BLENDS by Hennessy gets right mix on the Bund
BLENDS by Hennessy, the conceptualized bar created by the world-renowned cognac leader, is the latest spot on the Bund for those looking for quick drinks and a casual hangout.
Located on the first floor of Bund 18, which is right at the end of the recently opened extended section of the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall, the bar is a perfect stop before or after dinner if you plan to dine at one of the restaurants on the Bund.
The “shell-inside-a-shell” concept is reflected in the décor of the cozy bar, which is modern and futuristic. But the space overall is quite small. There are a few window seats that offer a view of the Bund.
The cocktail menu is refined, comprehensive, fashionable and diversified, offering a wide selection of cocktails, both new signatures and twists on the classics, that aren’t just limited to the Hennessy brand.
Down for Dawn is one signature cocktail not to be missed (118 yuan).
The refreshingly spring green-colored elixir is a mix of Hennessy V.S.O.P, Japanese pistachio sauce, almond milk and simcoe hop, which is served in a glass container with strong smoke that portrays the idea of an oak barrel.
The cocktail was quite strong in terms of ABV, but the creamy texture of the almond milk complemented the strong cognac and made the cocktail very smooth to slide down your throat.
A lighter signature cocktail to try is Lost on the Bund (168 yuan), which is a mix of cognac and Chandon Brut, served with homemade lipstick-shaped jelly and imitated caviar.
And from the classic cocktail selection, the server recommended a deluxe Long Island Iced Tea (128 yuan).
It was spot on: refreshing, delicious with a very strong delayed effect, as its alcoholic base is a mix of Belvedere vodka, Hayman’s dry gin, Don Julio Blanco tequila, Rhum Clément rum and Luxardo triple sec, seasoned with lemon juice, rich syrup and Fever-Tree cola.
Besides cocktails, the bar offers a decent selection of wines and spirits as well as low ABV cocktails.
The opening hour of BLENDS is quite different from bars in general, it opens at 10am and offers an afternoon tea menu after lunch hour. The food menu at the moment is a little bit hasty with items like French fries, vegetable chips and a few desserts.
The bar is running an online reservation system via its official WeChat mini program (titled BLENDS BY HENNESSY) that allows guests to choose the time and date in advance. Reservation is free most of the time but on some particular holiday dates, there could be a 200 yuan per person deposit to hold the seat for 15 minutes due to high demand.
Once an online reservation is submitted, a member of staff will call back immediately to confirm the reservation, then confirm again on the day to ensure the seats are available.
The reservation system takes a few extra steps but it avoids waiting time and uncertainty. There’s also a 10 percent service charge.