In this month’s issue of Drinkspotting, Spirited’s chief drinks editor Daniel Goh takes a deep-dive into new cocktail menus from some of Singapore’s more notable cocktail bars. 

It’s peak cocktail menu season.

By that I mean this is usually the time where cocktail bars refresh their menus, overhauling older offerings in favour of new themed creations for the rest of the year. So for the past couple of months I risked liver and limb, navigating pages upon pages of cocktail menus to identify and taste some of the more interesting cocktails from some of Singapore’s better bars.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

This will by no means be an extensive or comprehensive list, and I am always looking forward to when other bars issue their newest cocktail offerings. But for now, in no order of merit or preference, here are some of the cocktails from Jigger & Pony, Origin Bar, Nutmeg & Clove, Gibson, ATLAS, Last Word, Stay Gold Flamingo, Studio 1939, Puffy Bois, The Bar at 15 Stamford, and Brooklyn Bar, that I think you need to try.

The Spicy Margarita from Jigger & Pony

Jigger & Pony releases a SMASH hit

It’s hard to imagine, but Jigger & Pony celebrates its twelfth anniversary this year. Along the way the pioneering cocktail bar picked up multiple major awards, helping put Singapore’s cocktail scene into the global spotlight. Its latest menu, SMASH, looks to continue its winning ways.

The latest menu comes off IDENTITY, a previous one that explored themes of community, sustainability and collaboration. SMASH on the other hand instead looks at breaking entrenched norms and discover better ways to do things. Like with classics in mixology. Hence you have the likes of Lycheetini, which recreates the club favourite into something far more sophisticated, or the Spicy Margarita that upturns your expectations on salt rims (you get a salt-coated agave lollipop instead) or even opinions about drinks that are shaken instead of stirred (here it is stirred and then topped off with a spiced beer foam).

Then there’s the Champagne Ramos Fizz, a take on the cocktail most bartenders dread to make. This rendition somehow boasts four layers and five textures and tastes like a delicate dessert. It simply shows you how technically proficient the creative geniuses at Jigger & Pony truly are.

And why they are a trailblazer in every way.

Jigger & Pony | 65 Tanjong Pagar Road, Amara Singapore, Singapore 088539 (Google Maps link) | 6pm to 12am Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays; 6pm to 1am on Wednesdays and Thursday; 6pm to 2am on Saturdays and Sundays | | 9380 6313 | book here

I Wish It Never Ends at Origin Bar

Origin Bar takes you to INFINITY and beyond

Shangri-La Singapore hides perhaps one of Singapore’s best-kept cocktail secrets – Origin Bar. First opened in 2018, the classy hotel watering hole has taken drinkers on fun, whimsical and sometimes esoteric cocktail journeys that range from exploring Singapore’s illustrious spice trade and Orchard Road’s botanical history to the more recent musings on time and travel.

Origin Bar’s latest menu, INFINITY, pushes those abstract boundaries further. Tapping on ideas and inventions for “future-forward creations with infinite possibilities of flavour combinations and inspirations”, the new cocktails are, in their own words, far-fetched.

So don’t expect anything ordinary. Like Toast & Caviar, essentially a Breakfast Martini and Vesper hybrid inspired by toasted bread that comes with orange caviar. Or Metalico; inspired by magnets and the laws of attraction, this is a fruity and rich concoction of gin and umeshu that leans on ingredients with high iron content like figs and prunes. Then there’s the Voyager Negroni, inspired by the cosmos and astronauts. This not so classic gin-vermouth-amaro aperitivo combination even comes with its own ring system of freeze-dried berries in lieu of a garnish.

Origin Bar | Lobby Level, Tower Wing, Shangri-La Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Rd, Singapore 258350 (Google Maps link) | 5.30pm to 1am Tuesdays to Sundays; closed on Mondays | | 6213 4595


The Oriental 50 from Nutmeg & Clove's TEN cocktail menu

Nutmeg & Clove counts to TEN

I love award-winning Nutmeg & Clove for its championing of Singapore flavours, and always giving us an irreverent cocktail reimagination of anything from our favourite foods to iconic landmarks and even local celebrities over the last ten years. That’s right – Nutmeg & Clove celebrates 10 years this May.

To commemorate its 10th anniversary, it has released a cocktail menu called TEN along with a whole brand-new look. This list of 25 cocktails is a spirited trip down memory lane, with concoctions recalling key events that have happened to Singapore and the bar itself over the past decade. Think Golden Jubilee, a fruity cognac-based concoction that celebrates Singapore’s 50th year of independence back in 2015, or Oriental 50, a red-hued whisky highball laced with notes of dried mandarin orange peel, ginger flower, and hibiscus that’s a hat tip to The World’s 50 Best Bars being held right here in Singapore.

As a proud Hainanese Singaporean, I’m also glad to see Don’t Chicken Out, a rum cocktail with flavours of chicken rice that pays tribute to Singapore’s hawker culture getting onto the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2020.

