Are you satisfied? Probably not. In surveys of China’s happiest cities, Shenzhen doesn’t make the top 10. But the three friends behind OCT’s Mixy Bar want to change that.
“We want everyone here to be happy,” says Planck Wu, the most recent arrival from Shanghai’s sophisticated sipping scene.
The RMB128 Old Driver, a cheeky take on a boulevardier, matched me perfectly. Peaty notes of Laphroaig whiskey found uncommon harmony with Campari, elevated by vermouth and orange bitters into an incredibly balanced drink. The name refers to a guy who knows how to please a lady – and isn’t shy about sharing the secrets.
“Everyone should be like that,” Wu says, with a swirl of his waxed mustache.
Mixy Bar is dim and thoughtfully designed with woods, leathers and glass, stocked with top-shelf ingredients infused by hand. And it can’t help but slip in a little Shanghai speakeasy sophistication.
The bar doesn’t fall for gimmicks like passwords, buzzers or secret doors (though it is hidden, three stories up, behind OCT’s Hua Living Space mall).
It’s intentionally located underground, so as not to blow up, then fizzle out when the limited staff can’t keep up with demand. The ‘grand opening’ (and kitchen) will only arrive when everything is just right.
Find Mixy on a quieter weeknight, pick your perfect cocktail (or discuss something off-menu, like the RMB128 Salud to the Designer, an apricot and whiskey wonder), then settle in to the chill soundtrack as you mix it up with your neighbors.
Price: RMB98-128 per cocktail
Who’s going: designers, whisky aficionados, thoughtful sippers
Good for: midweek drinks
Nearest metro: OCT (Exit B), 8 minutes