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Mixology Salon Tea-tail
Photograph: Kisa ToyoshimaMixology Salon Tea-tail

Award-winning Japanese cocktail bar Mixology Salon pops up in Singapore

You won't need to fork out for a plane ticket to Tokyo to try these award-winning tea-tails

Dawson Tan
Written by
Dawson Tan

Tea-tails anyone? Nope, you’ve not heard wrong. These highly anticipated tea-infused cocktails hail from the award-winning Mixology Salon of Ginza, Tokyo. The first overseas outpost finds itself at the InterContinental in the ritzy Robertson Quay enclave. With Singapore’s firm position as a global cocktail hub, the decision to expand and open here was definitely not random. But affinity did play a part.

It all began a decade ago when master mixologist Shuzo Nagumo first joined hands with local dessert maestro Janice Wong for a dessert cocktail pairing session at 2amdessertbar. That very collaboration blossomed into a friendship that led to many more friendships within the Singapore bar community. And soon, Shuzo developed a cult following.

Mixology Salon Singapore
Photograph: Mixology Salon SingaporeMixology Salon Singapore

Now, with the doors officially open, Shuzo and his protege, Kaoru, are set to bring a slice of Japanese tea culture to Singapore with time-tested signatures, each made upon order. With the month-long soft launch said to be fully booked out, the excitement on the ground is evident. After all, Shuzo, a tea advocate himself, is best known for his precision and restraint in his highly nuanced tipples.

Expect masterful use of high-quality ingredients like matcha, gyokuro, hojicha, and oolong featured in their wide range of tea-infused spirits. We start with the Sencha gin tonic made with Saga Sencha-infused gin and Shizuoka Sencha. The unassuming viridian tipple drinks elegantly grassy with aromatic floral notes and a tinge of umami. There are classic Japanese snacks of decadent matcha terrine and fermented butter dates to pair.

From nosing the actual tea leaves that go into each unique infusion to learning about Japanese tea philosophy and actually tasting the final product, each experience is highly-tailored and you’re likely to get a little hands-on. Our little moment of fascination was when Kaoru passed along a tea container that held a particular sencha that smelled like sweet juicy muscat grapes.

The second tipple features Li Shan tea (a type of oolong) that’s harvested from the high-altitude mountains of Taiwan. Shuzo teases that it is his riff on a classic Corpse Reviver but without absinthe. It drinks boozy and bursting with fruity notes. While this isn't available just yet, do look out for such unique creations in the upcoming menu update that may also feature the incorporation of local ingredients.

Mixology Salon Singapore – Tea-tails
Photograph: Mixology Salon SingaporeMixology Salon Singapore – Tea-tails

The exquisite tea-tails are effortlessly sophisticated. Our Hoji Tea-tail No.2 comes with careful layers of aged brandy, vintage port, cassis liquor and hojicha. Drinking it is an artful process in itself: first, do not swirl the glass and take a sip to taste the tea together with just the aromas of the brandy; then, swirl to incorporate all elements which result in a raisin-like fruitiness with a mildly tannic finish. 

To best experience the entire repertoire of Mixology Salon, consider the signature tea cocktail course that journeys you through the highlights (from $72). Other honourable mentions include the Wakayama sansho pepper-infused gin and Iri-bancha (Kyoto roasted green tea) infused Japanese whiskey. But if you could only have one drink and one drink only, Shuzo personally recommends the Gyokuro martini. He insists on using the highest grade of Japanese green tea as it represents the backbone of the Mixology Salon concept.

One thing’s for sure, Singapore’s cocktail scene just got way more exciting.

Now open and pouring from Wednesday to Saturday, 4pm to 11pm. Book here.

ADDRESS InterContinental Robertson Quay, 1 Nanson Rd, #02-07B, Singapore 238909

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