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10 Nov 2020 By

Manhattan, #14 On This Year’s World’s 50 Best Bars, Looked To Eleanor Roosevelt, Anthony Bourdain and Other Iconic New Yorkers To Inspire Their Latest Cocktail Menu

We don’t really need a list to tell us what we already know: Manhattan at Regent Hotel has been one of the most consistently excellent bars in Singapore since its launch in 2014. Now on its third concept menu titled “New York Personified”, it pays tribute to the wonderful and diverse cast of personalities that have made their mark on the world of music, film, fashion, culinary and politics: Messrs Anthony Bourdain, Ella Fitzgerald, Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Downey Jr, The Ramones and Vera Wang.


The cocktail menu is a hefty chunk of a pop-up book, beautifully designed (if a tad overproduced) but somewhat tricky to manoeuvre gracefully, but (luckily?) the age of Covid has hastened the advent of the virtual/digital menu. Manhattan’s interactive version is much easier, and more fun to navigate—give it a go here.


Like the Manhattanites they’re inspired by, each cocktail has its distinct, well, personality. You don’t even have to be a huge Ramones fan to recognise the famous opening line of their 1976 hit “Blitzkrieg Bop” —Spider-Man: Homecoming, anyone?—’Hey Ho Let’s Go’ (above) is a sparkling Michelada-like refresher that’s served in a custom bottle that you pop open at the table. Except it’s also hit with a dose of organic Del Maguey Vida Mezcal to add a little rock & roll edge. Served in a salt-rimmed glass, it’s a good way to kick off the night if you wanna hit the ground running.


The food menu also gets an update, with a couple of new additions like the Chicken Shawarma Wraps (above). Post-work drinks with colleagues after a particularly trying day at the office? This is the thing to go for (and call me crazy, but tell me they don’t kinda remind you of soft-shell crab maki?) —savoury with a hint of sweet from the pomegranate pearls and a light kick from the chipotle aioli. Iron Man completists might be tempted to pair it with ‘3000’ (below), a tear-jerkingly delicious concoction of Neapolitan ice cream (in the form of chocolate, vanilla cream and strawberry dust) spiked with Flor de Caña 12 Year Rum.


Every drink on the menu has a superhero-worthy origin story: ‘Lady Of Song’ (below) is a beautiful homage to jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald and her time at famous LA nightclub Mocambo. Story has it that she was unable to book gigs at the club until her friend Marilyn Monroe persuaded the owner by promising to sit front of house. It changed the trajectory of the singer’s career. “After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again,” said Fitzgerald.


Pol Roger was the house champagne of Mocambo, so Manhattan pours it over an elegant but lethal cocktail of Monkey 47 Dry & Sloe Gin, Violet Liqueur and Orange-Chamomile Oleo Saccharum. I repeat, elegant but lethal, just like Fitzgerald’s dulcet tones, sweet, but powerful.

I could go on, but what are you listening to me for, go try the cocktails for yourself! Scram, go on, get outta here!

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