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Around the world in six cocktails

01-13 11:14 TimeOut Beijing
Like all daiquiris, it’s a simple formula: rum, sweetener and a touch of citrus. A heavy pour of Jamaican dark rum (naturally) makes the base of the Kingston.

If you're feeling a little glum from all those beachside Snapchats your friends on holiday keep sending you, we've got just the remedy for your winter blues. Take a trip around the world without ever leaving the city limits, one exotic cocktail at a time from some of Beijing's best watering holes.

It really is a small world, after all.


Insa-dong Scandal (South Korea)

Korean restaurant Saveur de Corée’s Bamboo Bar takes it local with the Insa-dong Scandal.

Named after a 2009 South Korean thriller drama, this drink has an understated, toasted, nutty flavour that comes from genmai-infused (brown rice) soju. It’s a flavour profile fitting for a neighbourhood that exudes the most traditional and rustic charms in Seoul.

Floral, fruity notes from white wine and a twist of lime give the Insa-dong Scandal a multi-dimensional character. Who doesn’t like upgrading their wine with an extra dash of the strong stuff?


Kashgar Express (China)

The Kashgar Express will transport your taste buds straight to the capital of Xinjiang – and no, it’s not got cumin.

In fact, this rum-based long drink gets its Central Asian flavour from the house-made jujube (Chinese red date) syrup. A citrus twist from splashes of grapefruit and lime juices brightens the otherwise deep, rich character of this signature drink.

We advise stopping by from 6-8pm, where happy hour at Okra gets you two for one. Ideally, we’d like this stuff through an IV drip. It’s addictive.


Cucumber Goes to Moscow (Russia)

Presented in a beaker with a festive candy cane-striped straw, this stellar riff on a Moscow mule is fresh off of Migas’ dynamite new cocktail menu.

Head mixologist Francesco Angotti smashes fresh cucumber and fresh ginger, then adds a base of Ketel One vodka, a splash of simple syrup, and a final finish of ginger ale. We didn’t think that a Moscow mule could get any fresher, but now here’s Migas blowing our expectations once again.

Perfect for sipping on impossibly long Russian summer evenings when the sun never seems to set.


Perfect Manhattan (USA)

The Perfect Manhattan at d lounge is one of a trio of Manhattans on the bar’s new menu (sweet and dry are the other options).

What makes the Perfect Manhattan so perfect? It’s Evan Williams bourbon with equal parts of both dry and sweet vermouth from top-tier producer Dolin in France’s Chambery region. Topped off with a dash of bitters and a traditional maraschino liqueur-infused cherry (luxurious and dark like mahogany), it’s a drink that’ll put you right on a rooftop in Brooklyn looking out over the skyline of all skylines.


Kingston (Jamaica)

Hop a flight to Jamaica’s capital on the Kingston, one of the house cocktails from small hutong bar Mas.

Like all daiquiris, it’s a simple formula: rum, sweetener and a touch of citrus. A heavy pour of Jamaican dark rum (naturally) makes the base of the Kingston. It’s topped off with an East Indian splash of cardamom syrup to lay those spice notes on thick, and a squeeze of lime juice to keep it tropical. It’s a super refreshing drink year-round.


Lost in Thailand (Thailand)

There are worst places to be lost.

Knock back a few of these at Mai’s Monday evening three-for-twodeal and you’ll feel like you’re blazing trails through the junglesof Chiangmai. It’s a jumble of Southeast Asian flavours – coconut, lemongrass, ginger – anchored by a lime leaf-infused rum.

This is not a drink for the faint of heart. Expect a robust chilli kick to really disorient you (in a good way, we promise).

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