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night talk:
Wine, Cocktails & Clubs, Oh My!

The Social

What: URBN Hotel’s revitalised cocktail lounge

Why: One of the best aperitif lounges in the city

How much: New twists on classics RMB 75, whiskey and rum concoctions RMB 90

Where: 4F, URBN Hotel, 183 Jiaozhou Lu, near Beijing Xi Lu. Tel: 5172 1300

Month by month, the cocktail scene in Shanghai continues to get better and better. Opened at the beginning of winter, The Social is URBN Hotel’s revitalised fourth floor watering hole. This tiny lounge in the heart of Jing’an – more than 25 people would feel crowded – serves up excellent artisan cocktails with a focus on fresh ingredients. As well as inspiring rethinks on a few classics, the bar also has a decent selection of whiskey and Champagne.

Designed by Crystal McConchie from Bacardi, the cocktail menu strives to “push all the boundaries within the glass”; it is noticeably short with no descriptions under the vaguely titled drink names. Done on purpose in order to encourage customer interaction with the bar staff, The Social wants an opportunity to discuss their farm-to-table approach to cocktail creation. Our very large, strong and tasty Shanghai Buck – rum, organic ginger beer, cranberry juice and fresh lime – was a testament to their ambition.

The space itself is a nice mixture of dark woods, grey brickwork, marble, dim lighting, comfortable seating and some bamboo thrown in for good measure. In warmer months, the lounge will be able to make use of a tiny balcony as well. Open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 7pm until late, the lounge hosts private events on its two nights off.


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