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#522

CATCHFLY - A PLACE TO GET TRAPPED

01 Aug 2017 By

Catchfly is in the basement, but not to worry, they’ve got free-wifi. And good cocktails, lots of ’em. And food. This could be your new bunker when it all goes south.

The man who created Catchfly’s cocktail program is Liam Baer, who comes to Singapore by way of Boston, New York and SE Asia, bringing with him a bucketful of experience and recipes.

The idea behind Catchfly is simple: The space is intimate, the food is delish, and the cocktails are fuss-free. You’ll find mostly original and signature cocktails here (and classics on request), all done without rickety gadgets or gushing roister.

cocktail catchfly

Take this for instance: This One Also Works With Tequila has gin, cucumber, chartreuse, lime salted grapefruit soda and dill (no tequila), and is a refreshing start while you adjust to the low louche lighting in the basement. Jetlagged is a potent blend of rye whiskey, bourbon, coffee liqueur, sweet vermouth, raspberry liqueur and black walnut, packing a Sugar Ray Leonard-style punch: smooth, effective and likely to topple you.

We had a quick word with Baer about life behind the bar while drowning a few more libations. (About the food: It’s mostly good to great, and we’re not just saying. There’s a full-fledged Coriander Leaf kitchen to help, natch. Gotta have the Vegan Burger and Grilled King Fish.)

Liam Baer catchfly

What’s the weirdest thing ever stolen from your bar?

I wouldn’t say it’s weird, but as environmentally friendly as they are, I had to give up on stocking metal straws as people love to steal them.

In my younger days, I once watched a petite friend sneak behind a bar and steal a handle (1.75 liters) of Baily’s Irish Cream. That was pretty strange.

What do you drink after your shift?

Typically anything with Fernet Branca.

catchfly honey badger cocktail

What’s your signature drink?​

The Honey Badger (above) which was voted as one of Gaz Reagan’s 101 best cocktails for 2016. Inspired by Sam Ross’ Penicillin, it’s a rosemary infused bourbon, a hefty amount of lemon juice, yellow Chartreuse, ginger and honey.

Most memorable drinking experience?

The first time I had a Manhattan. It was a life-changing experience that basically lead to where I am today.

Person you would most like to drink with?

Biggie Smalls. He’s a fucking legend.

What won’t you drink?

Fireball – that shit is NASTY!

What’s a cocktail/bar trend that needs to stop/that’s overrated?

The use of the word ‘mixologist’. I find it underplays in regards to what bartenders actually do on a nightly basis, which is way more than just making drinks. We are also hosting, washing glasses, bussing, controlling and tweaking the energy of the room. Hell, some of us even clean toilets from time to time.

 Also, I think activated charcoal is pretty pointless.

pina colada beach

What is your guilty pleasure? What do you drink at home?

I love a shitty frozen Pina Colada. The creamier, the better. Believe it or not, I don’t really drink at home. Maybe a beer from time to time, but when I get home after a shift or on an off day, the last thing I wanna do is make more drinks.

What do you serve someone with a broken heart?

Broken heart… something strong. Heh heh, something spirit-forward, like a Sazerac, something strong and complex to lift their spirits and distract them from their heartache.

What cocktail would you make for a celebration?

I’d make something sparkling, with champagne, because you associate champagne with celebration, so something along the lines of a French 75.

Parched verdict:

Music: Well curated and perfect for the vibe and space.

Cocktails: Whether on or off menu, the crew serves up casual cocktails that’s big on flavours and freshness.

Space: Intimate, cosy and worth a few visits. If you haven’t been – go!

Catchfly, 12 Ann Siang Road, Basement.Tel 6222-7183.

Like this? This hotel bar isn’t like a hotel bar, it’s better

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