Article By Stephen Robinson
No.14, Tian Shui Jing Jie.
7:00pm – 2:00am
Average Price per Person /人均消费:152RMB
It’s safe to say that cocktails have taken Xi’an by storm. There are more cocktail bars than any one person would be able to visit, and there are new bars opening all the time, even as older bars close. But even with the vast variety, bars can sometimes start to feel…generic. It’s always the same drinks, mixed in very similar ways, without out much in the way of theme or originality. It’s often that I walk into a bar and recognize every single drink, and every single bottle on the wall. So, it takes something unique to impress me.
Cinnamon Pink is a cocktail bar that has been around for a few years now, but has recently undergone a renovation and alteration to the menu. Located inside of Hangguang Gate, this bar is easy to miss if you don’t know what to look for and even then, you need to walk slowly. The entrance is a discreet metal door, marked only by the pink neon sign that says Cinnamon. With all of the other shops on the street, it can be easy to miss. Once you go in the door, you head up a steep staircase that opens up on a small but well-appointed bar, with one of the most massive collections of bottles you will find in Xi’an.
You can choose to sit at one of the surrounding tables, or you can choose to sit up at the brushed metal bar, which not only give you a fantastic view of the bartenders practicing their craft, but will give you a better chance of perusing that extensive bottle collection. Once we were seated and water glasses were filled, we had a chance to check out the menu. The menu itself only had two main sections – cocktails and gin. That is because most of the bottles lining the wall (roughly 450 in total by my count) were gin. Several hundred different varieties of gin, from craft distilleries all over the planet. They really like their gin here.
Completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of bottles, I asked the bartender, Frank, to make a recommendation. He said a good place to start would be with a gin and tonic to sample one of their more unique gins, The Butchers Gin – an herby gin from Belgium that I’d never heard of before. Perfectly clear ice cubes were stacked up in the glass, followed by a generous portion of gin, which was then topped with East Imperial tonic water, juniper berries, and a torched rosemary sprig. The drink was perfectly crisp and fragrant, with the rosemary playing well off of the notes of the gin.
The next drink was a rum based drink called the Old Cuban, a mixture of aged rum, mint, and sparkling wine. You could tell by watching, that Frank knows his stuff. Each ingredient carefully, measure and mixed with precision – a true professional. The drink that came out on the other side was light, tangy, and very refreshing.
The final drink that I opted for, being one of my favorites, was a classic dry gin martini. A well-made martini is a sign of a talented bartender, because even though it is so simple, it is so easy to mess up. Frank started with chilling a mixer by rapidly stirring some ice. This was then followed with a little dry vermouth, which was again precisely stirred and then strained out, ensuring that the martini would be extra dry. Tanqueray No.10 was then added to the mixer, which was then rapidly stirred (not shaken, sorry James Bond fans, that’s a bad martini). The drink was then strained into a classic martini glass to which was added a single, large green olive. It was a perfect sip and a great way to close out the night.
So, if you are a fan of gin or if you just want an expertly crafted cocktail, Cinnamon Pink might a place for you to check out. The average price per cocktail is a bit on the higher side, with most coming in at 88RMB, while the prices for single shots or bottles of gin vary depending on the brand. If you have a chance to try out Cinnamon, let us know by sending us a message via our official WeChat account or by email at email@example.com
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