After five years in Shanghai, Daniel An has opened his own cocktail bar. Well known from his time behind the bar at Starling (where he'll remain part time), An is an impressive mixologist with plenty of his own creations to impress. Taste Buds Cocktail Palace is set back slightly from the street, next door to Ferguson Lane and part of a building still under renovation. Despite the construction, the vibe inside the bar is romantic and relaxed. Birdcages hang from the ceiling and plush velvet couches line the walls. The balcony is a small but pleasant spot to sit and linger in the early evening if you are able to nab a seat.
The launch menu is extensive, with six pages of cocktails that will keep you entertained and well watered for months to come. There are three pages of An's signature creations with the remainder of the menu filled with classics and a few forgotten old-timey drinks. Prices range from 78-128RMB, with most cocktails coming in at 88RMB. From An's creations, The Euphemia (78RMB) is well worth ordering. Served in a coupe glass decorated with wonderfully fragrant osmanthus petals, it mixes sherry, sweet vermouth, honey and Peychaud's bitters. The Ye (88RMB) is a spicier version of a Manhattan, incorporating all spiced vinegar and maple syrup to lend each sip a deep and sweet aftertaste.
This place is an impressive new opening in an area that's already got a number of great cocktail bars. Definitely one to add into your rotation for the service, venue and most importantly, the drinks.
Taste Buds Cocktail Palace: Second Floor, 368 Wukang Lu, near Hunan Lu, Xuhui district.