Speak Low, tucked inside a cocktail supplies shop on Fuxing Zhong Lu, is one of Shanghai’s best-known speakeasies. That seems like it should be something of a contradiction in terms, but the bar’s popularity lends the main drinking area a lively feel – and there’s always a ‘secret’ bar-within-the-bar upstairs for those who prefer things a little more low-key.
Opened by Japanese mix master Shingo Gokan, who previously tended bar at famed New York cocktail haven Angel’s Share, Speak Low straddles the line between classy and casual with panache and it’s not hard to see why it gets so many repeat visitors. The drinks are routinely outstanding, even if the prices appear hard to swallow at first glance.
Try the Banana Fostered Fashioned (110RMB), with banana-infused Bacardi and chocolate bitters, brown sugar, cinnamon, cherry and vanilla flambé, for a subtly unique fruit sip. Or of course, the elegant-yet-potent Speak Low (120RMB), with its mix of Bacardi Superior, Bacardi 8, Pedro Ximenez sherry and matcha.