Sponsored by Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai

The Ritz Bar & Lounge at The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai has just launched A Sip of the Orient, an innovative cocktail menu inspired by China’s eight renowned cuisines.

The Ritz Bar & Lounge

Beverage Director Tural Hasanov and the mixologist team spent more than a year researching and developing the drinks. The result is a stunning menu rich with Chinese history and culture, and sleek, thoughtful cocktails that integrate flavors from eight regions in China.

If you like cocktail discovery and a little bit of Chinese culture and history, this is for you.

The Hidden Room, located within The Ritz Bar & Lounge

The Drinks – Sip of the Orient

There are eight cocktails on the menu, each inspired by the renowned Chinese cuisines, Lǔ (鲁), Huī (徽), Chuān (川), Xiāng (湘), Yuè (粤), Mǐn (闽), Zhè (浙), and Sū (苏).

The team visited those provinces over the last couple years to find locally produced ingredients for the drinks. The menu includes fermented Chinese teas and rice wines from boutique producers in those regions, and some cocktails even use traditional Chinese herbs as aromatics or infused as bitters.

The menu itself is an art piece. Made to resemble old Chinese books, double paged and string bound, the menu contains brief notes on the provinces and their relation to the ingredients used in the cocktails. The imagery within was commissioned by a local artist, who painted each individual menu. It’s all very considered. Even the vessels used are ceramic, earthenware, or replicas of cups from excavation missions.

A look at the menu, featuring a caricature of Tural Hasanov.

All the cocktails use local spirits as the base. Most of them are with baijiu, others with huangjiu, rice wine, and locally made gins.

Here are some of the cocktails:

Xiāng (湘) – Hunan
A drink that combines sweet, spicy, sour, salty, and bitter with lotus infused baijiu, lemon juice, ginger & chrysanthemum syrup, cornel powder (used in Chinese medicine), and prickly Chaotian pepper. Carved into the ceramic cup is the landscape of Zhangjiajie.
Yuè (粤) – Canton
Made with gin, rice water syrup (made by boiling three kinds of rice), lychee liquor, plum wine, and lime juice. Seeing as soup is an integral part of Cantonese cuisine, it is only natural that this cocktail be served in a bowl.
It’s almost like a dessert soup with fresh lychees. Very light, fruity & floral, and refreshing.
Mǐn (闽) – Fujian
Made with locally produced loquat wine, which gives a blend of peach, citrus and mango flavors, and mixed with concentrated oolong tea and dry orange peel. Smooth, bitter, and lots of oolong flavor.
Zhè (浙) – Zhejiang
Made with Shaoxing huangjiu (yellow wine), red sugar, pear liqueur, walnut bitters, lemon juice, and Longjing tea syrup. The huangjiu is boiled with mint and ginger, too. It comes in a traditional pot, which can be served cold, warm, or hot. Not overly sweet, sour, and bitter. I had it cold, and it is my favorite out of the five I tried.
Sū (苏) – Jiangsu
Representing Shanghai is Sū, which uses baijiu, rice wine, osmanthus, peach liqueur, lemon juice, and Ligao sugar syrup. It is rather sweet, mostly from the Ligao, a particular pear candy that was usually divvied out around Jing’an Temple area back in the day, a nostalgic sweet.

Nomfluence Readers Deals

Cocktails are priced ¥138-¥188 each. Book through the link below and get these deals. Valid until November 30, 2021.

  • Two cocktails for ¥288
  • All 8 cocktails for ¥888 to share

Click here to book now!

The Ritz Bar & Lounge
Address: The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xikang Lu 南京西路1376号, 上海波特曼丽思卡尔顿酒店, 近西康路
Tel: 62798888
Hours: 5:30pm-11pm