Guangzhou Bar Review: Spin

By Daniel Plafker, January 9, 2018

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The speakeasy concept can often come across as gimmicky and overdone, but even the most cynical drinker has to hand it to Spin for really sticking the landing. 

Tucked down a quiet street in Zhujiang New Town, brave adventurers hunting for mixological glory might have a challenge ahead of them if they seek out Spin. An unassuming vape shop serves as the downstairs ‘front’ to the operation and a little creative snooping will be necessary before the truly well-hidden entrance is revealed. Behind the smoke and mirrors of the secreted approach however, is no game: the cloak-and-dagger bar team of Spin mean business.

The disciplined mixologists behind the magic at Spin are headed up by Jackwing, a fierce female cocktail conjurer at the top of her craft. With years of experience in the bar departments of several top-tier Guangzhou hotels, Jackwings brings a meticulous attention to detail to her boozy creations along with boundless creativity. 

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The hooch house focuses on signature cocktails and original concoctions – offering the classics only at explicit request. The tastefully appointed menu offers a bounty of choices to the sophisticated drinker, but one is just as well served by accepting the invitation to join bar tenders on a magical mystery tour of the palate. At Spin, indulging queries about tastes and spirit preferences is rewarded manifold with a personally crafted flavor profile and carefully tailored course of bespoke cocktails.

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On our visit, we sampled Spin’s spin on the classic Old Fashioned: the Holmes cocktail (RMB108). A little sweeter than we’re used to, to be sure, but the spicy, herbal swirl of homemade cinnamon syrup and smoked rosemary alongside premium bourbon and amaretto make for a compelling swallow.

The Never Again (RMB128) on the other hand is a five-star tour de force. Built on a base of impossibly floral gin, this cocktail is a tart perfumey bouquet that comes alive in Jackwing’s hands. It’s a delicate dance of homemade apple puree, lemongrass and powdered rose that had us dancing in our seat to Spin’s retro jazz soundtrack. 

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On top of A-grade drinks, Spin makes for a hell of a place to sit and sip them. With all the class and sultry swagger of a 1920’s cabaret, the dark wood tones and rich leather upholstery of the spot get a playful update with eclectic wall decals and understated neon lighting. 

Sure, a visit to Spin has the potential to leave a seriously deep hole in your pocket, but for a cutting-edge cocktail to celebrate a special occasion – look no further. 

Price: RMB200
Who's going: rum runners, cocktail conniseurs, fuerdai types 
Good for: bespoke beverages, clandestine rendezvouses
Nearest metro: Gangding (Exit C) 20 minutes, Liede (Exit C) 20 minutes

Daily 8pm-2am. See listing for Spin.

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