Culture-driven bar The Elephant Room has a new cocktail menu that gives you a taste of the various states of India.
Teck Lim Road cocktail bar The Elephant Room first brought a taste of Indian culture in the form of cocktails when it opened end 2019. Founder Yugnes Susela, inspired by Singapore’s Little India where he spent much of his childhood, based his cocktails after the sights, smells and tastes of the many different nooks and crannies in that heritage district. For example, there was Buffalo Road, a pink guava-infused gin and tonic inspired by the street of the same name that quickly became one of their best-selling drinks.
Three menus later, Susela’s gone for a different tack.
This time, The Elephant Room takes you all the way to India. Its latest cocktail menu explores the various states of India, interpreting the signature flavours of each individual state in the vast South Asian country into liquid tipples.
There’s Indian Lion, for example, named for Punjab in the north of India. Based after a classic Boulevardier, this combines Paul John Nirvana whisky, Campari, and sweetened with a tandoori nectar. Spirit-forward and punchy, the fenugreek in the spice syrup leaves a pleasant herbal bitter aftertaste.
From Gujarat in the country’s west comes The New Mango. This had to be mango-based, of course. The state fruit of Gujarat is the mango; some 180 mango varieties are grown here, including the famous Kesar varietal. Here it is combined with gin and cheese (Gujaratis are known for their love for cheese) for a tangy and fresh sip. Or how about Made in Kolkota, representing West Bengal? This is a robust, full-flavoured cocktail made with rum and clarified butter, its richness cut with some banana cider.
Some can be a little out of this world. Coastal Finds, for example, is a rather stupefying drink symbolising the southwestern state of Kerala made from Indian whisky that’s combined with Indian algae and a gel rendered from Kerala tamarind. The concoction is then topped off in a foam derived of sea coconut. Briny and slightly mineral to the taste, this is not for everyone.
On the other hand there’s Sinhala Coffee, inspired by India’s estranged cousin Sri Lanka. This arrack-based libation – mixed with coffee mead and Kithul palm syrup – is a must for coffee-lovers, somewhat like a Rum Old Fashioned meets Espresso Martini.
The Elephant Room currently offers eight of these inspired cocktails. More are to come.
Looking to fully immerse yourself in the tastes of India? Avail yourself of the bar bites here as well. We highly recommend the Chickpea Chaat Salad, an incredible delight of flavours and textures on a plate, as well as the Banana Flower Croquette, which comes as deep-fried spiced dumplings made from mashed banana flowers. Require a heartier bite? Go for the Indian Fried Chicken Burger, an absolutely scrumptious spiced buttermilk fried chicken sandwich that will make Colonel Sanders blush in jealous envy.
For regulars of The Elephant Room, here’s a tip: visit during happy hour. Your favourite Buffalo Road gin and tonic that you thought have delisted from the new menu? It’s still there.
The Elephant Room Singapore