Chinatown’s “hidden” lounge unveils new cocktail menu and at-home volume

Laowai Launches New Cocktail List: “Volume 2”

Chinatown’s “hidden” lounge unveils a new series of drinks inspired by colourful characters from the histories of China and Shanghai.

 Laowai, the Prohibition-era-Shanghai-themed hidden lounge in Chinatown, has launched its second adventurous cocktail menu in celebration of six months of operation and in recognition of the Lunar New Year.

This latest menu features a dozen new cocktails, conceived and created by Bar Manager Alex Black, each blending classic bar recipes with accents and flavours sourced from Laowai’s Chinatown neighbours.

“With Laowai, the idea was always to wipe the slate clean and introduce entirely new cocktails at regular intervals,” says owner Lewis Hart. “There are several reasons for that: to allow Alex and the team to flex their creative muscles, to keep up with the standards set by world’s best bars and bartenders, and to keep alive the theatrical spirit of mystery and discovery our guests have come to enjoy.”

As with its previous incarnation, each cocktail on the new list is inspired by a singular figure whose life or legend has woven itself into the history of China and/or Shanghai. Just a few examples:

Tiger in the Smoke: A Pinot Noir and dragon-herb-infused sipper inspired by Ng Mui, a Shaolin nun and a fierce fighter who invented both the Dragon and White Crane styles of martial arts.

Don’t Let Them See You Bleed: A nod to the Vesper Martini and to William Fairbairn, a Shanghai lawman and inventor who was Ian Fleming’s model for “Q” in James Bond.

Fool’s Gold: A clarified Caesar garnished with 24K gold flakes and a lip-tingling Sichuan peppercorn rim inspired by the legend of Emperor Huiwin of Qin and his golden cattle.

Tumbling Dice: A riff on the classic Paloma that shouts out to Carlos Garcia, a Mexican bootlegger and Shanghai casino magnate.

Say When: Based on the Hotel Saskatchewan cocktail and an homage to Morris “Two-Gun” Cohen, a Jewish-Canadian gunslinger and bodyguard to Sun Yat-sen.

The Fault in Our Stars: A nutty sour infused named after proto-feminist Wang Zhenyi, a self-taught astronomer and mathematician in the 18th century.

Laowai has also expanded its Baijiu programme due to public interest and demand for the world’s most popular spirit. The new list offers 28 different Baijiu in 15ml (.5oz), 30ml (1oz) and 60ml (2oz) pours — more than double the number of the previous list which, at 11 brands, was already the largest Baijiu menu of its kind anywhere in Canada.

For guests who fear missing out on their favourite cocktails from the previous menu, a limited-edition run of the previous cocktail menu is available for purchase. Volume 1: A Dreamers Abode lists Laowai’s 12 original cocktails with a QR code that links home-bar afficionados to the top-secret recipes. It is sold as a package with two bottled cocktails from that first list: the aromatic and herbaceous Negroni-style The Khan & I and the peppery Manhattan-style On Borrowed Time. The cost is $65, with partial proceeds benefiting the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation’s May Wah Hotel.

Volume 1: A Dreamers Abode packages are available at BLND TGER Dumplings and Laowai (251 East Georgia St.) during regular business hours.

Behind BLND TGER Dumplings
251 East Georgia Street (btwn Main and Gore)
Chinatown, Vancouver
“Ask for the Number 7”

Hours of operation:
5pm til late, Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays)

Tues-Fri: 4:30pm til late (closed Mondays)
Sat & Sun: Noon til late

Instagram: @whereislaowai
Facebook: /whereislaowai

Media release and images provided by Kate MacDougall, Camber Communications 

Leave a Comment

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial