Epic in Shanghai wins Campari One To Watch Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021

Shanghai’s Epic has been named Campari One To Watch by Asia’s 50 Best Bars, which marks the first time that the accolade heads to mainland China.

By: Tiff Christie|April 16,2021

Shanghai’s Epic has been named Campari One To Watch by Asia’s 50 Best Bars, which marks the first time that the accolade heads to mainland China. The award is given to a rising-star bar that the organisers of 50 Best believe has the potential to break into the main list in coming years.


The award is the third of four special awards to be announced ahead of Asia’s 50 Best Bars’ digital ceremony on 6th May 2021, which will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube. As countries begin to open up following a year of extraordinary challenges, 50 Best’s role in championing great bars and bringing the community closer together is more important than ever. For the first time, and to celebrate more great bars across the continent, 50 Best will also reveal the bars ranked between 51st and 100th in the list on 29th April.

Launched in 2014, Epic is a three-storey cocktail lounge located in Shanghai’s old French Concession that offers creative and innovative cocktails paired with great music in an upbeat and elegant setting. The venue is founded by Cross Yu, who travelled extensively while learning the craft of bartending before returning to Shanghai to launch a bar with international flavour, but one that is rooted in an authentic Chinese spirit.

Mark Sansom, Content Editor for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, says: “A massive congratulations to Cross Yu and the Epic team for winning this year’s Campari One To Watch Award and for bringing the accolade to mainland China. Operating a hospitality venue in such challenging times is no easy feat, but the bar has managed to thrive and stand out with its innovative and unique repertoire of cocktails, personable service and a playlist that must be one of the best in Asia. We are excited to see what more this rising star will bring in the years to come as it looks to break into the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars.”

Epic is the product of Yu’s 20 years’ experience in the bar industry. He and his team are driven by creativity and innovation, concocting unique cocktails using unusual ingredients such as Mexican worm salt, tonka beans, saffron, soy sauce, as well as house-made fermented syrups and fat-washed spirits. The result is a menu that delights, inspires and ignites curiosity, as well as offering superb drinks at a fair price for the consumer. Aside from running Epic, Yu is also deeply passionate about mentoring the next generation of bartenders and is committed to making the most of his knowledge, experience and influence to contribute to China’s bar scene and show it off to the world.

Cross Yu, Founder of Epic, says: “The Campari One To Watch Award shows that people around the globe are beginning to know who we are and watch what we do. It also means a lot of responsibility for the team in the future – we have to be better and better. China’s cocktail culture is growing so fast and Shanghai has advanced to a level where you can experience something quite special while at the same time enjoying the benefits of an international city where everything is easy, accessible and ultra-modern – that’s the whole country’s focus at the moment.”

Matteo Fantacchiotti, Managing Director Asia Pacific for Campari Group, says: “It is the time of the year where we celebrate the heroes of our industry – the people that transform the years of passion, heritage and dedication that sit behind the well-known spirits brands and liquids into unforgettable experiences. Given Campari’s roots are linked to a small café and bar, it is the greatest pleasure to present the Campari One To Watch Award as it recognises and celebrates bars and bartenders with outstanding passion and creativity that have the potential for even greater things. The team at Epic in Shanghai is certainly one of those and we look forward to celebrate with them and support them and all the 50 Best Bars community in 2021 and beyond.”

Past winners of the Campari One To Watch include No Sleep Club in Singapore (2020), Pussyfoot Saloon in Seoul, South Korea (2019) and Rabbit Hole in Bangkok, Thailand (2018).

The sixth edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, will be announced in a virtual ceremony on 6th May, beginning at 6pm HK/Singapore time (3.30pm India; 5pm Thailand; 7pm Japan). Bar and cocktail lovers are invited to join the digital countdown of the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 through The World’s 50 Best Bars Facebook page and 50 Best Bars TV YouTube channel.

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