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02 Jul 2022 By

So Much is Right With This New Bar That It’s Already the Best One to Open in 2022.

The first thing you notice is the absence of alcohol bottles behind the bar. It’s just bare — a design decision to make you aware of its “Nordic Zen” sensibility.* Both in looks and libations, Last Word is proclaiming itself as a place for “food and drinks that are carefully produced, and tasty,” according to founder Colin Chia (also of Nutmeg & Clove and Uva). Together with Shelly Tai (Nutmeg), they created Last Word “to rekindle the romance of classic cocktails in a minimalist setting.”
Though this establishment was launched in January, it took Colin’s team almost six months to meet the high standards they’ve set, to ensure the cocktails are “perfect” — and why shouldn’t people reach for the stars? The wait, as I discovered, was worthwhile.
The Japanese-style dishes are clever and concise; the craft cocktails are elegant and so ethereal you want to sing psalms. Totally loving the vibe, as well as the drinks, divided into four sections: Sours, Highball, Champagne and Spirit Forward.

 Last Word1 Wakame

Don’t call it a martini! Wakame is a bracing blend of Botanist Dry Gin, Junmai Ginjo sake infused with wakame (through a sous vide process). This is shaken “Bond” style to bring out the shy wakame flavours. But then it is a decidedly potent and pretty, you know, like your best friend’s girlfriend. 

Last Word Strawberry

Strawberry is part of what Colin Chia calls a “dessert cocktail”, literally a cocktail (cognac, butter biscuit, strawberry, clarified milk) and vanilla foam.

 Last Word Bloody Mary1

They make the Bloody Mary with the freshest ingredients, and it takes about 15 minutes to get right (order it earlier). Haku gin goes with its mix of lime, tomatoes and spices. (Fun Fact: The drink is shaken in a plastic shaker to get more emulsification, which helps break down the tomato pulp.) Togarashi is the secret spice. The bar claims this version is the best Bloody in SG, and since I can’t recall drinking another that is better, I’d have to allow this to be the interim champion. (Idea for new article: 11 Best Bloody Marys in Singapore… )

Last Word Gibson

The Gibson is just one of the many styles of martinis to choose from; the two onion pearls set it apart from its cousins.

Last Word Last Word

Last Word is a lesser-known classic, not usually on a bar’s list because there aren’t many chartreuse fans about. Which is a pity, because this French herbal liqueur brings a herbaceous dimension to many cocktails. The bar is set on having the last word with this skilful blend of gin, maraschino liqueur, lime and green chartreuse (yellow chartreuse is sweeter and milder). More gin and less chartreuse makes this a drier version. Class.

Verdict: One time in Windsor, Canada, I saw a poster for a strip club: “40 Hot Strippers and Only One Ugly Girl!” (I kid you not.) And that’s my drinking experience here: Every cocktail is a primetime winner, with only one letdown — the Strawberry dessert cocktail didn’t do it for me. 

Each classic with the slightest twist is a winsome balance of flavours, fortitude and faultless structure. A night before, I had the gaudiest, messiest and most overwrought cocktails at a rooftop bar (I almost wanted to jump), and so Last Word saved the drinking scene with its hot and hip take. This is likely to be a go-again bar, no doubt. Perfection took time, but it’s worth the wait.

Last Word, 8 Purvis St, #02-01

*Spirited Singapore has more Japanese words to describe the vibe.

Like this? Here’s Another Bar With a Nordic Touch 

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