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Don't miss these bar takeovers as Shanghai's unofficial cocktail week returns

Hope you're stocked up on Berocca, 'cause DRiNK Magazine is bringing some of the best bartenders from across the globe to a bar near you

Photographs/images: courtesy DRiNK Magazine (Joe Schofield)
The merriest time of the year is about to get a whole lot merrier as Shanghai's own 'unofficial cocktail week' kicks off today through Friday 13 with a load of top-shelf bartenders taking over some of the city's greatest bars.

Organised by the boozehounds behind local bar industry mag DRiNK Magazine, the guest shift series is all part of the celebrations for its fourth annual bar awards (DMBA 2019) which is going down on Monday 9 December. While the ceremony itself is invite-only, here's our pick of unmissable pop-ups across the city. Want more? Find the whole lineup at drinkmagazine.asia.
Agung Prabowo

Agung Prabowo

Taking home Bartender of the Year (Asia) award at DMBA 2019, Hong Kong bar royalty Agung Prabowo is one-third of the force behind Hong Kong's Ernest Hemingway-inspired cocktail bars The Old Man, and its recent sequel, The Sea. Celebrating the American novelist, a man known for being serious about his drinks, the sister venues turn out equally serious cocktails. 

No stranger to fame, Prabowo's libations earned The Old Man the top spot on Asia's 50 Best Bars and the ninth spot in the World's 50 Best Bars 2019. Prabowo will be shaking up some of his unmissable drinks in Shanghai for one night only at 1515 West Bar. 

1515 West Bar Sunday 8 December. 9pm-midnight. 

Andrew Ho and Bastien Ciocca

Andrew Ho and Bastien Ciocca

Another success story from DMBA 2018, Andrew Ho and Bastien Ciocca's Guangzhou-based speakeasy Hope & Sesame took home the title of Bar of the Year – and it ranked number 35 on Asia's 50 Best Bars 2019. Co-founders Ho and Ciocca are teaming up with Peddlers Gin to mix up some of their lauded experimental cocktails at Union.

The Union Trading Company Sunday 8 December. 8pm-midnight.

Joe Schofield

Joe Schofield

One of the most well-regarded bartenders in the world, with a list of accolades to match – including 2018 International Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail's Spirited Awards and the Bartender’s Bartender award at World’s 50 Best Bars 2018 – Joe Schofield brings a preview of his highly anticipated, soon-to-open bar Schofield's (Manchester) to Shanghai. Schofield is famed for his stints at some of the most revered bars in the world, including American Bar at The Savoy (London) and Tippling Club (Singapore), and is bringing some of that star power to Bulgari's II Bar for two nights. DRiNK's advice? 'Don't miss'.

II Bar, Bulgari Hotel Shanghai Tuesday 10-Wednesday 11 December. 8pm-midnight.

River Huang and Beckaly Franks

River Huang and Beckaly Franks

2019 Cointreau Queens River Huang and her Bar Pi team are joining forces with formidable bartender Beckaly Franks – the owner of Hong Kong's famous craft-cocktail-bar-meets-dive-den The Pontiac – for three big nights at three different Shanghai bars. Expect a mash-up of top-shelf cocktails and grungy vibes. 

The CUT Rooftop Saturday 7 December. 9pm-midnight.
Chameleon Sunday 8 December. 9pm-midnight.
Bar Renaissance Tuesday 10 December. 9pm-midnight.

Mack Ross

Mack Ross

A familiar face for Shanghai, before Mack Ross started managing the bar at The Attic – set in the Park Hyatt Shenzhen – he was one of our own. Formerly bartender at The Nest and owner of now-shuttered Tour (where he paired signature cocktails with a surprise small bite that we still pine over), Ross will appear at Birds of Paradise with a menu of creative Peddlers Gin-based concoctions. 

Birds of Paradise Saturday 7 December. 9pm-midnight.

