Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year sips and kicks in Beijing

Chinese New Year (CNY) will be nice and quiet this year—that is, during the day. At night time there will be plenty of fireworks, special cocktails and parties ablaze for the people who decide to stay in the city.
Do check out the new Lantern club located on the basement level of 3.3 mall, especially when you are craving techno and house beats on weekend nights. Just opened on Jan 8, red-hued Lantern club is owned and operated by local underdog Acupuncture Records, so you can be sure that the music and vibe will be homegrown and unique.
Try Lantern’s Wizard of Oz cocktail (40 yuan) made out of vodka, melon liquor, and pineapple juice. A bit bitter and strong, it makes for a great party starter drink.
Although not as tasty as the Wizard of Oz, the special CNY Red Lantern (50 yuan, pictured) made with vodka, lemon juice, tonic and a boost of brown sugar may help you stay warm and ward off the winter cold. Get there before 11 pm daily to take advantage of their buy one get one free deals on all drinks.

Chinese New Year sips and kicks in Beijing
Close by Lantern, party-goers can venture to White Rabbit’s new location on the second level of the Tongli building.
Although it does not have the original feel of “going down the rabbit hole” that its original location at the basement level of Lucky Street provided, its new location in Sanlitun is more central and convenient for party-goers to hop to.
During the CNY holiday, try White Rabbit’s special CNY drinks Cosmo Firecracker or Lucky Snow at a special price of 35 yuan (regularly 50 yuan) this Feb 13 through 29.
For a quiet space for conversation and superb cocktails, go to Aria at China World Hotel.
Since red is the color of prosperity for CNY, Aria has created one especially for the occasion. Try the Hong-Red (80 yuan) made with 42 Below Passion fruit Vodka, Cointreau, fresh lime wedges, and fresh watermelon juice.
If, however, you rather feel Lucky, try the Aria’s Fu (80 yuan) made with 42 Below passion fruit Vodka, elderflower vanilla liqueur, homemade lavender syrup, freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice, and egg white.
Is all that drinking making you hungry? Cash in on your hunger for a free bottle of Penfolds wine at the Grange steakhouse.
Guests who can finish all of Granges Chop Shop platter (285 yuan, plate must be clean) get to take home a complimentary private release Penfolds Shiraz/Cabernet.
Curious to take the challenge? Get ready, the platter has includes three kinds of meat: veal chop (220g), stockyard pork chops (180g), twin bone Australian lamb chops (200g), and several sides (mashed potato and green asparagus, braised green cabbage and bacon, beer battered onion rings, and paprika and honey butternut squash).
Rest assured, it is manageable. Rumor has it that two petite Japanese women finished their plates all in good time.
To dance off all those calories you’ve eaten, you can always go to one of the Banana clubs this CNY holiday.
Contrary to clubs made that cater to the foreign crowd and are only happening during special events, the Banana club family (GT in Scitech, Club LA in Gongti) is packed almost everyday of the week with locals. (Especially Coco Banana in Gongti.)
Once inside, of course, prepare yourself for the hazard of a wild night complete with mainstream Hip-Hop, Chivas and green tea, and babe galore.

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