Bars We Love:: Speak Low - Shanghai, China

by Negronis Greg

Speak Low is a world-renowned speakeasy located in the bustling city of Shanghai, China. Founded in 2014, the bar quickly gained international recognition for its innovative cocktail program and exceptional service. The bar was established by Shingo Gokan, a world-renowned mixologist with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

The name "Speak Low" was inspired by the famous song from the 1943 film "One Touch of Venus". The bar is situated in a historic building that was once a opium den during the 1920s. The interior is designed to resemble a classic speakeasy, with dim lighting, exposed brick walls, and plush leather seating.

Speak Low is known for its unique cocktail program, which combines classic techniques with innovative ingredients and presentations. The bar offers a range of drinks, including signature cocktails and seasonal specialties. One of the most famous drinks at Speak Low is the "Baijiu Sour", which is made with the traditional Chinese spirit baijiu, lemon juice, sugar, and egg white.

Shingo Gokan is the mastermind behind Speak Low's cocktail program and has been recognized as one of the world's best bartenders. He has won numerous awards, including the title of "International Bartender of the Year" at Tales of the Cocktail in 2017.

Speak Low has gained worldwide recognition for its exceptional cocktails and service. The bar has been listed among the World's 50 Best Bars since 2016 and was ranked as the number one bar in Asia in 2016 and 2017.

The bar has two entrances, with the first floor being a casual and intimate lounge, and the second floor featuring a bar area that is more upscale and sophisticated. Speak Low also features a secret speakeasy within a speakeasy, known as "The Union Trading Company". The Union Trading Company is accessible only through a hidden door and features a separate cocktail menu.

In addition to its exceptional cocktail program, Speak Low also offers a range of bar snacks and small plates to complement its drinks. The bar's website features a full menu, along with information about upcoming events and promotions.

To learn more about Speak Low, you can visit their website at or follow them on Instagram at @speaklowshanghai. You can also find more information about Shingo Gokan on his personal website at

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