Less than a decade ago, if you wanted a proper drink in Shanghai, your choices were limited to the bar in your hotel or a lounge down the street that was staffed by women of likely ill repute. Today, however, Shanghai's nightlife scene is thriving and full of options. Clubs like MYST and M1NT are regular stops for DJ Magazine Top 100-listers. Swank, champagne-soaked Bund lounges like Roosevelt Sky Bar, and Bar Rouge are popular haunts for Shanghai's glitterati.
Wine and cocktail culture have taken hold in recent years as well, you would find out many cozy places in the former French Concession and Jing'an area for having a couple of drinks. For a sophisticated tipple with Japanese sensibilities, check out one Bar Constellation's three locations. For something a little more American, there is Senator Saloon. Enoterra, Dr. Wine, Kartel Wine Bar are your best bets for wine bars as well as the Camel and Big Bamboo serve you with the live sports, pool table and selections of cool beer. If you are looking for outdoor seating venue for having drinks in beautiful garden, Sasha's is the choice.
You'll also find small but proud pockets of counter-culture in underground clubs like My Place Ruin Bar as well as in music venues like JZ Club, Yuyintang or Mao Livehouse. Or if it's a straight-up dive you seek, there is always C's Bar.