Along with these new cocktails are fresh offerings from the kitchen. They are mostly culinary mashups hinting at Singapore’s cosmopolitan nature, running from Duck Rice Arancini and Rendang Mac & Cheese to Chong Qing Wings and a most scrumptious elevated take on the Hakka favourite of Abacus Seed.

Nutmeg & Clove | 8 Purvis St, Singapore 188587 (Google Maps link) | 5pm to 12am Mondays to Thursdays; 4pm to 12am on Fridays and Saturdays; closed on Sundays | | 9389 9301 | book here

The Watermelon Spritz from Gibson's new Cocktail Supermarket menu

Gibson opens up its Cocktail Supermarket

Gibson continues its ingredient-driven focus in its latest cocktail menu release, ‘Cocktail Supermarket’. The lauded cocktail bar – a sibling concept of award-winning Jigger & Pony – offers up 15 different signature cocktails that put supermarket ingredients up front and centre.

I recommend you start, for example, with the refreshing Watermelon Spritz, a fruity and juicy twist on the Aperol Spritz, or Born To Be Corn, a whiskey highball with notes of buttered popcorn. Tiki classic Blue Hawaii gets reinvented here with Very Blue Bananas, which gets its blue hue from spirulina rather than blue curacao, while Swanky Panky gives the classic Hanky Panky a delicious makeover with notes of strawberry and basil.

But hey, you’d be remiss to walk away without checking out with its namesake Gibson, which to me is by far still the best Gibson in town. Aisle definitely have one of those before I go.

Gibson | 20 Bukit Pasoh Rd, #2nd Floor, Singapore 089834 (Google Maps link) | 6pm to 12am Sundays and Mondays; 6pm to 1am Wednesdays and Thursdays; 6pm to 2am Fridays and Saturdays; closed on Tuesdays | | 9114 8385 | book here

The Electric Fire from ATLAS' refreshed cocktail menu, Preservation of Fire

ATLAS plays with Preservation of Fire 

Most people visit award-winning grand lobby bar ATLAS to gawk at its soaring Art Deco-style interiors or its imposing towering collection of gins that form the centrepiece of the space. Not me. I come for the cocktails.

There’s a reason why ATLAS consistently places on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, after all. Its latest cocktail menu, ‘Preservation of Fire’, sees newly inspired cocktails spread across four different chapters, each spotlighting a specific bartending technique. Under Carbonation is the Jubilee Royale, for example, a fruity take on the classic French 75 with notes of raspberry and lemon, while you’ll find The Tribune under Temperature, an intense spirit-forward Manhattan-style concoction with a tinge of bitterness.

My favourite cocktail from the new ATLAS menu has to be Electric Club, which can be found under Washing. It uses bourbon which been fat-washed in hazelnut and clarified butter for a cocktail that’s equal parts velvety smooth and richly sweet. And oh so decadent.

ATLAS | Ground floor, 600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778 (Google Maps link) | 12pm to 12am Tuesdays to Thursdays; 12pm to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays; closed on Sundays and Mondays | | 6396 4466 | book here

The classic Last Word at Last Word

Last Word seeks to inspire a Retro Revival

I’m biased, but I count minimalist Japanese-inspired Last Word among my favourite bars. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more sophisticated take on classic cocktails than here, and its newest cocktail menu, ‘Retro Revival’, again takes tipplers on a classic cocktail journey through five different eras.

You’ll revel in the flavours of the past – specifically The Golden Age – with a tangy and Clover Club, or Ramos Gin Fizz, for example, or relive the Prohibition Era with old-school cocktails like the Corpse Reviver No. 1 or a clarified twist on the Bloody Mary. Under Years of Indulgence are the opulent Irish Coffee or the whimsical tiki cocktail Mai Tai, while The Dark Ages offers the likes of the ridiculously hued Blue Hawaii or the minty Grasshopper.

Under Cocktail Revival? Some new-world favourites like the White Negroni and The Old Cuban. Order up some elevated Japanese bar bites with these; I really enjoyed the Yaki-Onigiri grilled rice dish, and the indulgent Tuna Poke.

You’ll definitely want the eponymous Last Word to end off your evening.

Last Word | 8 Purvis St, #02-01, Singapore 188587 (Google Maps link) | 5pm to 12am Tuesdays to Sundays; closed on Sundays | | 9187 5719 | book here

Cocktails from the White section of Stay Gold's 'That's A Nice Jacket' menu

Say, ‘That’s A Nice Jacket’ Stay Gold is putting on

Stay Gold, the cocktail bar component of dual-concept venue Stay Gold Flamingo, has put on a new cocktail menu called ‘That’s A Nice Jacket’. Named for the cocktail bar’s practice of splashing stripes of coloured paint on their bartender’s jackets upon attaining a certain proficiency, the new cocktails are represented by different colours.

Under White, for example, there’s Shizu. This is a floral gin highball accented by yuzu and shiso, lifted by a touch of orange flower water. Our new favourite here is agave-based Rosa-ta listed under Blue, and which comes dry, rich, and absolutely heady. Tea Party is a fun reimagined Long Island Tea using gin (without the crazy blend of booze) – it’s under Pink – while Lucky Bunny under Purple is a fancy version of the Bloody Mary.

