16. Aria Bar – Beijing, China

Cocktail – Aria Classic
Sugar cube, Angostura bitters, Grand Marnier, Champagne

Date Visited – Oct 2008

Autumn arrives and there’s a Great Wall waiting for me, as well as 15 other Breast Cancer Care Trekkers! I’m required to earn my cocktail this time, with 5 days of trekking and much jet lag! 15 ladies (and a gent) to choose from, but not one wants to join me! To be fair we’d been trekking since 7am, sat on a coach for 3 hours to Beijing, toured nighttime snack street and had a very relaxing leg massage. Only a crazy person would go drinking rather than to bed! Our Chinese guide ‘Nana’ clearly thinks I’m crazy, but she phones ahead to find out exactly where the bar is, puts me in a taxi, writes the name of my hotel in Chinese so I can get back (essential), and then sends me on my way. Aria Bar is a hotel bar in the Diplomatic area, with airport style security to enter! No Aria Classic on the menu, it’s familiar with the fortunately English-speaking barman as a champagne cocktail, but a text from Mother is required for confirmation. I’ve still not learnt my lesson! Not much to tell, I got chatting to two men at the bar from Hong Kong, shame my roomie and HK resident was unable to join. I may have drunk alone in this one, but I had quite the audience in the Forbidden City the next morning awaiting feedback!

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