Arrow Factory x Vineyard Café
, reliable Liangmaqiao brewpub and soon-to-be server of British roast dinners
, adds a whole bevy of TCM-approved spices to the winter classic, including orange, lemon, ginger, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, apple juice, orange juice and brandy. A heady mix perhaps, but the ginger makes for a not-unwelcome addition, particularly for those feeling slightly under the weather. 40RMB.
Definitely not one for the purists, the cocktail connoisseurs at Black Moth
have given mulled wine a Southeast Asian twist, resulting in a cocktail that's both full-bodied and playful. Made with pandan, wine, vermouth and glutinous rice, who says you can't carb-load while drinking? 90RMB.
Boxing Cat Brewery
Another one for the adventurous, Boxing Cat Brewery
's mulled wine lists vodka, passion fruit purée, orange curaçao, cloves and yoghurt as ingredients in its (very) unconventional recipe. Part of the brewery's new Christmas menu, diners can also load up on roast turkey plus sides (158RMB), chestnut and apple soup (48RMB) or a spiced pumpkin, chocolate and gingerbread trifle (48RMB, pictured above). 65RMB.
Gulou mainstay Café Zarah
has just launched an entire seasonal menu dedicated to hot cocktails, with hot toddies (40RMB), hot chocolates (45RMB) and even hot Old Fashioneds (50RMB) getting a look in. Its mulled wine offering is in the vein of a traditional glühwein – perfectly spiced without any fancy flourishes. Head down every night from 6 to 9pm to enjoy happy hour on all cocktails, house wines, prosecco and mulled wine. 40RMB.
Gung Ho! Pizza
Arguably better known for its tasty pizzas and excellent vegan options than naughty tipples, Gung Ho!
gets in on the festive action with a new menu of cheeky hot drinks to try alongside its carby creations. Served only at its Sanlitun branch, Gung Ho!'s mulled wine features cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and star anise, among other secret spices. 50RMB.
In a shrewdly clever showcase of brewing expertise, Australian hopheads Little Creatures
are serving up mulled beer instead of wine this winter. Made with orange, lemon, apple, cinnamon, star anise and cider, this winter warmer also features Randall beer as its base, a festive brew that's made by infusing Little Creatures' own White Rabbit Dark Ale with hawthorn, star anise and cinnamon for 12 hours. The result? A delightfully drinkable option for the wine averse – and one of the city's best-priced options. 20RMB.
Not all mulled wines are created equal, and with the additions of crème de cassis and port, plus the requisite flavourings of lemon peel, cloves, cinnamon and star anise, Mesh
's up-market take on mulled wine is intoxicatingly complex. 68RMB.
Q Mex Taqueria
Made with characteristic Mexican flair, Q Mex
's mulled wine features agave nectar, brandy, oranges and a mixture of spices. Prefer a chilled cocktail? Try their apple pie margarita (65RMB), sprinkled with an actual pie crust crumble topping. Served at all three Q Mex locations. 45RMB
Thirsty for more? Chaos
, super sly grog shop and quite possibly Beijing's smallest bar, is doing its part to thoroughly sozzle Liangmaqiao residents with its laidback range of bevs (all served in plastic cups, of course) including mulled wine (40RMB), hot toddies (40RMB) and Irish coffee (40RMB). Meanwhile, cool new kid on the Xingfucun block 50/50
is offering its own low-key version (80RMB) with syrah, spices, orange and apple slices, plus spiced rum. Alternatively, head to Gulou institution Modernista
to sip on mulled wine (45RMB) while catching plenty of live music, or make your way to Sanlitun café Tienstiens
to enjoy, in this case, vin chaud
(59RMB) while huddled under a starry dome