Convenience-store cocktails, Taiwan edition

This post was inspired by this list of convenience store cocktail recipes, but in the end that list freaked me out because we don’t have half that booze at our stores here.

Also, my list is only drinks you could literally make while in a convenience store. We aren’t taking stuff home and infusing anything. In Taiwan, we walk our beers right down the street like the proud Americans Taiwan residents we are.

What we do have here is the most convenience stores per capita and an intimidating selection of juices, teas, and soft drinks and always at least one shelf full of wine, whiskey, and airplane-bottles of vodka, Jager, etc. There’s gaoliang, which I haven’t tried much, plum wines…

It’s also prohibitively expensive to drink all your drinks in the bar, so a lot of us sneak off to 7-11 for a cheeky 啤酒 (píjiǔ: beer) in between rounds just to stay under budget. This list might give you some more interesting alternatives on the spectrum between a can of Bar Beer and a NT$150 vodka-lime (price may vary).

And sometimes, you find yourself in a town so small that the local 7-11 or Family-Mart is the only place to get a drink after dinner when all the olds go to bed.

If you can conceive it, you can achieve it. Screwdrivers, greyhounds, cuba libre and any variations thereof are the first ideas that come to mind. Here are some of other ideas I’ve been playing with:

Taiwan summer, season of the plum green tea shandy. #Taiwan #taiwanbeer #jinpai #greentea #shandy #summer #cocktail

A photo posted by Keili Rae Gunden (@amateur_vagrant) on

Beer shandy

You can get Heineken-green tea at Taiwanese tea shops, particularly in the south. It’s very refreshing and easy-to-drink. Cheap beer and super-sweet green tea are both better when combined.

You need:

One can of Taiwan Beer

One bottle of plum green tea



  1. Drink or pour out at least half of the green tea in the bottle.
  2. Carefully pour the beer into bottle until it’s full. Enjoy!
Everything I need for a 7-11 sangria and a red-wine float
Everything I need for a 7-11 sangria and a red-wine float
A successful 7-11 sangria
A successful 7-11 sangria

Kalimotxo (7-11 Sangria)

This drink is big in Basque country, but in Taiwan, it’s a good substitute for the bar sangria that’s never good. By the way, the 7-11 I ended up at didn’t have Slurpees. I tried to buy a paper coffee cup, but they said they weren’t allowed to sell them. I ended up spending NT$25 on a couple of paper cups. Life goes on…

You need:

One can of Coke or lemon Coke

A half-bottle of red wine

A Slurpee cup (or some other appropriate vessel for mixing and drinking)


Optional: A tin or plastic container of snack fruit; a piece of lemon (not all convenience stores have lemons)


  1. Put the ice in the cup.
  2. Add the Coke and wine in equal proportions.
  3. Add the fruit, if you can find it, and if you like, but drain off the sugary syrup first. Enjoy!


This red-wine ice-cream float is more of a dessert than a cocktail, but it was nice and easy all the same
This red-wine ice-cream float is more of a dessert than a cocktail, but it was nice and easy all the same

Red Wine Ice-Cream Float

Note: They wouldn’t give me a %$&#ing cup or a spoon, either. I just had to use the little tab-thing that comes in the Hagen-Daazs. Also this 7-11 didn’t have soft serve. I like to think I’m resourceful, though.

You need:

A Slurpee cup

A soft-serve vanilla ice cream (or ice cream of your choice)

A spoon and a straw

Red wine


  1. If it’s really hot outside, put some ice in the cup first.
  2. Drop the ice cream into the Slurpee cup. Eat the cone.
  3. Pour red wine over the top. Enjoy!


Grown-up Slurpee

  1. Put some vodka in your slurpee.

Irish Coffee

  1. Add some whiskey and/or Bailey’s into your 7-11 Americano.

Whiskey and Sarsaparilla 

  1. Mix ’em.

I would love to hear about your ideas/experiments. I feel like it’s possible to make a bloody Mary because they have tomato juice and vodka. There are various kinds of spicy sauces and pickled concoctions as well, and some sauces that might substitute for worcestshire…if I make a Taiwanified version of a bloody Mary with convenience store ingredients, y’all will be the first to know about it.

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