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‘Convenience Store Cocktails’ Are All the Rage in China Right Now

Tutorials on how to make delicious cocktails using only ingredients from convenience stores have taken Chinese social media by storm

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Beatrice Tamagno Headshot
7:17 AM HKT, Thu October 20, 2022 1 mins read

In light of rising unemployment and unpredictable lockdowns, which have been disrupting nightlife throughout China, what’s safer and cheaper than sourcing your cocktails directly from local convenience stores?

Recently, Chinese youth have done just that — taking to social media platforms to share creative drink ideas that only require ingredients from China’s ubiquitous convenience stores.

On the Instagram-like platform Xiaohongshu, a hashtag related to convenience store cocktails has racked up nearly 15 million views, while a similar hashtag on Douyin, China’s answer to TikTok, has amassed over 370 million views at the time of writing.

convenience store cocktails

Some creative cocktail recipes by netizens. Image via Xiaohongshu

In addition to uploading tutorials on how to recreate classic cocktails like the Long Island iced tea, netizens have been sharing ideas for unusual and tasty pairings — Jägermeister and lemon tea, anyone?

On October 16, 7-Eleven, an American convenience store chain with more than 71,000 outlets in China, hopped on the bandwagon by inaugurating the first DIY cocktail machine at its storefront in Beijing’s Dongzhimen area.

Customers can purchase a cup of ice for 7 RMB (about 1 USD) and choose from four spirits: whiskey, white rum, coffee liquor, or Malibu, before adding their mixer of choice, which, according to pictures on the internet, includes primarily soft drinks, ice tea, coconut milk, and coffee.

convenience store cocktails

The DIY cocktail machine in a 7-Eleven in Dongzhimen, Beijing. Image via Xiaohongshu

Craft cocktail bars have mushroomed in China’s first-tier cities in recent years to meet growing demand, a phenomenon that award-winning bartender Faye Chen called “China’s cocktail revolution.” Now, convenience store cocktails are part of a rising trend that sees Chinese youth reinventing their drinking culture — an exciting new chapter in said revolution.

Cover image designed by Zhuohan Shao and Beatrice Tamagno

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