Astor Bar at The St. Regis Singapore launches its New York-inspired cocktail menu, and brings back its Violet Hour evenings.
In the great scheme of cocktail things, The St. Regis Singapore doesn’t normally come to mind. The five star hotel is known for its many luxurious trappings – as well as home to Michelin-starred fine-dining Chinese restaurant Yan Ting – but does not quite feature for those seeking alcoholic libations.
But maybe it should. Astor Bar, the hotel’s cosy and elegant drinking hole, has quietly been churning out some sophisticated tipples since the property opened in late 2007. And to cement its place as a serious venue for the cocktail lover, Astor Bar recently unveiled its new cocktail menu.
Its “New York New York” menu is an extension of the hotel group’s global cocktail programme, but tweaked for local tastes and sensibilities. The menu lists cocktails as inspired by New York City neighbourhoods – Lower Manhattan, Midtown, and East Side, for example. If it sounds like Astor Bar is ripping a leaf off Manhattan’s book, bear in mind the original House of Astor, The St. Regis New York, has been an iconic edifice in Manhattan since 1094, a century before the award-winning Regent Singapore bar was founded.
For the new menu, Astor Bar’s head bartender Yvonne Tay has curated a list of sophisticated tipples with Asian inflections that will either delight or shock you.
There’s Tong Wars, an Asian twist on the Moscow Mule – with its classic vodka and ginger ale base – that’s spiced up further with some chili bitters. The vodka has been infused with Chinese preserved plums, giving the drink some complexity with its fruity yet salty notes. Weisse Garden is Astor Bar’s sophisticated take on the boilermaker; instead of the usual shot it features an Irish whiskey-based cocktail that you chase with some beer.
If you prefer something fruit-forward, the Bramble-like Roselles Julep – which combines rye whiskey, a tangy strawberry and honey shrub, and mint – is a good choice. For something stronger though, A Sip Of Gilded Age with its base of cognac, manzanilla sherry, ruby port and blackberry liqueur is complex and very subtly punchy.
We’re not too sure about the Calle Catorce, though. Essentially a gin and tonic, it features a London dry gin that’s been fat washed with Manchego cheese, which imparts bizarrely creamy and acidic notes to the highball. We very much prefer our gin and tonics to be fruity or herbal, thank you very much.
But the highlight of being at Astor Bar in the evenings is undoubtedly its Violet Hour. It’s a trademark ritual that sees Tay regale patrons with some cocktail making, and where she sends out a sample of the Violet Hour Martini for your tasting pleasure.
You’re pretty much guaranteed to order one after.
Astor Bar (The St. Regis Singapore)
Address 29 Tanglin Road, The St. Regis Singapore, Lobby Level, Singapore 247912 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 3pm to 10.30pm Wednesdays to Sundays; closed on Mondays and Tuesdays