Shanghai Bar Review: Bar Alcocase

By Cristina Ng, September 30, 2018

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You might be asking yourself what exactly an ‘alcocase’ is. While we first thought it was a portmanteau of ‘alcohol and nutcase’ (aka us after free-flow anything), it actually stands for ‘alcohol and showcase.’ That’s more fitting as Bar Alcocase is grandly designed in a retro-luxe style ideal for enjoying a few well-made cocktails.

Located right next to Mosso on Changle Lu, Bar Alcocase is the new venture from the group behind blink-and-you-missed-it Japanese bar, Madara. Former Union Trading Company bartenders Lucky Huang and Leo Wei are here to design the cocktail program and manage the bar. 

Behind a brick and glass entrance, lies a cozy bar area decked out in dark woods and jewel-toned velveteen. If you look closely at the golden candelabra wall sconces, you’ll see a trail of matching insects ‘walking’ on the walls. The attention to detail and whimsical approach to design extends to the drink list.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Some of the more unique offerings are Six Pence Hot Pot and A Dame to Kill For (both RMB95). The latter sees a clash of rye (or bourbon), lemon, house-made rosemary and raisin syrup, red port and Calpis competing for the limelight, while sweeter flavors win out. In contrast, the former merges gin, Calvados, Sichuan pepper, white wine and thyme in perfect harmony.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Recette du Chef (RMB95) is a booze-forward rum number with lemongrass, mango jam, basil, chili tincture, sherry, and lime. This otherwise delicious drink has a viscosity that would benefit from being served on ice.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

You can’t go wrong with a Hemingway Daiquiri (RMB95), French 75 (RMB90) or anything else from the classics lineup as the bar staff is made up of consummate experts.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's 

The only real complaint we have is a playlist filled with poppy Christian hip-hop. While we appreciate the effort to keep things upbeat, they need to get someone in to consult on the music. Prices might be a little steep, but given the quality of the ingredients and the number of house-made components, we’re willing to look past that. All in all, we see ourselves returning to work our way through a few more cocktails.

[Cover image by Cristina Ng/That's]

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