Add: Sinan Mansions, Block 2, 4/F, Lane 507 Fuxing Zhong Lu / 复兴中路507弄2号楼4楼
Tel: 3368 9419
Hours: [Wed-Sun] 6:00pm~late
Price: 65~80 RMB/cocktail
Visited: Feb 2012
The Public, recently rebranded from The Apothecary, is a cocktail lounge in the Sinan Mansions neighborhood. It’s my preferred type of place where the music isn’t so loud – you can actually have a conversation. The drinks menu features fine cocktails that are hand-crafted from house-infused spirits and bitters, fresh juices, fruits and syrups, while the food menu lists an appealing selection of some all-time favorite comfort foods (think charcuterie and sweet potato fries)…and all held together by smooth and efficient service.
For those who are overwhelmed by the extensive drinks menu, take a look at their list of “Auspicious Eight”, an abridged collection of eight of The Public’s most popular cocktails.
Here are a few we sampled, starting with my favorite for the evening – The Kind (70 RMB): Ketel One vodka, grapefruit and lime juice, a tad of black pepper, cinnamon and lime syrups, house-made ginger beer, soda. “This Tiki-style Moscow Mule variation takes the too-easy original and pumps up the spice and fruit variables for a pungent, dry drink that’ll tickle your taste buds.”
Part & Parcel (70 RMB): Gravoska Bison vodka, grapefruit juice, house-made grapefruit bitters, lime juice, elderflower syrup. “Courtesy of the Violet Hour, Chicago, Ill. We’ve been making this for years and it still astonishes the palate every time.”
Palmoa (70 RMB): El Jimador Blanco 100% Agave Tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, grapefruit juice, soda water, pinch of salt. “Arguably Mexico’s national cocktail. Our version takes it up a notch and it will make you reconsider your aversion to tequila.”
Jack Rose (70 RMB): Jerome Dupont Calvados, lemon juice, simple syrup, grenadine, lemon twist. “Very popular in the 20-30s and prominently featured in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Traditionally made with Applejack, a rough and boozy apple brandy not available in China, we substitute it with Calvados apple brandy to make this a super silky apple-y tipple.”
Gin-Gin Mule (70 RMB) Ginger-macerated Beefeater gin, lime juice, mint, ginger syrup, simple syrup, ginger beer. “From Audrey Saunders of The Pegu Club, New York City.”
We also tried a few orders from the food menu, and I was very happy with both the Charcuterie (100 RMB) – a satisfying platter of assorted meats and pickles – and the Sweet Potato Fries (45 RMB). Snacking on these while sipping cocktails past midnight…I really shouldn’t get too used to this.
I’ve also heard some very positive reviews about The Public’s Sunday fried chicken night (RMB 125 for half bird with coleslaw and biscuits) since its Apothecary days, and perhaps that’s where you will find me next Sunday.