J.Boroski is a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an. The entrance-way is hidden and there is no menu.

The Talent

J.Boroski is the creative masterpiece of New Yorker Joseph Boroski, a celebrity bartender, beverage consultant, bar owner, and hospitality trainer. The original J.Boroski opened in Bangkok in 2013 and Hong Kong opened in 2016. Shanghai is the third location.

J.Boroski is a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.

Heading up Shanghai is Mark Lloyd, an award-winning bartender from Scotland. Mark has four years with J.Boroski in Bangkok, has a degree in chemistry (explains his prowess with mad-science infusions), and has experience as a distiller and bar consultant.

Bartender Mark Lloyd at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Mark Lloyd

The Space & Mystifying Location

The company line alludes that the address is undisclosed and entry through the hidden doorway is invitation-only. That said, the entrance is on Fumin Lu, a black door that leads up to the second-floor bar.

J.Boroski is a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
J.Boroski is a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.

A long mahogany bar makes its home in the chamber. Affixed on the walls and ceiling are shiny rows of horned beetles, and gleaming on the opposite wall are gigantic spiders encased in glass—all part of the J.Boroski signature look.

There are two private rooms, The Chamber, hidden behind the panel, and The Butterfly Room, towards the end of the bar. 

J.Boroski is a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Entrance to one of the private rooms, The Chamber
J.Boroski is a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
The Chamber

The Drinks and The Process

The bar’s calling card is that it does not have a menu, dubbing their bespoke drinks as a “cocktail concierge service,” and tailors each drink to the guest’s preference. Cocktails start at ¥120 and go to ¥140, higher if you’re going for the extra pricy stuff.

Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.

You create your own drink. To do so, you can answer a basic Q&A about flavor profile and favorite spirit, or make a frivolous ask like “what a Disney princess would drink,” or seek “something to mend a broken heart.”

All the drinks are based on standard cocktails. They take those and give them their own J.Boroski twist. The twist lies in their ingredients and house-made infusions, bitters, cordials, liqueurs, shrubs, sodas, and a curated collection of premium—and often hard-to-source—spirits.

J.Boroski is a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Mango Sticky Rice Bangkok Gin, That Boutique-y Gin Company

Most of the concoctions are made with a zero-waste mindset (from pith to peel) and are limited. So once they’re used up they’re gone. Similar mixes might crop up, but no two batches are the same. These include bottles of popcorn calvados, avocado stone extract, and banana cachaça, all enough to send cocktail snobs into nerdy fervor.

Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Also, beautiful glassware.

A request for a “Bloody Mary” begets a bright pink number made with beetroot juice, lemon juice coconut oil vodka (technique: coconut blast), spiced tomato juice, sea salt, and raspberry syrup. An order of gin & tonic presents one made with hard-to-get Bangkok Mango & Sticky Rice Gin, pineapple skin foam, and bitters.

Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
“Bloody Mary”
Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Shiso gin, watermelon, jasmine-lychee syrup.
Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Popcorn butter washed calvados, housemade rosso vermouth, housemade bitters.
Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Avocado fat washed tequila, cranberry chili syrup, cucumber juice, and dehydrated aloe.
Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Banana Milkshake – Homemade banana cachaça, sunflower seed extract, milk, hisbiscus syrup, bitters.
Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
“Low-ABV and bitter” – Cocchi vermouth, Punt e Mes vermouth, habanero shrub bitters.
Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
“Birthday Cake”

In Summary

It’s a fantastic experience for connoisseurs of craft cocktails. The processes are fascinating, the details of which bartender Mark Lloyd will gladly enthrall you with.

In the future, J.Boroski will play host to bartender residencies, inviting top-class talents for takeovers and masterclasses.

Cocktails at J.Boroski, a secluded cocktail bar that does high-caliber bespoke drinks in Jing’an, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.

J.Boroski
Address: 179 Fumin Lu, near Julu Lu 富民路179号, 近巨鹿路
Hours: 7pm-late
Inquiries: shanghai@jboroski.com