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Asian-Accented Cocktails Make a Bang at Bing Bing Dim Sum

"One of my favorite things to do is go to the Asian supermarket and just walk around," says Bing Bing Dim Sum's beverage manager Max Sherman. As a regular at Cheu Noodle Bar, Sherman got to know Cheu and Bing Bing partners Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh and made the jump from the bar at Percy Street Barbecue to Bing Bing when they opened in February.

Coming up with a cocktail to match Bing Bing's re-imagined take on dim sum, Sherman had plenty to play with, inspiration and ingredient-wise. Taking a cue from Chef Ben Puchowitz's sharable menu of traditional (think soup dumplings and Char Sui pork ribs) and not so traditional (pastrami and swiss bao and bubble waffles) plates, Sherman came up with a menu of large format pitcher cocktails for a crowd. Called Happy Family, the sharable pitchers serve four easily and play with the Asian flavors spottable on the food menu like five spice, Sichuan peppercorns and coconut.

Single serving cocktails follow suit, making good use of the custom blended teas that the restaurant commissioned with the smoky Lapsang Dance featuring rum, Lapsang Souchong, Benedictine and coconut water and the Magic Box that infuses gin with white sesame, a splash of sochu, uniquely floral Cocchi Americano, lemon juice and absinthe.

For the wine and beer lists, Sherman opted to keep it light, concerned that abrasive flavors would overpower the delicate flavors coming out of the kitchen. "No one wants a double IPA with a dumpling," he says. Red wines pack in a bit of spice to stand up to the food while whites, like Riesling and Vinho Verde, are crisp. That same crispness is all over the beer menu with pilsners, lagers, ales and a trio of rotating taps like Victory's Helles, Lagunitas IPA and a weekly Six Point. There are also a few sour beers, a palate-cleansing style that Puchowitz is a fan of.

A short and sweet selection of spirits is home to a sake and a sochu and Sherman has plans to add a few more fermented rice-based options in the future. A couple of brown spirits are on offer as well as industry favorite, Fernet Branca, because who doesn't like a Branca shot?

Bing Bing teamed up with Passyunk Avenue neighbor, Green Aisle Grocery, to come up with a line of custom-blended teas like a fruity hibiscus with bee pollen and ginger and an oolong that incorporates gin botanicals and lemon zest. Other soft drinking options include a house-brewed ginger beer with five spice and Sichuan peppercorns and Yoo-hoo, a rarely seen on restaurant menus drink that just so happens to be a favorite of Darragh and somehow fits in perfectly with Bing Bing's inauthentically Asian and entirely fun ethos.

Bing Bing Dim Sum is open from 5–11 PM, Sunday through Thursday and 5 PM–12 AM, Friday and Saturday.

Bing Bing Dim Sum; 1648 E Passyunk Ave.; 215-279-7702

Photos by Caroline Russock 

Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Food, Spirits, Wine
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