Robertson Quay cocktail bar Revival serves up whimsically cultured cocktails that draw inspiration from art movements over the centuries.
If a Renaissance painting was reimagined as a cocktail, what would it taste like? That’s what one of the newest cocktail bars to open in town, Revival, looks to explore.
Opened by Compound Collective – the same folks behind dual-concept Barbary Coast at Boat Quay – the Robertson Quay cocktail bar launched in May this year offering a cocktail menu that looks and reads like a book on art history. Its 16 drinks all pay homage to a work of art from different art movements over the centuries, ranging from the Baroque and Neoclassicism eras all the way to the pop and modern street art movements. The decor here too is part modernism and part Baroque, and every bit as classy as a modernist art museum.
I’ll readily admit I’m no student of art. I won’t be able to accurately describe the subtle nuances between cubism and surrealism, for example, so much of what Revival does is lost on this uncultured barbarian.
For example, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog – a work I’ve never heard of – is inspired by the 1818 painting by German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. A whiskey sour made with a blend of bourbons, it literally has a fluffy coconut meringue that sits atop the drink like morning mist. Or how about Portrait of Pablo Picasso, the 1912 piece by Spanish painter Juan Gris considered one of the finest portraits in the cubism art movement? No idea here either. But the turbocharged Negroni – made with Fernet and Suze in addition to the classic trio of gin, Campari and vermouth – that it is? That I know.
One artwork that I did recognise but couldn’t name was Napoleon Crossing the Alps. This Jacques-Louis David Neoclassicism work is regularly used to depict Napoleon, so as an enthusiast of history I’ve seen it often. Here its represented as a brandy-laced sweet and wet Martini. Made with French Cognac, Dutch Genever, British gin, French Dolin Blanc and Noilly Prat this is also a literal taste of the Battle of Waterloo – bloody brutal.
The only piece I could readily identify was The Scream. Revival interpreted Edvard Munch’s iconic seminal Expressionism work as a liberal take on the Margarita, made with a combination of tequila and spiced up with chipotle distillate and chilli liqueur. A touch of Ardbeg adds smokiness.
If you’re an art lover and a cocktail enthusiast, you’re very likely to enjoy Revival. If you know nothing of art like I do, hey, you can at least appreciate the art and craft of cocktail making here.
Address 205 River Valley Rd, #01-76, Singapore 238274 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 4.30pm to 12am Tuesdays to Saturdays; 4pm to 10.30pm on Sundays; closed on Mondays
Tel (65) 9488 3726