The latest cocktail menu at Writers Bar, inspired by travel writer Vicki Virtue’s crime novel Raffles Affair based in the hotel, is a compendium of great twists on classic cocktails.
Once a mere hole-in-the-wall for thirsty travellers, Writers Bar was relaunched as a full-fledged cocktail bar by Raffles Hotel Singapore back when the illustrious hotel completed its year-long renovation project in 2019. While Long Bar remained a favourite for those seeking their first taste of the Singapore Sling, Writers Bar was positioned as a cosy cocktail hidey-hole for more serious tipplers.
But what’s fun and interesting about Writers Bar is its theme. As the name itself implies, Writers Bar harkens to Raffles Hotel’s great literary past, playing host to many literary giants such as Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, and Ernest Hemingway (the latter of whom, as we know, loved his cocktails very much). So when the hotel kicked off its new writers residency programme, why not tie that to the cocktail bar? And hence the first Writers Bar cocktail menu was launched, with drinks inspired by elements from a book by its first Writer-in-Residence, British-born bestselling travel writer Pico Iyer.
And similarly for its second cocktail menu launched earlier this year. This time Writers Bar head bartender Nicholas Edward Alexander draws inspiration for the new cocktails from a murder mystery penned by the latest Writer-in-Residence, Vicki Virtue. Her work ‘Raffles Affair’ is essentially a whodunnit, with Raffles Hotel set as the literary backdrop for the novel. Interestingly each cocktail is not only crafted along classic lines, but references a character in the book.
You have the Femme Fatale, based on the classic Champagne Cocktail is named for the protagonist in Raffles Affair, composed of Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV with apple brandy and vermouth, while Agent Provocateur, a rum and Madeira-based concoction, refers to the detective working to solve the case.
Cocktail names are fun. Real fun. If you’re planning to read ‘Raffles Affair’, the name on each cocktail – and their menu description – can give you the slightest of hints into the role a character plays in the crime novel. Without giving too much away, you’re looking at False Alibi, a take on the vodka sour, or Foul Play, a Scotch whisky twist on the blackberry smash.
Or how about Poisoned Pen, a white Negroni, or Guilty Pleasure, based off the Old Fashioned? Otherwise there’s Red Herring, a fun spinoff of the Manhattan with the addition of Chinese pu-er tea.
There are other sections in Writers Bar new cocktail menu as well, but these fun concoctions – like the book – are likely to totally enthral you into a different time and setting. We can see ourselves curling up with ‘Raffles Affair’ on an idyllic evening in Writers Bar, gamely ordering a cocktail as each character is introduced.
And finish the book in one sitting. It’s just the
write right thing to do.
[Image credits: Raffles Hotel Singapore]
Writers Bar (Raffles Hotel Singapore)
Address Grand Lobby, Raffles Singapore, 1 Beach Road Singapore 189673 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 4pm to 10pm daily
Tel (65) 6412 1816