Drinks Team Reunion | Word is Mathew & Liu at D Lounge this Wednesday

By Jim Boyce | In another Beijing bar era, some seven years ago, a most unexpected and most excellent watering hole appeared in our fair city. It was part of a steakhouse called Flamme in Sanlitun Village South, and while beef might have been the focus, this place soon became known for quality booze.

Not only did Flamme have a superb happy hour (think two tasty martinis garnished with big blue cheese-stuffed olives for 60 kuai) but also delicious house drinks like the Passionate Englishmen, with a half passion fruit set on top like a shucked oyster, that soon become the favorites of many. Paul Mathew was the brains behind the menu and never shied from experiments, even indulging one blogger’s request for umami-themed drinks on one occasion and, on another, to create a cocktail called Titanic II. Look at the artwork on that garnish!

When Ethan Liu joined the team, Flamme had a potent one-two punch behind the bar. What made them so good is that they were so darn nice. There were no upturned noses if someone ordered a Cosmo and the team could also shift gears to look after the most knowledgeable customer. I have good memories of them, of Alice, Jeff, Carrie and other Flamme team members, and of the nights I spent enjoying cocktails with friends or watching Flamme regular K Square take advantage of the Dom Perignon deal.

This is a long way of getting to my point: Word is that Mathew will fly in this week from London, where he oversees a trio of bars: The Hide, The Arbitrager, and Demon, Wise & Parters. And that Liu, a brand ambassador who is racking up an incredible number of air miles, will also be in town. And they they will both be behind the bar at D Lounge on Wednesday night. I’m still waiting to hear the exact time but I think it’s safe to say you’ll find them there after 8 PM.

Check out my sibling blogs Grape Wall of China and World Baijiu Day.

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Get regular Beijing updates via my Instagram and Twitter feeds. Also see my sibling sites Grape Wall of China, World Baijiu Day and World Marselan Day. Help cover the hosting and other costs of these sites with a WeChat, AliPay or PayPal donation.

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