The Union Trading Company
Photography by diffordsguide.com
Words by Theodora Sutcliffe on 14-Jun-2015
64 Fenyang Lu, (entrance on Fuxing Zhong Lu), Shanghai, China
Tel: +86 (0)21 6418 3077
Website: Not supplied
Hours: Mon-Sat 6pm-2am
Door: Open door
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar snacks
Chef Austin Hu and Shanghai cocktail star Yao Lu own and operate this long, narrow two-storey space, which opened in July 2014 in (but of course!) the French Concession. Design is clean and unfussy, with exposed brickwork, barrels for ageing cocktails, plenty of books and the odd piece of Americana, but only the most passing nod to Shanghai's speakeasy craze.
The lovingly curated, 20-strong cocktail list changes every few months and, precisely because it's only a single sheet of paper, it's a thing of beauty: well-selected classic cocktails sit alongside house creations, while the drinks are engagingly explained. #theoriginal, an in-house creation winningly described as "An Old-Fashioned knocked up a Negroni and moved to China" blended rye, Cynar and P/X sherry as flawlessly as you'd expect, while more Chinese-themed drinks include a blend of Old Tom gin, rose, lemon and China's floral, vermouth-style spirit, osmanthus wine.
Union is a destination venue, but the feel is relaxed and unfussy - a classic neighbourhood bar.