ATLAS, MO BAR, and Nutmeg & Clove have all recently updated their cocktail menus. We suss each new cocktail menu out so you don’t have to; here’s what you should order.
ATLAS shows us a renewed ‘Sense of Place’.
Not that we need more reason to visit Singapore’s grandest lobby lounge, but ATLAS head bartender Jesse Vida and his team has put out a new cocktail menu that is simply wow. Replacing its previous multimedia-inflected ‘La Grande Nation’ is ‘Sense of Place’, a cocktail exploration of various Art Deco architectural wonders around the world.
The new menu is split into different sections, each of which pays homage to a specific iconic Art Deco landmark in Europe. We loved Arcade Melon – a fruity clarified milk punch with flavours of cantaloupe – from the section dedicated to Lisbon’s Teatro Éden, and was also blown away by the spirit-forward Vesper Martini twist Vapour Guide that draws its inspiration from London’s Battersea Power Station. If you love a good sour, set your eyes on Sunset Hill: smoky Mezcal, herbal gentian, spice from curry leaf, and fruity pear combine for a beautifully-balanced cocktail.
And if you’re looking to stay dry, ‘Sense of Place’ has an entire section dedicated to non-alcoholic cocktails; Vanda Mist is sweet, creamy and has flavours reminiscent of the classic Chinese longan beancurd dessert.
MO BAR ups the notch to Volume Four.
MO BAR in Mandarin Oriental Singapore has been on an award-winning roll recently; it entered Asia’s 50 Best Bars for the first time in 2020, and then debuted in World’s 50 Best Bars last year. And who can fault them? Their creative ‘Nomadic Foragers’-themed cocktail menus since opening were fun explorations of the different ingredients and flavours inspired by various cultures in the Asia Pacific, while adopting – as much as possible – eco-friendly and low waste techniques at the bar.
Its latest menu iteration is ‘Volume Four’, which continues its cocktail jaunt across the diverse cultures of our region. Full Moon is a surprisingly refreshing Korean-inspired tipple combining rum, wheatgrass and Korean golden pear; this spiritual successor to the popular Mother of Dragons from its first menu comes complete with the familiar rice paper float, but this time with very Korean colours. Also colourful is Holi – obviously inspired by India’s festival of colours – which is a spiced gin-based cocktail that’s as delicious as it is visually striking.
Other cocktails are as rich as the cultures they draw upon. Ube makes a creamy cocktail out of the much-beloved purple yams in the Philippines, as well as tropical jackfruit; think melted yam ice cream doused with whisky. For something that will just blow your mind? Satay by the Bay is a Negroni that explodes with the flavour of grilled satay dipped in peanut sauce. Bizarre, yet lovely.
Nutmeg & Clove pens down its ‘Flavours & Memories Volume 6: The Cocktail Diaries’.
Our favourite local cocktail bar returns to its roots with its newest menu, ‘Flavours & Memories Volume 6: The Cocktail Dairies’, after an earlier eccentric detour with its previous Chinese horoscope-inspired offerings. This time the beautifully-designed menu takes the form of a traveller’s diary, and each cocktail a personal entry of the person’s visits of various Singapore destinations.
There’s Garden City, a herbaceous gin-based concoction with hints of shiso and musk melon that’s devoted to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. We’re big fans of the GMT Martini, a silky Martini that combines influences from Japan, Britain and Singapore, a cocktail reminder of the country’s colonial past.
A not-so-subtle liquid jibe at the naughtier side of Singapore is K-Tea-V, a very elevated form of the ubiquitous whisky green tea commonly downed in seedy karaoke pubs. This highball is made with blended malt whisky, green barley, matcha, with a touch of smoky absinthe to replicate the cigarette smoke that envelops the air in those nightspots.
Our favourite of the lot has to be Michael Jackson’s Punch, a clarified milk punch that’s an alcoholic version of the beloved soya bean milk and grass jelly drink locals call Michael Jackson. It’s black, it’s white, it’s absolutely yummy, yeah yeah yeah. (Our friends at Spill agree.)
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