From revamped menus to new venues, Spirited’s March 2024 edition of Drinkspotting takes you to five places that have recently slaked our thirsts with new cocktails and excited our palates.

You’ll want to drink – and eat – at these five bars.

writers bar - new cocktails

Writers Bar

While curious tourists searching for Singapore’s iconic Singapore Sling visit the Long Bar at Raffles Singapore in droves, better informed cocktail-loving bon vivants instead head for Writers Bar. Tucked in one side of the heritage hotel’s expansive lobby, Writers Bar pays liquid homage to literary greats old and new with cocktail menus that tie in with the works of its recent writers-in-residence, travel writer Pico Iyer and mystery novelist Viki Virtue.

The current cocktail menu draws inspiration from ‘How to Build a Lux Hotel’, a collection of poems by Singapore’s own award-winning poet Madeleine Lee and the hotel’s latest writer-in-residence. Balcon, for example, is an absinthe-laced French 75, while Tiffin & Co is an Old Fashioned with herbal notes of lemongrass and lime leaf.

But Writers Bar beverage manager Nicholas Alexander has also introduced a smashing cocktail collection of his own, each of which pays tribute to literary giants who have stayed at the hotel, such as Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad. They are all clever twists on classics, we’d happily while away our time over a book sipping on any of them.

Writers Bar | 1 Beach Rd, Raffles Hotel Singapore, Singapore 189673 (Google Maps link) | 5pm to 11pm Sundays to Thursdays; 5pm to 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays | | 6412 1816 | book here

White Shades - Clear Yellow

White Shades

White Shades – or ‘four floors of pours’, as we affectionately call the multi-storied watering hole of different drinking concepts – recently unveiled its first official drinks menu for its ‘Cocktail’ floor.

Called COLOURS, the new cocktail programme differs from the one at launch in spades. While the earlier menu told the story of how White Shades began, COLOURS instead is far more polished. Each of the 22 new inventive cocktails reference the colour spectrum and segmented into themes. Don’t be deceived by their names; they may sound whimsical and playful but each cocktail belies plenty of technique. Fresh Pink, for example, is a refreshing tequila-based highball with hints of rhubarb, while Perky Peach is a fruity bubble tea-inspired fruity creation combining gin, peach oolong tea, and oolong lychee boba. Delicate White comes as a gin sour inflected with yuzu and jasmine, while Black III is an Espresso Martini. jazzed up with Guinness reduction and burnt coconut oat foam.

There are new additions to its food menu as well. There’s the likes of Pitan, an appetiser of century egg tofu served in flaky vol au vent, or the irreverent Tagliatelle that tosses the pasta Chinese-style with preserved Chinese sausage, baby spinach, and Chinese cooking wine.

White Shades | 25 Boon Tat St, Singapore 069622 (Google Maps link) | 5pm to 12pm Mondays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays | | 8575 8578 | book here

Plume Bar wine bottles


We love the avian-themed cocktails at Plume. But the wine lovers among us may want to know that the swanky signature cocktail lounge of Pan Pacific Singapore also recently unleashed a series of nine wine flights called ‘The Vine Migration’.

Each wine flight takes you on an exploratory journey through different wine regions and grape varietals. Options include a discovery of Albariño – also known as Alvarinho and Alvarinha – from warmer climate regions such as Portugal, Spain, and South Africa; a deep-dive into Pinot Noir from regions less well known for this varietal; and even one that offers an immersion into fortified wines such as Port and Madeira.

And then there’s Plume’s newly-introduced whimsical bar bites for the peckish. There’s Poultry Parfait, essentially a fancier take on chicken liver mousse served with sourdough, while Birds of Prey is a charcuterie platter perfect for nibbling on while nursing your glasses of wine.

Plume | 7 Raffles Blvd, Pan Pacific Singapore, Marina Square, Singapore 039595 (Google Maps link) | 5pm to 1am daily | | 9459 7165 | book here

New cocktails - The Plumsella at The Guild

The Guild

Most drink seekers know The Guild for its eclectic selection of tasty beers from Young Master Ales (the gastropub is owned by the Hong Kong brewery). But dig deeper and you’ll also find a dazzling array of cocktails here.

Some of these cocktails are even available on draft. We love Higher Than Salted Lime, for example. A vodka-based highball, it draws inspiration from Hong Kong’s beloved preserved lime soda for a most refreshing tipple. Otherwise signature cocktails such as the Plumsella, a vodka sour red-hued from the use of rosella, and the Stout Espresso Martini, rendered with a reduction of Young Master’s stout, offer welcome twists on classics.

Don’t forget the fun eats from The Guild’s head chef Alton Huang. Start with bar-friendly bites such as the umami-bomb that is Chye Poh Hummus, which adds the preserved vegetable into hummus, and Crispy Chicken Skin, because no one should say no to deep-fried chicken skin that’s tossed in black vinegar and chilli. Then move on to its Black Pepper Glazed Pork Sando, or heftier options like the scrumptious Alton’s Fried Chicken or even the Wild Mushroom Rice, which comes as mushroom risotto in a claypot fit for two people.

The Guild | 55 Keong Saik Rd., #01-01, Singapore 089158 (Google Maps link) | 4pm to 10.30pm Sundays and Mondays; 4pm to 11.30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays | | 9042 3900 | book here



Right next door to The Guild is Pæ (read: pallet), which opened up late last year. A special collaboration between the SJS Group – which brought us concepts like Papi’s Tacos, Pasta Bar and Employees Only Singapore – with Joseph Haywood (formerly of Sago House), this gastrobar uses wooden pallets as design inspiration but more importantly offers up some rather edgy dranks and eats.

Cocktails are a mishmash of ideas from all over. Seoul Searcher, for example, is a liberal twist on the Margarita that’s spiked with heat from Korean gochujang spice paste, while Dillmatic is a herbal Negroni variant with notes of dill and cucumber. Or how about Itsumi Martini, a green-hued dirty-ish Martini that uses dashi for savouriness and pasta water for texture. For those feeling suicidal, The Continental is a turbocharged Old Fashioned that uses rye whiskey, bourbon, Mezcal, and pisco as its spirit base.

We like the date-friendly food at Pæ, which is good for sharing between two. Biltong Watermelon makes for a fun and tasty starter. The Beef Tartare here is excellent, moreish and umami from the clever addition of miso to dress the hand-chopped steak. The Half Chicken sounds boring on paper, but turned out to be one of the best roast chooks we’ve tasted in recent months.

Pæ | 55 Keong Saik Rd., #01-02, Singapore 089158 (Google Maps link)  | 6pm to 12am Wednesdays to Sundays; closed on Mondays and Tuesdays | | 9711 1487 | book here

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