Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore may be new – it opened up just earlier this year – but its in-house bar the Rumpoles Bar has been somewhat of an institution since its Traders Hotel time. The old-school but elegantly cosy drinking hole has launched a cocktail menu that’s perfect to celebrate National Day with.

This National Day holiday season, Rumpoles Bar has launched five cocktails inspired by some familiar old favourites in local food culture. Sure, local ingredients have featured strongly in many of the bespoke-type cocktail bars in and around town – for example, the bar at Mitzo takes ingredients from traditional Chinese medicine and infuses them into its drinks, while the likes of Nutmeg & Clove and FRESH! uses familiar Asian herbs and spices in theirs – but Rumpoles Bar gets its inspiration from existing local drinks found in hawker centres and kopitiams (coffee shops) and gives them an alcoholic twist.

The iconic Singapore Sling gets a revamp here with the Sling (main picture), which combines Hendrick’s Gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, Benedictine DOM, Grenadine, pineapple juice, lime juice and Angostura bitters for a fruity yet version that holds very true to the original at Raffles Hotel (and unlike the bastardised, overly-sweet version found there today). And this one even comes in a plastic sling bag as well as a hat tip to tradition.

rumpoles bar kopi-b

Then there’s the Kopi-B (above), named cheekily so for an alcoholic version of Kopi-O (black coffee) that just so happens to have a piece of crisp bacon stuck into it. Made with High West rye whiskey infused with bacon, Punt e Mes vermouth, and maraschino liquor, it’s a version of the iconic Manhattan that’s both roasty, bitter and sweet. It tastes nothing like a black coffee, but we’re pretty sure many uncles wouldn’t quite mind nursing this at kopitiams watching soccer during weekends.

rumpoles bar teh ice

TEH-Ice (above), which is Rumpoles’ version of iced lemon tea, is similarly invigorating with its mix of Ketel One vodka, St Germain elderflower liqueur, black tea, honey, and calamansi juice. Consider this the more refined, local version of Long Island Tea.

rumpoles bar fare

If you’re feeling nostalgic about those drink stalls dispensing sugary drinks from drinks stalls at your school canteen or hawker centres, you may want to consider the Fare (above), a take on the old school water chestnut drink. Trois Rivieres French agricole rum is shaken together water chestnut juice, Demerara syrup, Iichiko lemon liqueur for a stupendously refreshing drink worthy of your drinks stall auntie.

rumpoles bar asam2

Likewise with the Asam2 (above), essentially a version of the sour plum drink you can find alongside the water chestnut one in the drinks chiller at some Chinese medicine halls. Made with G’vine Gin, soursop juice, Iichiko ume plum liqueur, egg white and sour plum, it’s a gorgeous pick-me-up and a throwback to good ol’ times at once.

What’s the most amazing thing about Rumpoles Bar’s National Day local-inspired cocktails though? It’s not the nostalgia – however well bartender Nur Veronica makes them, and she does them exceedingly well – but the fact that each cocktail clocks in at only $14 nett; that’s half the price of a cocktail at too many other fancy hotel bars. And judging by how we staggered out of the bar, she doesn’t quite stinge on the alcohol either.

These locally-inspired cocktails are available at Rumpoles Bar from 1st August to 31st October 2016.

Rumpoles Bar is located on 2nd floor, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, 1A Cuscaden Road.


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