The modest cocktail of gin and lime cordial ($28) is given a Singaporean twist and an added punch. Cloudy with a tinge of green, the Gimlet is an intoxicating mix of Perry's Tot Navy Strength Gin, and lime juice sweetened with agave and perfumed with kaffir leaves. Delicious.
Here’s a riff on the classic: The Other Room tailors its own in-house tonic to match the Martin Miller’s gin used, and infuses it with pink peppercorn, cucumber, lemon, grapefruit and cardamom before smoking the cocktail. The result? A dry, smoky and wonderfully crisp beverage ($23) that, thanks to the spices and herbs, dances on the palate.
Start the night with Eguchi’s take on the classic Gibson martini, made with gin and vermouth then garnished with an onion ($23). He uses two kinds of gin – Hendrick’s and Monkey 47 – and Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry to give a botanical complexity to the simple cocktail. Each comes with a piquant and briny trio of pickled pearl onion, pickled cabbage and smoked quail egg to munch on between sips.
This is the frozen daiquiri in its freshest reincarnation yet. Named after the late rapper Phife Dawg, the Five Foot Assassin ($22) adds to the tropical rum slushie a fun swirl of coconut pandan cream, a hint of nutmeg, and tapioca balls and soaked in Angostura bitters.
Once illegal in the US, moonshine is a high-proof spirit distilled from corn mash. It has since shed its bad rep and is now sold commercially by distilleries such as Batch 206, where D’Cruz gets her bottles of Seven Star Moonshine from. She infuses it with dehydrated raspberries for a fruity aroma then mixes it with Milo to create what regulars call ‘alcoholic Milo peng’ ($20).
Try it at Horse's Mouth
Its main ingredient is yuzu sake, accentuated by peppermint and a Sauvignon Blanc syrup. Pavan liqueur, made from Muscat grapes and orange blossoms, gives the cocktail ($26) its sangriaesque notes, while a splash of gin ensures it’s more potent than your average summertime thirst quencher.
The solera (Spanish for ‘on the ground’) technique of ageing liquids originated from the Iberian Peninsula and refers to the process of continuously blending different ages of wines or spirits in a barrel. Manhattan treats its Negroni the same way, achieving a richer cocktail ($25) with a heightened bitterness.
Inspired by a dessert from chef Andrew Mconells at Melbourne’s Supernormal restaurant, the Apple Miso ($25) distils the flavours of fermented red apples and red miso in a tedious four-part recipe. Ingredients are cooked sous vide, mixtures strained using a fine muslin cloth, then whisked and boiled. Savoury with intense umami notes, the tipple is also served with a sesame caramel crisp that you should skip – its bitterness overpowers the cocktail.
It’s off the menu, but Spiffy Dapper does a mean Old Fashioned ($24). The cocktail is as balanced as it should be: it’s neither too tall nor too short, is only lightly perfumed with citrus, and the slight sweetness doesn’t overwhelm the bitters – or viceversa. Just pick your spirit (we went for a fairly common Kentucky bourbon) and let the bartender do the rest.
With over 100 labels of gin sitting slick behind the counter, Cin Cin lets you have a martini your way. Let the bartender know your choice of gin and if you prefer a sweet, medium or dry vermouth. The signature Cin Cin Martini ($20) stars a Togarashi-infused Lillet Blanc, which adds a subtle note of heat to the drink.
The Caribbean-inspired Bago’s Marie-Galante Mojito ($22) is a less carbonated version of the classic, made with elderflower soda water. The drink is wellbalanced: bitter grapefruit juice combines well with tart lemon juice, while the zing of fresh mint leaves a sweet aftertaste.
A classic with a twist. In addition to the trinity of main ingredients, its El Floridita Daiquiri ($20) sees the addition of maraschino liqueur, which lends a subtle bitter note to the drink. Served with crushed ice and a wedge of lime, the cocktail is perfect for chilling by the River.
Take your time with Shin Gi Tai’s Negroni ($25) – a silky concoction over which sits a block of clear ice – or you’ll find yourself in a too-sweet spot, since it’s heavy on the vermouth. Still, it’s a clean drink perfumed by citrus and makes for a refreshing palate opener.
One of the best places for classic cocktails is Jigger and Pony. Put together by Diageo World Class 2016 winner Boo Jing Heng, the bar’s menu is split between classic, vintage and signature cocktails, each priced at $22. Its Singapore Sling is made with pineapple juice squeezed on-site (instead of from the carton) so it’s less sickly sweet compared to other variations.
We’re on Team Peru (sorry, Chile) with this one: Vasco’s delicately balanced pisco sour ($20) is the consummate Peruvian classic, finished with a egg white cap that’s foamy, creamy and fragrant with notes of citrus. Or try the full-bodied Santiago Sour ($22), which incorporates Chilean pisco with vino, Chuncho bitters, lemon and egg white.
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As the day dims, it's time to let loose and have a drink or two. From speakeasy joints to secret cocktail dens to bespoke bars, we've put together a list of the best cocktail bars to seek out around town.
Whether you sip, quaff or chug, we're introducing the best watering holes for a boozy night out. From bars that offer quality vino to pubs hidden behind unmarked doors to microbreweries, here are the city's best bars to seek out.