Twelve Drinks for the Holidays

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With Thanksgiving looming and the holiday season descending upon us, we bet you’re going to need some new drink recipes. In the December, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine we asked George Reilly of Twisted Tail, Phoebe Esmon of Emmanuelle and of Hop Sing Laundromat to help us create twelve winter holiday drinks.

Cheers!

The 12 Best Winter Holiday Drinks [Philadelphia Magazine]

One Night Only: Hop Sing Laundromat And Jamonera Are Throwing A Late-Night Party

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Clear your schedules for Monday, August 12 (and probably the morning after, too) because for one night only, from 10pm ’til 1am, Lee from Hop Sing is going to descend on Marcie Turney and Val Safran’s Jamonera for a party.

Hop Sing will be doing the cocktails (natch) and Turney’s kitchen crew will be doing “Marcie’s late night staff snacks” for all in attendance. The price tag is modest with bar snacks going for just $5, cocktails running $10 each (which, if you know the kind of liquor Lee slings, is just ridiculously cheap) and wine, sangria and beers going for $5, $4 and $3, respectively.

What else do we know? No gate. No dress code. And no photos, so leave the cell phones in your pockets.

But hey, this will probably be more fun than anyone should be allowed to have on a Monday so maybe photographic evidence might not be the best idea anyhow…

The Great Debate: Should Men Be Allowed to Wear Shorts at Hop Sing Laundromat?

HopSing_LoRes_05 Photo by Mike Persico

Lee from Hop Sing Laundromat floated the idea of loosening up his dress code to allow men to wear dress shorts. After all, he does allow women to wear them. When he floated the idea on Twitter, he received mostly howls of protest from devotees who saw the loosening of the dress code as the top of a slippery slope. So Lee, being Lee, set up a “Supreme Court of Hop Sing Laundromat” to weigh in on the subject. The justices ranged from Phillie, Kevin Frandsen to Marc Vetri to yours truly. The nine justices wrote in their opinions and the results were overwhelming.

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Cheu Noodle and Hop Sing Join Forces for Alla Spina’s Industry Night

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Tonight is another edition of the Alla Spina Industry Night. This month features Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh of Cheu Noodle Bar providing their take on Asian fare, including barbecue pig tails, foie gras buns and sesame noodles. Alla Spina chef, Mike Deganis will be pitching in with Japanese squash pancakes and red bean cakes for dessert.

Lee from Hop Sing Laundromat will also be helping out with some easy-drinking summer fruit cocktails.

All the food is free, the cocktails are $7 and Shiner Ruby Redbird and Bock beers will be just $3.

As always, bring a paystub to show at the door for access. It all starts at 10 p.m.

For more information, check out the Weekly Wildy » 

Adam Erace at Hop Sing Laundromat

Adam Erace had held out longer than most. Turned off by Hop Sing Laundromat’s hype and its proprietor’s self-deprecation, Erace at avoided Lee’s Chinatown cocktail bar. But for a first review of 2013, the bar beckoned. And although identified, City Paper’s reviewer tells his tale.

The off-menu tequila Old Fashioned was mostly booze but, paradoxically, not boozy. When the fire vanished from its tableside-flamed orange peel, it revealed a smooth tango of mezcal and reposado, smoke and oak set to plainspoken Angostura, agave and a spray of essential citrus oils. I sought that balance in the Triple A special, but there wasn’t enough fresh-pressed green apple juice to combat the lethal doses of applejack and absinthe.

“I know you didn’t like the Triple A,” Lee whispered when he set down the check, “so I took it off the bill.” I’d given no indication I hadn’t liked it. I’d even drunk most of it. Is Lee psychic or just a very keen observer?

The Truth About Czar Lee [City Paper]
Hop Sing Laundromat [Official Site]

Photo by Neal Santos

Food & Drink Innovators in Philadelphia

In addition to the Stephen Starr defense in November’s Innovators cover story in Philadelphia magazine; the following men and women who have a large impact on Philadelphia’s  food and drink scene were also given props:

  • The Urban Planner – Paul Levy
  • The Philly Promoter – Meryl Levitz
  • The Culinary Powerhouse – Audrey Taichman
  • The Veggie Activist – Yeal Lehmann
  • The Barroom Progressive – Lêe
  • The Iconoclast Chef – Michael Solomonov
Check them all out in Philadelphia magazine.

The Smartest People in Philadelphia [Philadelphia magazine]

Behind the Scenes of Lee and Hop Sing

Brian Freedman visits with Hop Sing Laundromat’s Lêe and finds out more about the man and his bar than even Freedman expected.

As for the drinks themselves—I’ve tasted maybe a dozen and a half of them, both as part of our interview as well as as a customer—Hop Sing’s are remarkably well-balanced and complex, and often succeed in unexpected, or at least too-rarely-seen, ways. With his sixth sense for flavor and balance, and with senior bartender Robert Fuentevilla on the team, the reality of Hop Sing hasn’t just met the pre-opening buzz—it has well exceeded it.

Behind the Scenes With Chinatown’s Long-Anticipated Hop Sing Laundromat [Philadelphia Weekly]
Hop Sing Laundromat [Official Site]

Photo of The “Failed Entertainment” |  Felicia Perretti

This Weekend’s Cocktail List at Hop Sing Laundromat

We’re entering the third weekend of Hop Sing Laundromat being open to anyone who comes up to the unmarked storefront at 1029 Race Street (Well anyone who follows these rules and is dressed appropriately at least).

It is also the first weekend that the Chinatown bar will have a printed cocktail menu. The list has twelve drinks broken down by primary spirit. The descriptions are interesting to say the least, most with a tie to American history, and one referring to a certain restaurant critic. For cocktails we’ve tried and remember, our notes are in italic.

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Hop Sing Laundromat: About Last Night…

Remember how it all began?

So yes, it really happened. Around 8 o’clock last night, Lêe opened the gate that guards the door that leads to the lobby that opens onto the dining room at Hop Sing Laundromat and started allowing actual human beings (as opposed to cajoling members of the press, though there were a fair number of us in the crowd as well) into the bar.

It was gorgeous. It was bigger than it had ever seemed before (an effect of all the detritus of a long construction being removed, no doubt). It was lit with a hundred candles, the flames reflecting off of antique mirrors and lovingly polished and reconstructed fixtures and filled with the sounds of muted voices and music. The tables filled slowly as Lêe paced the entries–two and three and four of his friends, enemies and stalkers being let in at a time–but by the time he was done, the room was buzzing with conversation and quiet music.

And then the drinks began arriving…

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