Bold, Bespoke Cocktails at Botanical Basket

By Sophie Steiner, February 10, 2021

0 0

The Place 

Co-owner Eric Almazov (previously of The Fennel Lounge, Seul&SEUL and Barbarian) brought his passion for cocktail making to a new level by opening his own venue, Botanical Basket, on bustling Wuding Lu last year. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

This gin-focused shotgun bar really took off as the weather warmed; the space fits roughly 20 people inside, but doubles in size with the added outdoor area. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

While gin is the key focus – with over 100 gins readily available at any given time – many of the creative cocktails see other spirits, liqueurs and tinctures added, coupled with fat-washing techniques, infusions, sprays and funky garnishes.

The Drinks 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Reasonably priced for what you get, most cocktails fall in the range of RMB68-78. Not finding what you want on the menu? Not a problem; the bar staff is fully trained and ready to make you a bespoke creation at any given moment.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Starting with a twist on a classic, the Greek Dropout (RMB78) sees gin infused with dill shaken with French vermouth. Instead of the customary olive juice, this dirty martini gets its brine from pickle juice for a sippable pickleback of sorts – one you will want to savor rather than shoot. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

If a milk punch is on the menu, it should not be overlooked, and the Tea Boozer Milk Punch (RMB78) is no exception. A refreshing blend of creamy yet fruity, grapefruit-peel infused gin is mixed with osmanthus syrup, Oolong milk tea and lemongrass. Stirred and added to a glass garnished with Argentinian mate tea and sweet osmanthus, it’s hard not to drink it down in one gulp. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the CC Me Please (RMB68), a gin infused raspberry cocktail with fresh raspberries, kaffir and mint leaves and cinnamon syrup, all topped with an extra glossy green tea xanthum gum foam. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

As an alternative to egg whites, xanthum gum is used in baking as a stabilizer, but it also makes a thick, creamy foam that assumes any additional flavor additives. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Japan meets Mexico in the Luchador de Sumo (RMB78), a twist on a Paloma with Japanese flavors. Sip Sip Tequila Blanco is infused with passion fruit and pandan, mixed with fresh grapefruit juice and topped with soda. A wasabi paste and Mexican worm salt line the rim, all garnished with seaweed sheets. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Day drinking isn’t the same without a Bloody Mary, and Botanical Basket’s version comes in the form of the Butcher Kim (RMB68). Korean kimchi is infused into vodka and stirred together with fresh tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Garnished with savory rosemary, this cocktail comes with sliced pickles and a spicy kimchi-topped butter cracker.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Although the focus is on the drinks, there are bar snacks and light bites available – think mixed nuts, deviled eggs, chipotle chicken wraps, cold cut boards and Spanish olives – prepared by nearby Heat. 

The Vibe 

Given the small space, it only takes a handful of people to make the bar feel lively and crowded, only enhanced by the staffs’ energy that matches the music beats. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The location is prime, and as the weather continues to warm and the bay windows are opened, you’ll find us popping in for a cheeky afternoon libation or a post-dinner cocktail. 

Price: RMB70-100
Who’s Going: The Jing’an expat contingency, post-work crowd, friend daters
Good For: Casual meetups, afternoon libations, post-dinner cocktails

See a listing for Botanical Basket. Read more Shanghai Bar Reviews.

[Cover Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s]

more news

A-Z Rating of Shanghai's Newest Wine Bars: Part III

How many sips does it take to get to the center of the... ?

A-Z Rating of Shanghai's Newest Wine Bars: Part II

How many sips does it take to get to the center of the... ?

A-Z Rating of Shanghai's Newest Wine Bars: Part I

How many sips does it take to get to the center of the... ?

5 Shanghai Bars (and 1 Event) to Visit This Weekend

Get your drink on at these (currently) open venues!

New Shanghai Bars and Restaurants: February 2020

Here are all the new restaurant and bar openings we featured in our February 2020 magazine issue.

New Shanghai Bars and Restaurants: January 2020

Here are all the new restaurant and bar openings we featured in our January 2020 magazine issue.

The Best New Shanghai Bars to Open in 2019

Some of our favorite new watering holes from 2019.

New Shanghai Bars and Restaurants: April 2019

Here are all the new restaurant and bar openings we featured in our April 2019 magazine issue.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives