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Celebrate Chinese New Year

China might be famous for its tea, but during New Year the drink of choice is something entirely different - you guessed it, booze!

Chinese white wine, or baijiu as it’s commonly known, is the most popular. Remove all thoughts of Sauvignon Blanc - baijiu, meaning white liquor, is a hardcore spirit. Pronounced bye-joe, it’s distilled from rice or wheat, and this firewater is China’s national spirit.

We may be nearly 8,000km from China, but we’re super close to China Town and with that in mind, we’ve put together a selection of some of the best places to see in the Chinese New Year. You’ll even get to try some of that baijiu if you’re up for it.

The Courtesan
Find it: 69-73 Atlantic Road, Brixton SW9 8PU
This modern Dim Sum restaurant and late-night drinking den hidden amongst the hustle and bustle of Brixton is a real gem. Every cocktail tells a story, inspired by the legendary courtesans of Ancient China - how does Yang Yuhan, so beautiful, flowers turn their head in shame sound? A mix of lychee liqueur, chamomile tea, Bacardi Carta Oro and lychee juice.

Find it: 9a St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
The first of the Duddell’s brand outside of Hong Kong, this flash bar housed in a Grade II listed former church boasts an Asian-inspired cocktail list - think St. Thomas Antidote, made with Opihr gin, Benedictine DOM, Cointreau, Chinese five-spice and egg white.

Find it: The Jade Door, 15-16 Gerrard St, London W1D 6JE
Step into this chic Chinatown tree-house and you’ll find yourself in 1920’s Shanghai. Don’t leave without trying the zodiac-inspired Dog (Raisin-infused Chivas Regal 12yr Scotch Whisky, noisette liqueur, biscuit syrup, chocolate bitters and mead). But if cocktails aren’t your thing, throw back a Tsingtao 1903, a truly authentic Chinese beer.

Find it: 129 City Rd, Hoxton, London EC1V 1JB
You can sample baijiu in this intimate low-lit cocktail bar - try their Hong Kong Punch (it definitely packs one), featuring Appleton reserve blend, Hennessy Fine, tea liqueur, the one and only Baijiu, cherry molasses, pineapple, lime, and yuzu soda. While you’re out and about, check out sister basement speakeasy Oriole, mixing up Jiangsu’s Nanjing Cooler and Xuancheng’s Cydonia Cup.

Find it: 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
On the 33rd floor of the Shard, and with the breathtaking panoramic views you’d expect, this swish bar decked out in traditional Beijing décor features a cocktail list inspired by ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine. Expect the likes of Tai Lang, a concoction of Talisker 10 whiskey, homemade pomelo cordial, plum liqueur and Tsingtao beer foam. Intrigued?

Experimental Cocktail Club
Find it: 13a Gerrard St, London W1D 5PS
If you want to be feel part of Chinese New Year, but would prefer to be ensconced somewhere cosy with a drink in hand, head to the Experimental Cocktail Club, an opulent three-storey bar that sits behind an unassuming door in the heart of Chinatown. This is a special place to drink a celebratory cocktail.

China Tang at The Dorchester
Find it: 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA
Sup on an expertly mixed cocktail in this plush bar, and you’ll be transported to 1930’s Shanghai. Get a baijiu fix with the Abajour, a combo of Grey Goose vodka, St Germain elderflower liqueur, citrus & baijiu ayrup and green sherbet foam.

Peony at Opium
Find it: The Jade Door, 15-16 Gerrard St, London W1D 6JE
A hidden bar within Opium, step behind the red curtain and you’ll find yourself not wanting to leave this cosy spot. It boasts a separate menu, why not sip on an Ultimate Pisco Sour? - Gobernador Pisco, Solerno Blood orange (the Chinese believe oranges bring good luck and fortune), Chartreuse, fresh lime, plum wine and egg white.

Duck and Rice
Find it: 90 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 0QB
Celebrate the Year of the Dog at Soho’s Duck and Rice, another of Alan Yau’s success stories. Pull up a pew in the buzzy ground-floor pub, snack on some Dim Sum or a plate of moreish crispy duck fried rice, and wash it down with a Hopwork Orange.

Don’t forget, celebrations continue on for around two weeks after February 16th- happy days! Xin, nian kuai le, and ganbei!