September 19 marks 10 years from when Gotham East founder, Daniel, first boarded a flight from New York to Shanghai with a suitcase overflowing with mezcal, rum, vermouth and more, and a vision inspired by the drinks he had been geeking out over for years.
That vision was to share the best products and cocktail experiences he had had in the original Gotham City with the Gotham cities of the East.
He pounded the pavement across China, befriending bartenders, tastemakers, and curious drinkers eager to try something new.
The recently retired messenger bag responsible for Gotham East's earliest deliveries.
Their excitement and passion confirmed his belief that China was on the cusp of becoming the latest frontier for innovative drinking.
Daniel quickly met his eventual partners, Harold – one of China’s nerdiest whisky traders – and Darren – an upstart distiller who believed China held the future for his wild London distillates.
Within months, the first gins from London Distillery, 100% agave tequilas, rums, vermouths and more were on the water bound for the Gotham cities of the East.
Back then, you could count the number of cocktail bars in Shanghai on your fingers; now products as rare as raicilla from the sierra in Jalisco are pouring in bars atop China’s Tibetan mountains.
We’ve come a long way in 10 years, but it still feels like just the beginning to Gotham East, and they are as energized as ever to keep doing their small part in building the future of drinking in this place they have made their home.
Most of all, this Eastern land is home because of the lasting relationships Gotham East have built and the lives they have been able to touch thanks to China’s embrace of our mission.
Gotham East would be nowhere without the support of the industry, and would be especially lost without their team.
As they tell everyone they have had the joy of calling part of the Gotham East family, they have one of the best jobs in the world: Gotham East sell the good life.
Gotham East & Me
"This year is my 8th at Gotham East. Starting as an intern who was not very good at anything at the beginning, and could only communicate with Daniel by translation software or hand gestures, I now manage the whole back office, testament to Daniel's careful teaching.
"I have learned a lot in this loving family, not only about work, but also about how to behave and how to live. I hope more like-minded friends can join us, and that Gotham East will go from strength to strength."
"I’ve always respected Daniel for being on the cutting edge of craft spirits importation. Gotham East has been instrumental in introducing lesser-known products and categories to the market, which are crucial for bartenders to be familiar with.
"I have always seen Gotham East as those trailblazers, always willing to explore uncharted territories and promote and educate on emerging spirit categories even before they become popular."
"In the summer of 2015, I met Daniel for the first time at STAXX WINE SHOP on Jiaozhou Lu.
"That day STAXX, Gotham, and two other local businesses hosted Block Jam, a neighborhood block party. Not only did Daniel’s wild way of mixing drinks (lots of free pouring) attract me, but I could feel the passion for what he was pouring in his voice. Shortly thereafter, I joined Gotham East.
"We have grown together, as colleagues and friends, ever since. We learn from one another, and in an increasingly fast-paced industry and world, Daniel will even occasionally pause to write me and our team handwritten letters. In that sense, Gotham is 'old school' (more mature even than its 10 years) in the best possible way.
"Gotham began as a tiny operation, at one point merely a team of two and a small portfolio of products, but today our family is 15-people strong, and we bring in more than 150 different products.
"I am proud to be part of this community, introducing more and more of the best spirits to China!"
Gotham East 10th Anniversary
All are welcome to join Gotham East at Bastard for their 10th anniversary party. Three bartenders will be on hand pouring the drinks from 20:19 until you can't drink any more.
Tue Sep 19, 20:19-Late.
Bastard, Room 102, #30, 319 Jiaozhou Lu, by XInzha Lu 胶州路319弄，30号102室，近新闸路.
Born in China, raised in The Netherlands, the broad spectrum of the infamous Dutch club and festival scene heavily influenced Dongwei’s versatile and playful style with a mixture of genres ranging from house to techno, bass, funk and disco.
Three Guest Bartenders
19 Creative Cocktails
Team Cocktail Challenge
One cocktail gets you one stamp; team up with your friends for a drink and collect all 19 cocktail stamps. Groups ordering all 19 cocktails win a free bottle!
Of course, you could drink all 19 cocktails by yourself and be rewarded with adoring stares from the entire room!
A Word from Gotham East
"We have the privilege of representing the people, history, culture, terroir, and stories behind drinks produced with love and soul around the world and sharing those drinks and everything they signify with the biggest, most important developing market in the world.
"As we raise another glass (or 19 glasses) to the next 10 years, we want to thank everyone who has enjoyed a Gotham East spirit in the last decade.
"Stay thirsty, stay curious, and we will be there to ganbei with you in the years to come!"