You remember Jerry Chen. First he was the head bartender at Shen, then he won our Family Mart cocktail challenge last summer. And then he opened a speakeasy called U-Way in an office building. That is closed, and now he's tending bar at an unremarkable café called HomeMade, across the street from The Place on Jumen Lu. Lovely neighborhood.
And for the next week, he's got something going on that we're calling the Street Fighter II IRL Cocktail Challenge.
Here's how it works. Jerry created a list of ten cocktails named after world regions. Right now, there's Thailand, China, Russia, Spain, and Italy, among others. Each of the cocktails uses region-specific and often esoteric ingredients. They're twists on classic cocktails in the same way that Skrillex is derived from disco -- it's a stretch, but the relationship exists. The ingredients are deep, the alcohol content is high, and the flavor profiles can be... challenging. Like Street Fighter II, you're just trying to make it around the world.
This is Thailand. (Sagat!)
The drinks are about 75-85rmb, but here's the challenge: if you guess one of the ingredients correctly, you get 10% off. Guess two of the ingredients correctly, you get 20% off. And so on. If you guess them all, you get the drink for free. This is not easy. Jerry said he's doing this for the next week or so, though the menu will remain until he swaps these out for new regions. He's still making classic cocktails and his own creations for 70rmb.
This is Italy. (Rose!). Eleven ingredients in here.
Shout out to Jerry, an underrated figure in Shanghai's craft cocktail world, always doing some magic far to the left of the city center and conventional bar-tending. Hopefully he gets his own place again soon.