Shanghai White


the land of plenty

This is a review of Shanghai White vodka from China. I sampled it in Germany in 2017. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, owned by Diageo, and it rocks.

I have a bottle of Chinese vodka here with me. It’s called Shanghai White vodka. I got it at an airport. It’s from Chengdu. Oh, how I miss that place.

And yet it’s called Shanghai White. On the bottle it says in Chinese 上海幻 – “Shanghai Fantasy”. I like the English name better. It sounds less tacky.

who owns Chinese businesses?

The weird thing is that Shanghai White vodka doesn’t seem to have an official website or a social media presence. I even looked on Weibo, but the only thing I found were some promotional posts from 2011.

A Reuters article from 2009 pointed me in the direction of Diageo, owner of Smirnoff, Cîroc, and Ketel One. They had apparently partnered with Shui Jing Fang, a baijiu producer from Sichuan, to produce Shanghai White vodka. Also, Diageo said they had bought a majority stake in Shui Jing Fang.

I checked on the Diageo website, but there was no mention of Shanghai White vodka. I also checked on the Shui Jing Fang website, and it was the same.

It almost seemed as though Shanghai White vodka had never existed.

[online search from April 15th 2022]

All in all I’m not quite sure what’s happening around Diageo and Shui Jing Fang. And I’m even less sure about whatever happened to Shanghai White vodka.

the sound

Anyway let’s get back to our review. As I’m pouring Shanghai White vodka into a glass it comes out just right, with big gulping sounds. Vodka bottles should either have this sound or a built-in dispenser. Everything else is a turn-off.

the bottle

I purchased this bottle of Shanghai White vodka for about 40€ for 700ml, which makes it expensive. But the bottle! It’s so beautiful. It comes in a white hard case that is beautiful as well. There are tender blossoms on the side of the bottle and street scenes on the bottom.

It’s one of the best bottles ever.

Shanghai White vodka is sweet and soft

I was a bit surprised when Shanghai White vodka smelled stronger than I had been anticipating. I found myself worried, but then it turned out that the taste was good. Actually, it was very good. Shanghai White vodka tastes a bit sweet, and it’s very, very soft. A smooth, premium vodka, just a tad short of perfect.

And then there’s the aftertaste. It happens when you swallow a shot of vodka and then you breathe out through your nose. If the vodka is good then your head will get filled with an aroma. I love that. I also like it when I eat something and the taste gets a little bit more prominent after the vodka. And when it makes me feel warm from the inside.

Shanghai White vodka does all of the above in a very nice way. I’m never quite sure whether my reviews are reliable at all, but I’m going to go ahead and give this one a perfect ten for its aftertaste anyway.

Overall, Shanghai White vodka is expensive, but it’s extremely good. I just hope it’s still around.