Shanghai bartender debuts 'pollution cocktail'

Sick buckets at the ready as we test out Shanghai's most hazardous drink

Photo by Corine Tiah 

Chicken fat-washed cocktails. Rum-filled gummy bears. Cereal milk for grown ups. If you were already under the impression that Shanghai bartenders were getting a bit too creative for their own good, you'd better steady yourself, because one of them has invented the world’s first ‘pollution cocktail’, whose ingredients include cigarette-smoked gin and boiled-down residue collected from an air purifier.

If you’re having a heart attack just reading about it, you can rest assured that we’ve tried it and have just about lived to tell the tale, even if we smelt like a factory for about 48 hours afterwards.

"shanghai-smog"The so-called ‘Shanghai Fog’ is the dubious-sounding invention of Logan Brouse of Zhong Plaza watering hole Logan’s Punch. Served in a martini glass - consequently making a dirty martini seem positively sanitary - the cocktail is a twist on the early 20th century classic the Aviation, and comprises Grand Marnier, Crème de Violet, lemon juice, and the aforementioned cigarette-infused gin.

When combined, they result in a purpley-pale blue hue that recalls kerosene. The glass is frosted with a rim of grit, air filter residue is sprinkled on top, and the mix is served on a wooden stump garnished with two smoking cigarettes for authentic filthiness.

The taste is, admittedly, odd - with the crisp, smooth, sour flavours characteristic of the Aviation tempered by a curious metallic tang and notes of an unemptied pub ashtray. While we’re not sure of its health credentials - we certainly don’t recommend making this at home, at any rate - we can at least vouch for its drinkability.

In fact, we drank two of them in quick succession, but then stopped on account of the sharp, shooting pains that we began to experience in our chest which were followed by a prolonged session of retching in the bar's toilet.

Disgusting and delicious in equal measure, the Shanghai Fog is now available at Logan’s Punch for 80RMB. Best enjoyed with a cigarette, or several at once.

UPDATE: Did we fool you? This may be an April Fool, but Logan's Punch are offering a real 'Shanghai Fog' cocktail on their menu, comprising of Hickory wood smoked gin, Grand Marnier, creme de violet and lemon juice priced at 80RMB (and no grit in sight, thankfully). We really have had one of the actual Shanghai Fog cocktails and they are very tasty, we can assure you.