We are stuck in an endless spiral of ‘Variations on a Theme of Art Deco-inspired Cocktail Bars (However Loosely)’. Latest in this line is Mary Magnate by the group behind whisky bar Maltfun. The name denotes the Wulumuqi Nan Lu watering hole’s two-in-one concept: Mary downstairs and Magnate upstairs.
Walk in the door and you’ll find yourself in Mary where aproned bartenders mix the first floor’s selection of signature cocktails (88RMB each). Post up on teal velvet banquette seating at a green marble-topped table to sip on house creations like Little Lamb, a clarified rum concoction that’s like warm waves washing over you, or the unexpected Poppins, a tequila-based tipple whose sesame oil evokes the anticipation of hotpot.
For classics, Magnate slings your usual lineup of cocktails suspects (100RMB each) on the floor above in rich wood-panelled whisky bar surrounds. If this is more your speed, sink into a burgundy leather booth for a Manhattan or Old Fashioned.
By Cat Nelson