From shocking pink outfits to a trip around the globe, these new cocktails from Singapore’s best bars are as exciting as they are expansive.
At Nutmeg & Clove, they envision a traveller coming to Singapore and journalling about the island’s heritage, which forms the basis of their diary-like menu. Also turning to wanderlust is MO Bar. The venue looks out at far flung locations as inspiration for their cocktails, and plots the results on a three-dimensional map.
Finally, Smoke & Mirrors mine their rich home at the National Gallery to create their latest drinks. The work of a local painter gets reimagined into a nostalgic serve, while the provocative photographs of a Thai artist results becomes an intriguing cocktail. Read on to find out more.
Check out these new cocktails from some of Singapore’s best bars this month:
Nutmeg & Clove
Nutmeg & Clove continues its homage to Singapore in its latest menu called “Flavours & Memories Volume 6: The Cocktail Diaries.” The journal-like menu reveals stories and facts about the country through notes and sketches, which is so well done that it deserves to be its own zine.
Singapore’s 1992 ban on chewing gum, for instance, led to Can Bubble Gum? (S$24++), a tequila-based cocktail that looks like a beer with an intensely fruity aroma, but is unexpectedly savoury and spicy.
The bar also pictured their traveller discovering a soy milk and grass jelly beverage called Michael Jackson at a local coffee shop. This inspired Michael Jackson’s Punch (S$24++), a smooth, creamy cocktail with the same bitter, herbaceous finish of the original.
Like the drinks, Nutmeg & Clove’s latest food menu pays tribute to Singapore’s rich culinary heritage. Assam + Batang (S$28++) spotlights Spanish mackerel in assam cream stew with garlic Hainanese toast, while SG Scotch Egg ($18++) encases an egg within a Cantonese flavoured mixture of minced kurobuta pork and waxed sausage.
Nutmeg & Clove is located at 8 Purvis St, Singapore 188587.
Mondays to Saturdays, 4pm to 10.30pm
MO Bar‘s Volume Four menu builds on the venue’s nomadic journey throughout the Asia Pacific as seen in the first three volumes. For this edition, the offerings are presented on a globe that introduces destinations and the cocktails born from them.
Some of the places come directly from their bartenders’ memories. June Baek, for instance, recalled the pine forests around the South Korean city of Suwon in a refreshing tequila highball called Sonamu (S$25++). “It reminds me of going hiking while eating an apple,” she said.
For the Anko (S$26++), it imagined the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido where the azuki, or red bean grows. Typically made into a paste (or anko in Japanese) and used to flavour desserts, the ingredient brings gentle sweet and bitter flavours to the Vesper Martini twist.
The bar’s new food dishes are similarly wide ranging. Indian naan crosses over to Europe with mozzarella and truffle paste (S$18++), and Tuna Tataki Somen (S$22++) is invigorating. Royal Indian Tandoori Selection (S$42++) of meat and seafood is an exquisite rendition of the traditional meal, as is the delightful Tater Tots with curry mayo (S$16++).
MO Bar is located at 5 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039797.
Mondays to Fridays, 3pm to 10.30pm
Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm to 10.30pm
Smoke & Mirrors
Smoke & Mirror’s latest menu isn’t new – it launched during the height of the pandemic – but bar managers Edu Zamora and Mel John Chavez did not have much chance to promote their latest offerings until recently.
Headlined “The Real Art of Drinking,” the menu takes cues from the art and space around the bar’s home at the National Gallery. “We take a walk in the Gallery to see what inspires us,” said Zamora. “We also have a friend there who gives us a preview on what’s coming up next, and we try to match our drinks with the exhibits.”
One cocktail currently on display is Life By The River (S$27++). Based on local artist Liu Kang’s work of the same name, the Gin Martini captures the painting’s soothing green hues with melon liqueur, while manzanilla sherry presents a faint nutty note to the dry, boozy drink.
Shocking Pink (S$26++), on the other hand, captures Manit Sriwanichpoom’s similarly titled series of self portraits. In the images, the Thai photographer dresses up in a collection of jarringly bright outfits as a satire on materialism. Smoke & Mirrors’ cocktail is thankfully more harmonious, with mezcal injecting a meaty, smoky profile to a bright Paloma style drink.
Smoke & Mirrors is located at 1 St. Andrew’s Road, #06-01 National Gallery Singapore, 178957.
Daily, 3pm to 10.30pm
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore