Cocktails continue to have their time in the spotlight as three well-known establishments launch refreshed menus for the new year as well as a new addition to the growing list of hidden speakeasies. With bolder flavour profiles yet easy-drinking tipples on the menu, there’s plenty to drink to.
Nutmeg & Clove
Nutmeg & Clove has spent the better part of last year proving its culinary chops, but now the team is ready to remind you why it’s still one of the most charming watering holes in town. A total of 10 new cocktails populate its traveller’s diary-styled drink menu, and each one is a little love story to the many stories found in Singapore’s history.
“Can Bubble Gum?” is a curious mix of Cordigo Mezcal, strawberry, lemon, distilled tabasco bubble gum air. The idea of smoked strawberries won’t appeal to everyone, but Nutmeg & Clove has never been a bar to pander to mass tastes. More balance can be found in the “Garden City”, made with musk melon-infused gin, shiso, Empiral Spirits’ Ayuuk (a smoky spirit distilled from Mexican chillies), lime and honey.
8 Purvis St, Singapore 188587. Tel: 9389 9301
Whether you think speakeasies today are trite or genuinely exciting, Taylor Adam is one that deserves your patronage even if it weren’t hidden behind a swanky bespoke tailor in One Raffles Place. Thanks to the sartorial theme, the staff are immaculately dressed, the interiors are elegant, and the drinks can be, well, tailored to your tastes.
But give any of the 12 cocktails on the menu a shot if you want a taste of the Commonwealth countries in a glass. “Lung and Dangerous” (inspired by the Hong Kong crime film series) is a beautifully perfumed glass of gin mixed with an actual TCM recipe of white fungus, almonds, rock sugar and Chinese pear. The cinnamon-forward “Ceylon Panch”, with its blend of arrack, black tea, five spice and mulled wine, is tall, surprisingly light, and a good opener to what will likely be a long night of liquid journeys.
1 Raffles Place, 01-03, Singapore 048616. Tel: 8879 5854
Smoke & Mirrors
Not just a bar with a great view of the sunset overlooking the padang, Smoke & Mirrors has fine-tuned their batch-made cocktails for the reveal of their new menu, The Real Art of Drinking. From within the walls of the former Supreme Court come plenty of ideas to play with such as the Nanyang art style popularised by Singaporean artists or Radeh Salleh’s famous Boschbrand of tigers and bulls running from a forest fire. To this, “Smoke on the Water” is a mix of cognac, distilled wine, cherry, and aperitif topped with the heady smoke of jasmine leaves. On the menu are QR codes to view the relevant artworks or see it on your own during the hour-long gallery tour that runs from 15 to 30 Jan during the Light to Night Festival.
1 St. Andrew’s Road, #06-01 National Gallery Singapore, Singapore 178957. Tel: 9380 6313
After clinching 36th place in the World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 awards, there’s a palpable sense of excitement at MO Bar, Mandarin Oriental. The Volume Four menu of an imagined nomad traipsing the world brings the focus down to Southeast Asia and its neighbours; there are 16 cocktails inspired by 16 cities and provinces including New Delhi, Gangnam, Sydney and Sabah.
ACRE, a multidisciplinary design practice, carries on its creative collaboration with the bar and outdoes itself with a 3D menu that assembles into a globe. It might be a little tricky to read especially after a few drinks but a good way to navigate is by the colours. The light-coloured side is where you’ll find easy-drinking tipples such as the “Lakeside”, a kombucha-based cocktail, while the darker half comprises of stiffer drinks the likes of spirit-forward “Satay on the Bay”, a distillate of barbecued sweet meats and peanut sauce.
5 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039797. Tel: 6885 3500