First Floor, Unit 202, 47 Yongfu Lu/Yongfu Road (near Fuxing Xi Lu/Fuxing West Road), Shanghai , 上海市 , China
Tel: +86 21 6433 6511
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-late
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Images By: diffordsguide.com
A discreet entrance on Yongfu Lu's bar strip leads up to this buzzy first floor bar, a French Concession cocktail favourite among the more switched-on expat crowd.
Go early at weekends or reserve ahead of time, as the place offers table service or bar seating only and fills up fast.
As the name would suggest, not to mention the fireplace shrine where bottles and lilies surround a virginal painting, El Cóctel is a veritable temple to the cocktail, although there is nothing precious about the place.
Lighting is moodily low, so low that waitresses provide pen torches with which to read the menu, which is classically-led but balances crowd-pleasers, classics and curios beautifully.
An inventive list of fizzes caters for the long-drinkers, while there are Pisco Sours, Islay Old-Fashioneds, Sazeracs and the likes of the Adonis available for those hoping to discover or rediscover the classics, as well as seasonal choices.
Drinks are made with love and well-balanced, service is excellent, but the place retains a laidback, friendly, unpretentious feel.