While Maduro has had to cease live music, the shaking never stops. With nine unique concoctions, Maduro’s sweet melodies are living on.
*This review first appeared in Wine & Dine’s 2021 ‘Spice & Aromatics’ issue
Like most entertainment venues that have had to cease live music, the pandemic has been a tricky time especially for a small classical and jazz lounge such as Maduro. A cross between a private club (with a cigar room) and performing arts space, it has taken to livestreaming hour-long Sunday Sundown Social sessions as well as develop a fuller cocktail menu aptly named The Trouble Clef.
Bar manager Rajesh Kumar, who is as multi-faceted as the lounge’s founder, takes the reins and shakes up nine concoctions, some of which are inspired by semi-fictional character, Mr P, the Kopitiam Gentleman — a savoury tipple of rye whiskey, char siew reduction, gula melaka, orange bitters and a strip of bak kwa for garnish — is a smooth tip of the hat to Mr P’s love of hawker grub (wanton mee, to be exact). While the Cereal Notes, an ode to his sweet tooth, is a milk-based martini that comes with cacao cereal bar. It’s the nightcap of our dreams and Rajesh suggests the only respectable thing to do: dunk the bar into the drink and swish it around for good measure.
Although the other cocktails don’t come with such a jazzy backstory, they can definitely hold their own. Pina-play, a reiteration of a daiquiri, is afforded a smidgen of ghost pepper for a little heat and kick at the back of the throat. Then there’s the Wicked Boulevard for cigar smokers who want something bold enough to match and comes with a seaweed sesame strip to nibble on as the bitterness from the Campari and rosso vermouth dissipates on the palate.
Running the gamut from sours to smoky, the cocktails on the menu thankfully never end up too candied with just the right amount of surprise. The delicate nature of the cocktails also mean they risk getting overpowered by Maduro’s food offerings, so it might be best to enjoy both separately.
Maduro is located at 40c Harding Road, Level 3, Singapore 249548. Tel: +65 9756 4775. Opening hours are 3pm to 10.30pm from Monday to Saturday. For more information, visit maduro.sg