When a bar dedicates its shelf space to just one type of drink, it’s a good indicator that it’s the spirit du jour. Following the sophistication of Japanese whisky and the hipster-tinged smokiness of small batch mezcal, we’re now in the season of floral, refreshing gin.
The Big Idea Group (of Fat Cow and The Marmalade Pantry fame) has opened gin bar Cin Cin earlier this year at Oasia hotel with an offering of almost 80 different labels, along with dozens of vermouths, bitters and tonics for customers to craft their perfect cocktail.
“The number of gin distilleries in Britain has doubled in six years and with the huge boost in demand for gin, gin-dedicated bars around the world have gradually surfaced,” says Karen Seah, Group CEO of Kitchen Language, which owns The Big Idea. “Events such as Gin Jubilee and the rise in the cocktail scene in Singapore have also built a strong path for gin to make a comeback here locally. We also chose to focus on gin because it is a very approachable spirit, perfect for the Singapore climate.”
The White Rabbit must agree as it relaunched its al fresco bar, the Rabbit Hole, last year to put gin at the forefront of its garden setting. It offers over 15 varieties which can be paired with the restaurant’s homemade tonics.
Even a vine-forward establishment like Mag’s Wine Kitchen is picking up on the juniper trail, having recently brought in the Buss No 509 Author Collection of infused gins with flavours like Persian Peach and Raspberry.
Gin’s versatility with infusions is the other reason for its popularity. Rather than buy pre-bottled flavours, there are a growing number who are experimenting in their own kitchens, adding berries for colourful gin and tonics or chillies for a martini with an extra kick. If you need ideas, maceration masters like The Other Room and Operation Dagger will provide plenty of inspiration.