Circuit breaker has seemed to help us unearth our secret talents, with many flourishing into bakers, baristas and bartenders overnight. Now that we’ve slowly but surely emerged out of lockdown, most of us are more than happy to hand the baton back to the experts. While most bakeries and cafes remained open for takeaway, what we’ve missed most is an artfully crafted cocktail, shaken or stirred right before our eyes. Though bars in Singapore haven’t technically been given the green light to reopen yet, the V&VPR team have put together a list of places where you can already treat yourself to a well-deserved celebratory drink, while staying responsible of course! We’ve also included a few stellar delivery options for those who aren’t ready to venture out just yet.
For the Design & Ambience
Known for its impressive gin tower and Gatsby-esque interiors, ATLAS is a clear winner if you’re looking to treat yourself. You’ll be whisked away on a sensorial journey from the moment you step into the Art Deco bar; stunning champagne-hued drapery, striking gold and bronze balconies, and, of course, the intricately crafted gin cocktails. Said to own the most diverse collection of gin in the world, with over 1,000 bottles of the spirit, this is a far cry from your personal circuit breaker stash. Fret not if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed — all you have to do is tell the team your favourite gin and flavours, and they’ll recommend a concoction made just for you.
No attention to detail and design was spared with Barbary Coast. Inspired by the district in San Francisco of the same name during the mid-1800s, the dual-concept bar spans two floors of three historic shophouses. Designed by award-winning hospitality design and branding studio EDG Design, the establishment holds two unique concepts under one roof – The Ballroom and The DeadFall – bringing to life both the grit and glory of the gold mining era. While the lush Ballroom on the second floor remains closed for now, immerse yourself in the rough, ready and rustic vibes of The Deadfall. New must-try cocktails from their refreshed menu include the French Highball with Remy Martin Cognac and Soda, as well as Tommy’s Margarita with Mezcal, Lime and Agave.
For the Fresh Air
Inspired by Havana’s glory days and Capella Singapore‘s distinctive old world charm, Bob’s Bar is the ultimate tropical escape to get your dose of fresh air. Step outdoors to the Terrace and unwind on plush daybeds with a magnificent view of the lush foliage. There’s no other place we would rather be to celebrate our new-found freedom, soaking in sweeping sea views while sipping on bespoke cocktails on the breezy terrace. V&VPR tip: Bob’s Bar is offering a special cocktail from now until 31st July so make a date with your mates and nab an al fresco spot (limited to groups of five of course)! Capella Singapore is also reopened for staycations, so make yourself a room reservation if you want direct access to this Havana haven all day long.
Instagrammable neon sign? Check. Spacious open-air seating? Check. Fusion bar grub and delicious cocktails? Check and check. Although one of Singapore’s first rooftop bars, Loof seems to have been designed especially for our new normal, with all the elements needed for a good time, while still abiding to safety and social distancing measures. We’ve missed indulging in their iconic chili crab waffle fries and their BCM grilled cheese paired with a medley of Southeast Asian inspired cocktails. We’ll be having a Lychee Bubble Tea cocktail please, to make up for the months of being bubble tea-free.
For the Adventurous
Departing from its previous digs in Boat Quay, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall reopens on Haji Lane, just in time for phase 2. Retaining its distinctly local flair, the cocktails here focus on classics that are embellished and reimagined with a nod to well-loved Singaporean drinks. The menu ranks the drinks on a sliding scale of lethal-ness and bitterness, taking reference from kopitiam words po (Hokkien for ‘thin’ or ‘weak’) to gao (‘thick’). On the po side, there’s the Gin Fizz; for something in the mid-range, try the Blood & Sand, or go all-out gao with the rye whisky-based Old Pal.
Ranking No. 6 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020, Native has been a true trailblazer. Led by Vijay Mudaliar, the bar takes its inspiration from the local and regional landscape, serving cocktails with foraged ingredients, from jasmine blossom to turmeric leaves. Perhaps most well-known for its weird and wonderful cocktail Antz (featuring ants scavenged from around Ann Siang Hill), this award-winning establishment is for the adventurous among us.
For the Homebodies
Homebound Happy Hours are ideal for those of us who are still reticent about going out and about. LAIBA is Asia’s first premium bottled cocktail brand, bringing signature cocktails to your doorstep expertly curated by award-winning mixologist Michael Chen, considered one of the best in Asia. The cocktails come perfectly premade in sleek bottles so you don’t have to worry about the ratios and recipes. We love the refreshing Passion De-Light with cucumber vodka, lemon and passion fruit, as well as the Twisted Negroni with strawberry and rosemary infused gin, Campari, Cinzano Rosso and Punt e Mes.
This cocktail delivery brand has absolutely nailed its design – we would order from them just to get our hands on their kitschy bottles. Their cocktails live up to the hype – choose from six different options, from Kiki’s Osmanthus Yuzu Gin to Kiki’s Sangria. They’ve also launched an exclusive travel range, inspired by cities such as Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo. This one’s perfect for all those getting cabin fever to get a taste of wanderlust without having to leave your couch.