David Nguyen-Luu and Frank Hu

David Nguyen-Luu and Frank Hu

Shaking up signature cocktails from Manhattan, one of Singapore's most celebrated bars and number 11 on the World's 50 Best 2019 list, bar manager David Nguyen-Luu and bartender Frank Hu will be bringing some of their world-famous New York vibes to Barules. 

Barules Sunday 8 December. 9pm-midnight. 

Alastair Burgess and Jack Allen

Alastair Burgess and Jack Allen

Get a taste of Happiness Forgets (a neighbourhood cocktail hideout our friends at Time Out London call 'One of the best bars in east London – or in all of London, for that matter') courtesy of founder Alastair Burgess (pictured) and bartender Jack Allen. Sticking solidly to its winning 'high-rent cocktails in a low-rent basement' formula, Happiness Forgets is known for its thoughtful twists on classics, which Burgess and Allen are bringing to Shanghai for three nights at 1515 West Bar. 

1515 West Bar Thursday 5-Saturday 7 December. 8pm-midnight.

Rory J Shepherd, Sebastian Robinson and Hyacinthe Lescoet

Rory J Shepherd, Sebastian Robinson and Hyacinthe Lescoet

If you find your liver in need of a time out, head to The Shanghai EDITION for two nights of no- or low-alcohol cocktails from Rory J Shepherd (Little Red Door, Paris), Sebastian Robinson (Seedlip Asia brand ambassador) and Hyacinthe Lescoet (The Cambridge Public House, Paris). The trio will be spread out across Club Room, Punch Room and Lobby Bar proving that cocktails don't have to be boozy to be brilliant. 

The Shanghai EDITION Saturday 7-Sunday 8 December. 8pm-midnight.

Jay Khan

Jay Khan

One for fans of agave, mixologist Jay Khan is the co-founder of Hong Kong's mezcal and tequila hotspot Coa. It's been a great year for the bar – currently ranking as a new entry at number 12 and number 49 on Asia's and World's 50 Best Bars 2019, Coa is also up for nomination at DMBA 2019 for Bar of the Year (Asia). Catch Khan at Speak Low for some Mexican-inspired craft cocktails. 

Speak Low Tuesday 10 December. 8pm-11pm.

Jiawei Bai and Serena Pulvirenti

Jiawei Bai and Serena Pulvirenti

Take a trip back to the prohibition-era with Jiawei Bai and Serena Pulvirenti from the Singapore outpost of New York's iconic bar Employees Only. The first international location for the speakeasy (opened by Steve Schneider, who's now behind Shanghai's The Odd Couple), the Singapore team are serving up some of the legendary cocktails Employees Only is famed for – don't skip the Manhattan.  

Cafe Gray Deluxe, The Middle House Tuesday 10-Wednesday 11 December. 9pm-midnight.

Jackwing Yao, Lola, Match Chan and William W

Jackwing Yao, Lola, Match Chan and William W

Coming together for a good cause in the season of giving, Jackwing Yao (Spin, Guangzhou), Lola (The Odd Couple, Shanghai), Match Chan (Arena Luxe, Shanghai) and William W (Staff Room, Chongqing) will be behind the bar at Monkey 3.0 for the Monkey Challenge for Charity. Proceeds from their drinks will be going to Shanghai Children’s Health Foundation – Beacon of Love Congenital Heart Disease Fund.

Monkey December 8. 9pm-midnight.

Martin Hudak and Arlene Wong

Martin Hudak and Arlene Wong

If after almost a week of drinking you find yourself running low on steam, get a caffeinated – and boozy – boost with Martin Hudak (Maybe Sammy, Sydney) and Arlene Wong (The Pontiac, Hong Kong). As the Global Coffee Ambassador and Asia Brand Ambassador, respectively, for Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, the pair will be serving up peppy coffee cocktails at Arch by Taste Buds (Hudak), The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong and EPIC (Wong) as part of Mr Black’s China tour.

Arch by Taste Buds Tuesday 10 December. 9pm-midnight.
The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong Tuesday 10 December. 8pm-11pm.
EPIC Wednesday 11 December. 9pm-midnight.

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