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We don't update our blog anymore, very few people still go to the web these days in China. 

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A nice review

It's always nice to get good reviews, makes the long hours worth it. It's even better when you get them when you're not there, and your team dazzles....

See more of our reviews here


A very special whisky, Bottle 55 of 790

Not that old, but pretty special. This is a single cask release from Blackadder for the Fukuoka bartenders association. It's a 59% Bowmore 13 year old.

This is not for beginners, but is a beautiful explosion of sweet peatiness that will bring a smile, and perhaps even a tear, to any fan of Islay. it's bottle 55 of 70, so you'll never get chance to try this again...

I got a very reasonable price for it, thanks to Senda-san at Bar Senda in Fukuoka (if you're ever in Fukuoka, visit Bar Senda, his lack of English is more than made up for by having 27 different Ardbegs, Macallan from 1947, and hundreds of other bottles), so I'll be selling it for only 170 RMB a dram. Not too far away, price-wise from a G&T on the Bund....

Do you see what they did there?

We have a couple of new gins. The most unusual of which is Gin'Ca (they wrote the pun for me). It's from Peru (where Incas are/were from) and is made using cane sugar distillate. It's both juipery and fruity and is much better than I would have expected. Quite delicous in fact. Cheers Diego.

Also, we finally have a French gin, the Citadelle Special Reserve, which is the barrel aged version of the reasonably well-known Citadelle. It's aged in a variety of casks, including oak, using the Solera method.

So our G&T menu continues to grow, we're now up to 28....

What do you call a beautiful woman having sex with a comedian?

Pretty fucking funny! See I told you there'd be bad jokes as well.

Speaking however of beauty, we have two new gins The London No.1 and the Nr. 3. They’re both excellent, so far of 6 people who’ve tasted both, the No. 1 was preferred by 4…

The London No. 1 is the only blue gin I've seen, however, the Nr. 3 just won "World's Best Gin" award at ISC... so you'll have to make up your own mind.

Note: The numbers have no relation to each other (and there is no Nr. 2, yet)

US Gins

BV I recently got hold of two Gins from the US (cheers Ben). They're different from each other, and quite different from the traditional London dry style most of us are familiar with.

First is the Bluecoat gin, an "American Dry Gin"from Pennsylvania. Quite citrussy, less juniper than you'd get from a London dry, and with 47% Adecent in a G&T.

Second is an altogether more complex affair, the Aviation,"American Gin" from Portland, Oregon. Is much less junipery than many other gins, while still being identifiable as gin. Works well in a G&T or a martini and in it's eponymous cocktail, the Aviation.

Both are well worth trying and as we should be able to get them regularly will go on the permanent menu.

Japanese/Taiwanese middle shelf complete and an exceptional gin

Good news for whisky fans, we now have both middle shelf Nikka from Japan (Yoichi, from Hokkaido & Miyagikyo from Sendai) and both middle shelf Kavalans from Taiwan (the standard and the Port Cask finish). They're all excellent, but we only have a bottle of each so first come, first served. All priced at a very reasonable 70 RMB.

Don't worry gin fans, something for you as well, The Botanist, from Islay, Scotland (as if I don't have enough stuff from Islay :). It's called the Botanist because the distillery employs 2 full time Botanists to collect herbs on the island to make the gin. And they've been carefully crafting...blah blah blah. Enough story, suffice to say it's so good I prefer to drink it alone, sipping it, rather than mixing it with tonic. There's a lot of horseshit assosciated with gins these days, but this one lives up to the hype. Straight 110 RMB, with tonic 130 RMB.

The Colombian Connection

I don't have Colombia's most famous export, but this week I did learn about Colombian Aguardiente, and how it's drunk in Colombia. It's basically unaged rum filtered through aniseed. This gives it a very light hint of liquorice, nothing like as strong as a Raki or an Ouzu though. You drink it with coffee grounds, brown sugar, and a lime wedge. It's only 30% ABV so isn't too dangerous, but a round of these is a good way to start or prolong the evening...

We also got the first Colombian Rum, a nice 8 year old. Quite different from other rums from South America, caramely, distinctive, and quite smooth. I wasn't planning on getting any more rum, but after I tasted this my resolve faded and now I have a bottle.

First three people to come in and tell me who the guy in the picture immediately below is get a free shot of either the ron or the aguardiente.


On topic's Colombian, the first season of the TV show Narco's is well worth your time. Despite being told from a gringo POV and having a Brazilian playing Pablo, it's very good, both entertaining and interesting... and good for brushing up on your Spanish. It's on Netflix or your favourite torrent site

Czech This Out!

Continuing our occasional series of country-specific weeks, this week we have the Czech Republic, a place that has a special place in my heart as I was in Prague over the New Year when they split from Slovakia... 

Anyway, enough ancient history, as well as having maybe the world’s most beautiful city in Prague, they also have great alcohol, and this weekend we've got Budvar, one of the Czech Republic's 3 main beers. A very easy to drink Pils that most other weak lagers would love to be. There is a story about how Budvar is the original Budweiser, but I won't go into that as mentioning them in the same sentence denigrates the former and compliments the latter.

Because man cannot live on beer alone, we'll follow that up with a Becherovka, the national spirit of the Czech Republic. It's a herbal concoction that's been made since the early 1800's. Today, only two people know the secret of the entire production process and may enter the mixing room—where, once a week, they mix the herbs and spices used in the drink.

Usually this little combo would set you back 90 RMB (Budvar 40, Becherovka 50) but for this weekend you get both for 65 RMB.

Also, Czechs especially welcome. I used to have a friend from Prague, but haven't seen him for a long time so would like a new Czechmate, when it was time to pay I’d tell them to get the Czech, and so on, groan.

...Wake Up in a Ditch

There's a saying in Dusseldorf, "Too much Killepitsch, wake up in a ditch", but this doesn't have to be the case, in fact Killepitsch is like Jaegermeister's more refined and sophisticated older brother.



42% ABV and made and only sold in the German city of Düsseldorf, it’s blood red and made with 90 fruits, berries, herbs, and spices. Jaegermeister, by comparison, is made with “only”about 50 herbs and spices and has a lower ABV and a much less complex, sweeter, taste.

OK, if you don’t like Jaeger you probably won’t like Killepitsch, but if you are a fan of dark and mysterious libations, this may be for you…

So that everyone gets to try this rare stuff, we’ll give anyone who walks in this week and says “Duesseldorf” a shot for only 35 RMB (normally 50 RMB).

Our Gin & Tonic menus

I finally got round to printing our gin and tonic menu. However, seems most people prefer the handwritten one, despite the quality of my handwriting. I must say I prefer handwriting as well as a lot of our gins are hard to get so once they're gone, they're gone, and I hate giving people a menu where some of the items are not available, Maybe the solution is for me to write the handwritten one better?

Handwritten vs. printed Gin and Tonic menus at the Funky Monkey Bar in Shanghai

Handwritten vs. printed Gin and Tonic menus at the Funky Monkey Bar in Shanghai

Fancy a stiff one?

Pfnarr, pfnarr. We just got this beauty, a 2012 Limited Edition Blackwoods Vintage Dry Gin. From the Shetland Islands (Scotland), but no bloody cucumber :).

Bottled at 60 ABV this is not for the faint-hearted. However, despite it's strength, it's remarkably sweet and floral. Will make an excellent, stiff G&T, and add complexity and bite to any of our other gin cocktails.

It's going on the menu in the same price range as Monkey 47 and The Helsinki Dry (80 RMB), but to celebrate getting it, we'll make the first 3 G&Ts we make with it for the price we normally charge for a Gordons/Beefeater G&T (45 RMB).