In light of the developing Covid-19 situation, we are all doing what we can to #SaveFnbSG, and Singapore’s restaurants and bars have got some fantastic offers for everyone to indulge in over the next month:
Indulge in some of the city’s best menus at home
Asian fusion restaurant Butcher Boy invites guests to indulge in meaty menus at home. Offering either delivery or pick-up options, Butcher Boy’s new take-away menu includes classics such as Butcher Boy Bacon & Cheese Burger, the flavoursome Fried Chicken Yuzu Kewpie Bao and the exquisite Crispy Primrose Farm Pork Belly. These mains can be accompanied by delicious sides including the famous Szechuan Brussel Sprouts. Diners can pair their feasts with a selection of premium wine and beer, or their favourite cocktails.
Pasta Bar, the go-to artisanal pasta restaurant has launched ‘Fresh Pasta Home Cooking Kits’ and ‘Bake Yourself’ Lasagna Trays (from $120)that can be delivered, or picked up from the restaurant. Accompanied with cooking instructions, the kit has everything consumers need to feed a family of 2, 4, 6, or more. Offerings like Hand-Cut Tagliatelle, fresh Rigatoni can be combined with a variation of delicious sauces such as 24-hour beef Ragu, Pesto ‘Genovese’, and San Marzano Tomato & Basil. For diners who wish to add wine or starters to complete the meal, options for a Salami Platter, Burrata, and a selection of wines are also available.
How about an at-home Mexican Fiesta? Papi’s Tacos has created a take-away package for groups of 4-12 to liven spirits during this tough situation. Available for order on their website, the DIY tacos come with a choice of three fillings ranging from their signature grilled fish, chorizo sausage, shrimp, and mushroom. No true fiesta is complete without delicious Mexican drinks, with pre-mixed margaritas in either classic lime, strawberry, spicy mango, or grapefruit.
Enjoy a drink, or two at home
Employees Only provides drink enthusiasts with quality cocktails to enjoy at home during this time. Employees Only has launched pre-batched cocktails available in 350ml including the likes of the Old Fashioned, Negroni, Martini, or a refreshing Cold Brew Martini. The offers range from each sold individually at $80, a selection of 3 at $220, or flights of 5 at $350. The famous EO Negroni is also available in a large 750ml format that’s perfect for 6 or more people at $150.
Elegant and refined, Nyetimber has been dedicated to the production of the finest English sparkling wine for the past 30 years, and numerous accolades and awards have positioned the brand as an internationally renowned producer, surpassing all expectations of what can be achieved in English winemaking. Nyetimber is available to purchase online in Singapore at Analogue Wine Merchants.
Importer of fine wines, Angra Wines is passionate about sharing some of the world’s best wine in Singapore. Now offering a flash sale across many top wines, Angra Wines has up to 50% off on delicious vintages. For more information, please visit the wine list here or call +65 6532 7791 to order.
Advocates for extraordinary spirits, EC Proof are offering an incredible warehouse sale on a range of discounted items from recipe books to glasses or even your favourite spirit, EC Proof will have you sorted for any at-home cocktail evening! For more information, please visit their website or call +65 8228 0113 to place your orders today.
Together we can #SaveFnbSG!
Check out the rest of our page here for more insights and inspiration!
On Friday 7th February, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits hosted a preview event in Singapore for their exquisite range of lovingly crafted alcohol-free, classic spirits.
Ruby Warrington, author of Sober Curious and founder of the movement, was present to share her personal experiences, assess the history of drinking, and help re-evaluate our perception of alcohol.
The sober curiosity movement has seen a sharp increase in traction over the last few years, as people have become more in-tune with their own personal wellness journeys. It has been increasingly reported that Gen Z is the least-boozy generation to date, with more pressure at school and work being cited as the main reasons behind this change.
But what exactly is sober curiosity?
According to Ruby, it’s exactly that – to be curious about sobriety:
“[Being sober curious] means, literally, to choose to question, or get curious about, every impulse, invitation, and expectation to drink, versus mindlessly going along with the dominant drinking culture.”- Ruby Warrington
Often, Ruby argues, we drink on autopilot, with the expectation to drink at social occasions being firmly rooted in society. The sober curiosity movement encourages a judgement-free exploration of one’s relationship with alcohol and conscious drinking.
Drinking is socially ingrained
From weddings and birthday parties to work events and holidays, we commemorate many of life’s greatest moments or achievements with alcohol, with Champagne in particular being synonymous with celebration. Often, people declaring that they are abstaining is met with resistance by other members of the party, or else it is assumed that there is an underlying reason – namely pregnancy or alcoholism – behind the decision.
A rise in month-long sober social experiments such as ‘Dry January’ and ‘Sober October’ are becoming more commonplace, suggesting that people are looking for an ‘excuse’ not to drink, but how can the movement shift these mindsets and allow sober curiosity to become accepted, as opposed to reinforcing the notion that you either drink or you don’t.
So, what’s the alternative? Living sober curiously
The movement towards sober consciousness has inspired the creation of and market for viable non-alcoholic alternatives, which offer those opting out of booze a tasty, ‘grown-up’ tipple to enjoy. Brands such as Lyre’s are paving the way, lowering the ‘barrier to entry’ for the sober curious club and creating a talking point, bringing the questions of sobriety to the forefront of the conversation.
Every Lyre’s spirit is designed to look, taste and sashay around the palate just as its alcoholic counterpart might, whilst allowing drinkers to remain clear-headed and in control. Lyre’s will be available in Singapore from mid-March, and we can’t wait!
For more information on Lyre’s, and to take a look at their full range and recipe suggestions, visit their website.