Cocktails with flair and inventiveness is the name of the game at this speakeasy hidden in plain sight behind a tailor shop frontage in the heart of town at One Raffles Place. You can be sure there’s a drink to suit your taste, imbibe in creations with a decidedly Oriental orientation, knock yourself out on spirit-forward libations, or while the time away with easy-drinking yet flavourful tipples.
Inspired by the famous Hong Kong triad flick of yore – Young & Dangerous ($23.8), this firmly tongue in cheek libation channels the vibrant spirit of 香港 through its use of the refreshingly aromatic Perfume Tree Gin, itself hailing and made with ingredients from the aforementioned island. In keeping with the theme, the bartenders here have deftly taken unorthodox ingredients in the form of herbs that go into the making of lung tonic soup – a traditional Chinese remedy for the lungs – and created an infusion that at once soothes as well as stimulates the senses. Chief among the herbs is white fungus, which is here not just used as a garnish, but also statement of intent that this is not your everyday cocktail bar.
Dehydrated pineapple takes the form of a golden sun setting on a sea of striking cardinal purple in the Peranakan Sunset ($23.8), a saccharine and floral solution of Brass Lion Butterfly Pea Gin, butterfly pea tea, kaffir lime leaf, sage, elderflower and citrus. Its sweet, easy to drink, and almost reminiscent of Ribena.
A tripartite of whiskies come together in Over The Sea ($23.8), a beguilingly smoky beverage exuding the spirit of the Islays, helmed prominently by the commanding presence of a Laphroaig 10, further fortified via a smokey Monkey Shoulder and house whisky blend. Umami bitters and a splash of lemon raises the complexity of the cocktail, lifting it to even greater heights. They finish it off with a garnish of Japanese sea grapes dangling from the rim, its ocean-y brininess conjuring the wind-swept coasts of the Scottish isles.
We end this post on a sweet note, with a drink inspired by our popular local dessert Onde Onde ($23.8). It was uncanny how closely the cocktail mimicked that of the pandan and coconut glutinous rice ball kueh in both taste and appearance, via a measured balance of
Tito’s vodka, Cointreau, pandan syrup and coconut water.
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*** This was a hosted tasting. ***