Some experiences just stick with you: your first sports game; your first kiss; or maybe a trip you took years prior. For me, one that resonates with me was my time in Japan. There were so many experiences to take in, so I can think of lots of things I enjoyed, but one I carry with me was the simple pleasure of the Izakaya. By definition, an Izakaya is a type of Japanese bar in which a variety of small, – typically inexpensive – dishes and snacks are served to accompany the alcoholic drinks. And that’s exactly what I got while I was there. It was a relaxed drinking environment for the weary and hardworking. A place to gather and take in the people around you, while enjoying simple prepared food at a decent price. Oh, and of course you had to have a nice cold draft to chug while you ate. It was that charming and unpretentious dining experience that was so attractive, especially after running around the city chasing fancy cocktail bars, malls, and museums. It was so nice, and now I find myself longing for that same feeling after a busy day.
Dining out has become a hallmark of the Xi’an experience. New restaurants open weekly it seems and sifting through the sea of options can be a job. Often times, great places are lost among the many new places that pop up, which is why I always enjoy trying places that have been around and still stand out among the new guard. I got an opportunity to try such a place at Izakaya.
Diets are one of those things that everyone loves, and hates, to talk about. Many of us are on one, or have some kind of dietary restrictions for tons of different reasons. A lot of people also love to have a nice drink; a cocktail here or there to take the edge off. And being knowledgeable about drinks, people often come to me with questions or request about drinks they can have while sticking to their diet. It’s tricky trying to balance both of those lives. I wanted to make an article to help people figure out how to drink responsibly (for their health, the rest is on you). It would be super easy to list a bunch of low-carb, sugar-free, healthy cocktails but you could easily look up list after list of these. I figured, as someone who knows craft cocktails, I could give you some techniques and tips on how to make your own drinks suitable to your diet. So, let’s dive right in.
It’s no secret that people here love a nice beer in a can or bottle. Often you can find one table with 10-20 at a time. And I’m sure we are all familiar with the sweet bottled Rio drinks lining the fridges of Everydays all over the city. But I foresee something new on the horizon. Because why should you only put beer in a can or bottle; why not a refreshing chardonnay or a Manhattan cocktail? Yeah, we are officially in the future.
Even if it’s too short to fully enjoy, spring time is here in Xi’an. Have you seen the cherry blossoms? They are
magnificent. But whether I’m enjoy a meal al fresco, or taking a boat ride with friends on a lake, I always find myself asking the same question; how can cocktails improve this experience? So once again, I am here to provide you with some cocktails to help take your express spring time to the next (boozy-filled) level. Yes that’s correct. 3 cocktails perfect for light breezes, sunshine and flowers blooming.
Ilove cocktails. The only thing I love more than drinking a good cocktail is making one. I often come up with ideas for different cocktails as well as test them out, and I’d like to think I’m pretty good at making drinks. My friend Ben loves music – he comes up with beats in his spare time and they are usually quite good, but recently he has be neglecting his passion. So after a long talk a proposal was made, a pact if you will, to help spur his creativity and out of comradery I decided to do the same. We came up with challenges for each other; his was to come up with a complete new song in two weeks, mine was to come up with a new cocktail every week. But my challenge had a few handicaps, which lead me on a very creative and tasty journey.
It’s a tale as old as time. You are ready to go out, see the town, and enjoy the night. Maybe it’s you and a couple friends, and you are polling the room for what to do. Inevitably, you realize that some of you want good drinks, others want good music, and the rest want to club a bit while the night is young. Then, of course, you realize you have to choose 1 of these 3 options, because most places don’t really deliver on all them at the same time. That is until On/Off Bar arrived on the Xi’an scene.
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