In this new year, go off the drunken path! We recommend five Singaporean bars for bespoke cocktails that offer a deeply personal drinking experience.
Are you tired of your standard round of poison? Unsure of what to order? Or just simply craving a little more adventure? Well, we have the solution: bespoke cocktails. These are not your typical run-of-the-mill tipples. In our round-up, instead of recipes, bartenders identify your tastes and preferences to create a drink as delightful as it is singular. Bid your woes farewell, people! These bars will shake and strain their way to a tailored cocktail after your own heart. You are welcome!
From its 15-metre-long teak wood bar to custom-made Kimura glassware, D.Bespoke is at once hospitable and exclusive. Indeed, with a limit of 28 guests, reservations for the Ginza-style bar fill up months in advance. At the source of its appeal is Daiki Kanetaka – owner, head bartender, and true craftsmen – who brings his signature meticulousness to every creation. For a customised tipple, simply provide one’s alcohol of choice, taste preference (sweet, sour, floral, etc), and strength of drink; aperitif, digestif, nightcap – the works).
For more information, visit dbespoke.sg.
2. AH SAM COLD DRINK STALL
Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall describes itself as unpretentious, fun, and “solid.” With signatures like Tak Qiu (Milo Old Fashioned) and Kaya Flip, expect nothing less than the pub’s hyper-local, Asian-centric style in its bespoke cocktails. Flavours like chestnut, gula melaka, and even spicy cucumber brine will complement your every mood. Best of all? This solid bar has solid prices to match — with handcrafted bevvies valuing around $18, considerably more affordable than its Haji Lane neighbours.
For more information, visit ahsamcolddrinkstall.com.
3. BAR STORIES
In the words of head mixologist Dave Koh, “Bar Stories was founded 11 years ago as a bar without a menu. That was our reason for being.” Since then, a focus on artisanal spirits and fresh ingredients has differentiated the pub from its bespoke counterparts. Using the likes of yuzu, passionfruit, rosemary, pandan, osmanthus, and even sea urchin, Koh and his team encourage customers to embrace the unconventional. Bar Stories, with its inventive spirit and relaxed setting, is truly the place for a drink and a tale.
For more information, visit barstories.sg
4. GIBSON BAR
Gibson Bar is one for the non-conformists. Its bartenders wear floral Bermudas, and its signature cocktail, The Gibson, involves specially commissioned Ginjo sake-vermouth with a smoked quail’s egg. If the menu doesn’t strike your fancy, head bartender Aki Eguchi and his team would gladly customise, and nothing is off limits. From Monkey 47 Gin to Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, clarification to smoking, barrel-aging to fermentation, Gibson Bar’s varied spirits and even more diverse methods will satisfy any bargoer.
For more information, visit gibsonbar.sg
5. MAISON IKKOKU
This three-story, multi-concept space boasts an art gallery, omakase restaurant, and, most importantly, chef-turned-mixologist Ethan Leslie Leong’s bar, where flavour engineering is key. The process balances cocktails by breaking down and layering flavours. A nod to his background, Leong has often done so using culinary techniques like flash-freezing and herbal extraction. Interestingly, even Maison Ikkoku’s name is a balanced blend of French term maison and Japanese term ikkoku. At this ‘house of moments,’ we hope to stay for several.
For more information, visit ethanleslieleong.com