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On Trend: Spirit Bars

Speciality spirit bars bring out hidden qualities of a tipple that could otherwise go unnoticed.

Just as you have graduated from predictable concoctions to sophisticated bespoke cocktails crafted with premium spirits, the local bar scene has evolved to welcome the arrival of spirit bars like Copper, Bumbo Rum Club and Sugarhall in just 2014 alone. “People are looking for new and unique experiences, and single-spirit bars are places you go to easily feel transported to a different atmosphere and ambience,” says Olivier Bendel, CEO of Deliciae Hospitality Management Group, which owns Bumbo Rum Club.

Says Christian Westbeld, hotel manager of Raffles Singapore: “The modern, discerning bar-goers are sophisticated travellers who are clearly aware of their preferences. Very often, they will seek out limited and exclusive bottles that they have tried during their trips.” This has created a demand for single-spirit bars that are more likely to carry that rare label, and explains why the Raffles recently revamped its Bar & Billiard Room to a concept with a stronger focus on whiskies.

There is also another surprising factor that has driven this demand for speciality bars. “We noticed that women drinkers have shown a growing appreciation for whisky,” says Westbeld. And, if anything, we’ll gladly toast to the ladies finally moving away from sugary sweet cocktails, while we await the arrival of a vodka (or tequila) bar.

Gourmet & Travel is available at leading bookstores including Kinokuniya, Times and MPH. The digital edition for both iPad and Android devices can be downloaded via platforms such as the Apple Newsstand and Magzter. Both print and digital editions are priced at S$12.