Oh, and the food. Stay Gold boasts one of the best bar grub programmes in my opinion, especially in terms of creativity. Naked “Hubad” Lumpia, for example, is a fried spring roll deconstructed into a salad, while their Fried Chicken Sandwich is lip-smackingly good.

Stay Gold | 69 Amoy St, Singapore 069888 (Google Maps link) | 5pm to 12am Mondays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays | | 8876 7364 | book here

Curry On from Studio 1939

Studio 1939 suggests that you ‘STFU’

Moving on from its previous ‘Palette of Sounds’ cocktail menu, hidden cocktail den Studio in Potato Head Singapore takes on local flavours in its new cocktail menu ‘STFU’, built particularly around spice, tea, fruit, and umami. Lest you think it’s trying to be rude.

Love your spice? Try Curry On, an arak-based concoction with notes of pandan, coconut and calamansi that’s spiced up with Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder for an intense hit. Otherwise there’s Thyme After Thyme, a herbaceous tipple that combines mezcal, Sauvignon Blanc and vermouth that offer notes of thyme and star anise. Som Tum Mamuang is a ridiculously fun creation that recreates the flavours of Thai green mango salad.

My favourite of the lot has got to be the Chai Fashioned, which is basically an Old Fashioned that’s infused with chai spices. The Lotus biscuit garnish on top? A bonus.

Studio 1939 | 36 Keong Saik Rd., Level 3, Singapore 089143 (Google Maps link) | 5pm to 12am Tuesdays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays and Mondays | | 63271939 | book here

The OK Go at Puffy Bois

Stay Puft at Puffy Bois

There are very few places in town that serve up both fabulous pizzas and top-notch cocktails. Puffy Bois is thankfully one of the those. While the casual hideaway cocktail bar on the upper floor of a Bali Lane shophouse doesn’t have quite the extensive cocktail selection of its more luminary peers, what they do have hits it out of the park.

They’ve recently changed up their cocktails; among the new ones is Pillar to Post, a vermouth twist on the classic Americano that’s refreshingly crisp and bitter with just a hint of Australian strawberry gum. Another lovely one is OK GO, a sweet and fruity milk punch with notes of ice cream soda and toasty coconut that is sure to evoke the childhood memory banks. Also delicious is champagne-based Box of Stars, which comes fizzy and fun and full of zippy flavour.

I hear they are changing up their food menu soon, but hopefully Spiced Arti, an eccentric pizza topped with sliced grilled artichoke tossed in the same sauce you find in butter chicken, stays.

Puffy Bois | 20A Bali Lane, Singapore 189856 (Google Maps link) | 6pm to 12am Thursdays to Mondays; closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays |

American Pie from The Bar at 15 Stamford

The Bar at 15 Stamford strikes a ‘Chord’

Capital Kempinski Hotel’s house bar, The Bar at 15 Stamford, is perhaps best known for its rum-centric cocktails. While previous few cocktail menus drew inspiration from the history and myths surrounding different legendary islands and archipelagoes around the world, its latest, ‘Chord’, instead tells stories around music across four distinct eras: soul, rock ‘n’ roll, the Millennium, and classics.

You’ll find the likes of Smoke on the Water, a mesmerising concoction of mezcal, fino sherry, and vermouth that’s accented with ginger and galangal, while American Pie is an intensely sweet rum sour with big apple pie notes. Also sweet is Simply Brown, a dessert-like rum twist on the Velvet Old Fashioned with flavours of peanut butter and banana.

As for classics, don’t miss out on Plantation 1840, a refreshing tiki cocktail that’s been on their menu since Day One.

The Bar at 15 Stamford | 15 Stamford Road, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, Singapore 178906 (Google Maps link) | 4pm to 12am daily | | 6715 6871 | book here

Brooklyn-inspired cocktails at Brooklyn Bar

Brooklyn Bar is in its ‘Elements’

Brooklyn Bar’s latest cocktail menu ‘Elements’ is a trippy tribute to Brooklyn’s iconoclastic culture. The one year old cocktail bar on Ann Siang Hill taps on the iconic New York borough’s thriving hip hop culture – particularly in the areas of rap, the deejay movement, breakdancing, and graffiti – for artistic liquid creations that express a social commentary of their own.

There’s Queen B*tch, a fruity gin sour lashed with orange, yuzu and elderflower notes that’s a hat tip to rapper Lil’ Kim, for example. Or Velvet Thunder, a nickname for American sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s character Ray Holt played by the late Andre Braugher, symbolised here as an apple and herb-laced whiskey highball. My top choice is their signature Brooklyn!, a twist on the classic Manhattan using cherry liqueur and angostura bitters.

Be sure to avail yourself of some New York-style street eats too, from their Brooklyn Sliders and Beefy Birria Tacos to the scrumptious fried chicken that is Run BMC.

Brooklyn Bar | 14 Ann Siang Rd, #01-01, Singapore 069694 (Google Maps link) | 5pm to 12am Tuesdays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays and Mondays | | 8495 9691 | book here

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