for this place to go under, then pick up the pieces and do something effective with this first class location.
SHANGHAI MALT WHISKY CLUB: Whisky lovers should note the existence of the Shanghai Malt Whisky Club. Meetings are held every month or so at a member’s home, and everyone is required to bring a bottle of Scottish single malt for group consumption and discussion. The next meeting will be held on 20th January, 2008 where participants will also be asked to recite any poem by Robbie Burns. For further information, please e-mail: mark(@)maltclub.com
HAPPY DRINKING AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Photo from Simple Dolphin
Winopete is Shanghaiist’s resident drunkard. Email tips, recommendations, news and gossip about Shanghai’s bar scene to drink at shanghaiist dot com.