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Booze Giant Pernod Ricard Opened a Bar and Showroom in Xintiandi. It's Good!

Booze Giant Pernod Ricard Opened a Bar and Showroom in Xintiandi. It's Good!
2020-09-22 12:00:00
Photos: Brandon McGhee
On the Radar is a SmartShanghai column profiling new restaurants, bars, and other new places we find interesting. Sometimes we stumble upon these places, and sometimes we are invited, but in both cases, we are never paid to write an opinion, rather, these are our honest first impressions, and not a formal review.

Drinks & Co


Quick Take: Pernod Ricard's showroom, trading your phone number for discounts, with surprisingly good cocktails.

What It Is: Occupying some prime Xintiandi real estate — the bit that used to be Wolfgang Puck — Drinks & Co is Asia's first physical flagship for French liquor company Pernod Ricard. It's like the eighth largest in the world, owner of brands like Jameson, Absolut, Havana Club, Chivas, Beefeater, Perrier-Jouët and Jacob's Creek. Guessing they looked at the Nike Flagship and were like "let's make one of those!"

I kid. The name "Drinks & Co" is also the name of Pernod Ricard's ecommerce platform, so in some ways this is closer to a Whiskey Rabbit Express; a marketing platform and a physical storefront for an online liquor shop.

Looks nice. Soaring, two-story Illuminated shelves of bottles — much from Pernod Ricard, but not all — a spiral staircase that twists up, up, up to a VIP lounge of sorts, racks upon racks complete with steampunk magnifying glass rigs so you can take in the exquisite beadwork on a limited edition bottle of Olmeca. Sublime. Feels like Willy Wonka's AlcoMuseum. They had a bottle of the Havana Club x Cohiba collab, a hot, hot bottle drop, which comes in a leatherbound box and costs a bajillion rmb. No flash photography!

If you're not interested in museum-worthy bottles, they have deals on regular(ish) bottles. Bottle of Suntory for 158rmb. Macallan 12 for 582rmb. Those are "member" prices. A Nonmember Chivas Regal 25? 2,518rmb. Member price? 2,215rmb. Becoming a member takes handing over your phone number. Digits in return for savings! You can check out the catalogue on their WeChat miniprogram (ID: DrinksCo樽乐加), which does booze delivery.

Special note about the cocktails; the bar crew could absolutely have phoned it in for this brand activation hangar, but they didn't. Could have gone overboard to appeal to the influencers crowding in the door, but they didn't.

Okay, maybe just a little.

Good cocktails, in Xintiandi, for as low as 78rmb! For members.

First Impressions: A little too event-space-y to be a proper cocktail bar, and I can't help but feel like I'm a pigeon in a Skinner box. Submit phone number, receive savings! But it's worth stopping in if you like window shopping for alcohol, hobnobbing with brand ambassadors, or if you're the sort of person who regularly takes the financial hit of drinking in Xintiandi. Hand over your phone number and it's even a bargain for the area.

I did get a 20rmb handling fee from for the Mini Program delivery service. Not sure if I'd be willing to suck that up long enough to make the most of my credits. You''ll have to dig around a bit for the really good deals, but I can imagine bargain hunting booze hounds might want to check this out.