July, 2015. Terribly hot. In response to Shanghai becoming The Most Expensive City In The World For People, the Family Mart chain of convenience stores began developing a new craft cocktails program to court high-end customers -- the jet-set, newly-minted class that Family Mart was quickly losing to rival shop BUDDIES and their truffle baozi, cognac tastings, and Ibérico chao mian.
To create the swish cocktail menu, Family Mart poached top bartenders from respectable Shanghai establishments and did a series of clinical trials. Rules were simple -- just keep the drinks creative, affordable, tasty, and aesthetically pleasing. All Family Mart products and experiences were allowed, except for high-end liquor. No bar tools permitted. Most of the drink names came from random words in Migos' lyrics.
Meet the Family Mart Cocktails Lab fam.
On the left is Shanghai's own Jerry Chen, who worked for Shen bar then started his own place, U Way. In the middle we have Henan's Daniel An, cocktail dreamer at his own Taste Buds Cocktail Palace. He also works at Starling and tends bar in Wenzhou a few nights a week. Then on the right we have Jake Peña -- engineer, Texan, and boss at the mighty Pocho Social Club, home of proper micheladas.
Some PR lady who added me on WeChat invited SmartShanghai to observe, document, and provide feedback about Family Mart Cocktails Program Beta-Testing 2.1. This is what came out of that sesh.
Blue Balls, by Daniel An
Actual Lemon: 5rmb
Lemon Drink: 5rmb
Ice: 11 rmb
Blueberry Jam: 8.5rmb
Price: 165.5 rmb per batch / 27.58rmb per glass (each batch making ~ six strong glasses)
Here's Blue Balls...
Tasting Notes: "Like taking a blueberry bath at New Star spa after midnight, listening to seminal Arab disco".
The Geylang Surprise, by Jake Peña
MOMOGIRL Popcorn: 25rmb
Chizhik Vodka: 55rmb
Strawberry Chips: 5.5rmb
Price: 125.5rmb per batch / 20.91rmb per glass
Tasting Notes: "This one was my favorite, because it also includes a bag of snacks".
The Yongfu Shakes, by Sneaky Pete
Ice cream: 6rmb
Price: 42 trap tokens per batch / 8.6 krycholors per glass
It's like the Bridge To Terabithia, except the bridge is made of treats.
Tasting Notes: "Sitting on an ostrich sofa, outside, in a typhoon, drinking an extreme milkshake."
"Cleared up the ol' DTs, and no one even knew".
"MICKEYMOUSE & MINNIEMOUSE. The Original Mouse".
Wikipedia Of Rad, by Jerry Chen
Yogurt drink: 7rmb
Jar Of Peaches: 21rmb
Price: 179.5rmb per batch / 29.91rmb per drink
The Wikipedia Of Rad...Note the sandwich pairing.
Tasting Notes: "Well, the Wagyu on the sandwich was overcooked, but this drink was the clear winner. I detected notes of peaches, blueberries, and rum".
"Wow. This is like playing Mario Kart in front of the AC in the summertime."
︻╦╤─ WINNER ︻╦╤─
Good news! Family Mart Cocktail Culture could win Best New Cocktail Culture 2015, and Wikipedia Of Rad could win Best Money Launderer 2015 in the fourth annual Best Of Shanghai Things That Are Not Bad Awards Ceremony 2015.
Be sure to vote for those on WeChat!