A few weeks back I found a shop here in Shanghai selling Marie Brizard liqueurs. There seems to be a company importing them from Hong Kong into Shantou. Unfortunately the Shanghai store has decided to stop stocking them in favor of Bols. It is hard to understand why they would do this given that Bols is generally crappy and Marie Brizard is generally good, but there you go.
Anyway, having realized Marie Brizard was quality stuff after trying their Apry while in Cambodia I grabbed a few more flavors as soon as I saw it. I picked up crème de cacao, orange curacao and anisette. I also grabbed a bottle of Get 31 peppermint liqueur. I was especially pleased with the anisette because I hadn’t seen this before in Shanghai.
All of the flavors were pretty good when I compared them to Bols. The only slightly strange one was the crème de cacao, which seems to have an odd herbal taste in addition to the chocolate. The Get 31 tasted OK but had a strange sediment in the bottle. I took it back a few days later and exchanged it. Exchanging it was a little funny. I was standing in the front of the shop showing the assistant that my bottle had a sediment while the other bottles did not. There were three of us standing in a line behind the display holding bottles of crème de menthe up to the light and peering into them. A dozen or so pedestrians on Huaihai Rd. stopped to watch the foreigner checking the crème de menthe bottles. Perhaps they thought the official crème de menthe inspector from France doing a random check.
Later that night I happened to take out the Anisette bottle to show a friend while we were having a drink in Le Garcon Chinois. The Japanese woman behind the bar seemed to have some kind of a sixth sense for anisette. As soon as the bottle came out of its bag she abandoned the drinks she was making at the other end of the bar to ask where I had found anisette in Shanghai. She said she needed it to make a drink called Shanghai. I’d never heard of this drink before, but after she mentioned it to me I did begin to notice that the odd bar in Shanghai has it on their menu, always made with Pernod since anisette is hard to find. Anyway, I eventually got around to making a Shanghai myself.
1 1/2 oz Jamacian rum
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz anisette
1/4 oz grenadine
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
There seems something old fashioned about sweetish but extremely rummy drinks like this one. The anisette adds interest to what is really just a very simple rum punch, and takes it away from being just a sweet and sour type of drink. It is good if you want a very mild aniseed drink.
I made mine with Meyers, but if possible use something more interesting – Appleton Estate should be good.