Tell us about MEI’s special cocktails. What things were considered in their creation?
We, of course, have the Pisco Punch and Mango Hemingway Daiquiri. These two drinks are basically classic cocktails with a twist designed specially for MEI to suit the creative and stylish atmosphere of the lounge. With Pisco Punch, I’ve added in my twist of marshmallows and apricot brandy, while with the Daiquiri, I chose to add the flavors of Maraschino Liqueur and passion fruit. Also on the menu is a twist to a Gin and Tonic, created using Sloe Gin, where the gin is infused with sloe berries, acting as a mild and smooth version to a classic G&T. These cocktails are all about simplicity adapted to the modern day palate, while keeping the original recipe in mind. Other drink specialties at MEI include the Town Branch Bourbon, as well as the Dom Pérignon P3 1971, which can’t be found anywhere else in Beijing.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
As previously mentioned, I draw my inspiration from the local produce; but also from the people and the local history. I feel that discovering new ingredients, such as Chinese herbs that I’ve never tasted before or a distinct flavor combination at a local restaurant that I’m trying for the first time, can help inspire me. Sometimes I wake up with an idea and rush to my bar to try it, so generally the ideas and inspiration come from within. I’m not sure how I do it, but it just happens, especially if I discover a new product. Once I experience its flavor, I can somehow automatically know what to do with it.