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#602

RELIGHT MY FIRE

18 Aug 2018 By

Your Favourite Bars Have Revamped Their Cocktail Programs. Time to Revisit. Again.

It’s not uncommon for bars to revamp their cocktail menus now and then. Like your music taste, everything in life needs a little redo occasionally (you’re still on Atlanta trap? How very ’17.) Sometimes all it needs is the addition of a few new signatures to drum up some buzz (keep the favourites, always keep the favs). Sometime you go whole hog and give it an overhaul. As long as it keeps the punters talking and tipping. These are some of our favourite recent do-overs.

ORIGIN

origin bar pouring1

We raved about Origin a year ago as one of 2018’s best new bars, and now they’re darn gone and changed their whole menu – 95% of it. They’ve ditched 19 the original 20 signature cocktails and only kept the namesake Origin one (obviously). We had a very quick preview of the new stuff, and we’re excited for some of them. No details yet, but a full review will come soon.

Origin Bar, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, tel: 6213-4599.

TESS BAR & KITCHEN

Tess Bar & Kitchen

The bar, under Boo Jing Heng, has revamped its extensive cocktail menu to one focused on martinis, which has a special place in our tiny hearts. What’s even better, it’s a customisable martini menu, which like Lego you’re free to add or subtract stuff.

But what’s Best, and which we are most excited about, is the brunch – possibly the best value in Singapore. For $30++, you can order anything from their regular dining menu – free flow. For another $30++, you can order from their regular cocktail menu – free flow – wines, and martinis including Singapore Sling Martini, Basil Martini, Cucumber Martini, Salted Caramel Martini, Espresso Martini, Umeshu Martini et al. That’s $60++ in total, for a knockout Saturday, and Sunday.

Seriously recommended.

Tess, 38 Seah Street.

GIBSON

gibson cocktail1

Gibson’s redux is a menu of cocktails centered on Asian ingredients. If you’re thinking “groan, not that kalamansi claptrap again”, you couldn’t be further off. This is a strikingly fresh take of 17 cocktails filed under Classics, Southeast Asia and Japan-inspired.

The menu has watercolour illustrations of the cocktails, and it comes in a square format, because Instagram. It’s also meant to look like a journal, and evoke notions of travel – the regional flavours certainly does transport you.

[It’s been three years, this was our original Gibson review ]

gibson cocktail3

All cocktails are $23.

I’ll save myself the need to highlight some of my favs by admitting that almost every new cocktail here is a winner. It’s a rarity to see this happen, but care and calculation has gone into this refresh. And where Gibson used to give off an atas and slightly expensive vibe, the friendly price ($23 each cocktail ) will do much to bring in new punters.

Okay fine, definitely order the Super Cassis Boulevardier. And Mango PX. And Buddha’s Mule. Happy?

Gibson, Level 2, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road. Tel: 9114-8385.

MAGNOLIA

magnolia1

Pocket bar Junior presents Magnolia, a 180 from their previous Mexican spirits enclave. Magnolia celebrates the authentic craft of New Orleans cocktail culture, Creole cuisines and cool as music heritage. So basically, no more mezcals and raicillas, it’s so six months ago. The cocktail menu here is divided into four unique sections; Friskin’ the Whiskers Lickin’ The Chops, Let The Good Times Roll, Playin’ the Hits Blowin’ Changes, and The Second Line.

magnolia2

All cocktails are $25.

Each section celebrates a style of cocktail. Friskin’ the Whiskers Lickin’ the Chops celebrates midday pick-me-ups like Ramos Gin Fizz. If you’re in town for something richer, then look to Let The Good Times Roll, and get a Grasshopper. 

Playin’ the Hits Blowin’ Changes are modern takes on classics. The Truffled Sazerac (above, the city’s official cocktail) is a 50/50 style Sazerac, blending Pierre Ferrand Chestnut Barrel Brandy and Willett three-year Rye. House originals come under The Second Line, something like The Baron: Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum, coffee and Averna amaro, served alongside a small shot of Plantation 18-Year-Old Haitian Rum.As they say in N’orleans, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.

[Junior plans to revamp their concepts every six months. So get moving before it’s g-g-g-gone.]

43 Tanjong Pagar Road. Entrance in the alley on Cook Street. Tel: +65 8121-1462.

Mon – Sat, 7pm – MN.

FLYING MONKEY

Flying Monkey(‘s) Signature $20

Indian-influenced cocktails at Bussorah Street’s Flying Monkey get an overhaul with the launch of their new cocktail menu, the first revamp since the restaurant and bar opened in 2017. And like the classic Indian dishes they serve, these cocktails are chockful of bold flavours and spices.

Speaking of bold, FM’s take on the classic Porn Star Martini, Babydoll is actually inspired by a real former porn actress, Sunny Leone, or rather her popular Bollywood tune (120 million views of YouTube, at time of writing). Vodka, pineapple juice and a touch of aromatic saffron, the cheeky tipple is creamy smooth and refreshing, a perfect counterpoint to the unexpectedly-addictive, spicy okra crisps served at the bar.

Honey! Where’s My Chai was a tasty enough concoction of Drambuie, Dark Rum & Kahlua, but it probably took a palate finer than mine to suss out the home-brewed espresso chai (seriously tho, where’s my chai??). So, we went off-menu and asked for a chai martini instead, where the depth and aroma of the tea was allowed to subtly shine through. Delicious.

For those of you who like their drinks stiff, the deceptively-innocuous looking (and sounding) Holy Water is your go-to. Hendrick’s, Reyka, dry vermouth, jasmine and saline solution (yep) make a strangely compelling, and dangerously drinkable cocktail. At your own risk.

67/68 Bussorah Street. Tel: +65 6291-0695

Tues-Sun, 12pm to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 11pm

‘like’ illustration by Turkkub from the Noun Project.

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