They say you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. The same is not necessarily true in the case of a fancy-suited rider and delicious cocktails. Here, in no particular order, are the top five Beijing bar watering holes of a man we will simply call Mr Twig, one who does, indeed, work in an industry related to horses and who sports one of the better home bars in the city.
“D&M | Run by two dedicated homegrown Chinese lads with a huge list of mentors. Spacious whisky lineup and a surefire go-to for the classics. Get a Manhattan at 6 PM — or a Manhattan at 2 AM. Both go down just as easily.
“The Brick | Shuangjing again, and Beijing’s best dive bar, although is it technically a dive? Beers. Shots. Old Fashioneds! Sports!
“Mokihi | Beijing’s best team of female bartenders, if not China’s. Attention to detail and an eclectic food menu and I’m done for the night. Killer El Diablo.
“Centro | If not for nothing other than a staunchly reliable happy hour and the live music. Tanq 10 martinis. Two for one. Every. Single. Night.
“Okra | This is a bit of a cheat but they’re got killer happy hour prices, access to a great sake range, and drinks designed by Max Levy and Doug’s BBC crew. Doug designed the JAL, which is on a rotational menu, but their Oscar winner is The Pickled Jew. One of the very, very best Bloody Marys I’ve ever had.”
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Paddy O’Shea’s is a shocking omission IMO.