Though you’d be forgiven for assuming Bubble Bar was the latest milk tea café to pop up in buzzy Chaoyang, there’s nary a pearl of tapioca nor a drop of fluoro fruit syrup in sight at this new Shoukai Bojun hideout. Instead, tipple-seekers will find a sophisticated cocktail saloon (formerly a champagne spot, hence the fizzy name) boasting more than 400 types of whisky – all proudly displayed within the built-in, wood-panelled cabinetry – and a drinks list so extensive it comes detailed on an iPad. Diminutive the space may be, with just two couches and seating for eight at the bar, but Bubble packs in a solid splash of opulent charm with its crystal chandeliers and quirky carved furniture including antler-topped counter chairs.
While whisky reigns as Bubble’s mainstay pour, the reimagined classics headlining the cocktail program prove just as tantalising, like BB’s take on the Old Fashioned, where cherry liqueur and sweet vermouth smoke infuses the rum in-glass before your very eyes. Or, if you’re more of a dealer’s choice kind of drinker, ask to see the ‘secret’ list with concoctions so new wave and evolving that many remain unnamed. Accompany your selection with an equally intoxicating bar snack like rum-infused bread, red wine beef jerky or whisky-soaked truffles, and make sure your driver’s on hand to captain the sure-to-be tiddly journey home.
8 Xindong Lu / Chaoyang / 7pm-late daily / +86 10 8418 5331