If you are feeling immense nationalistic pride, not just because National Day is around the corner but for the amazing work that our government has been doing to decelerate the spread of Covid-19, let us raise our glasses to them for letting us dine out and indulge in some Singapore-inspired tipple at Origin Bar.
Tucked away in the corner of Shangri- La Hotel, Singapore’s lobby, the 34-seater bar, is the perfect place to unwind at the end of a day with drink in hand while enjoying the old world charm of its train station-inspired interiors that superbly blends mahogany wood with peacock teal blue.
Since its opening in December 2017, the bar has taken cocktail connoisseurs on an immersive voyage through the origin of flavours, travel adventures and Singapore’s storied past. Inspired by the country’s illustrious history of bountiful trade, colonial charm and tropical splendour, the cocktails at Origin Bar convene timelessness and ingenuity with unique recipes representative of the five distinctive districts in Singapore — Orchard, Chinatown, Little India, Boat Quay and Marina Bay.
Now into its fourth year, the talented team headed by bar manager Adam Bursik, continues to invigorate our imbibing experience with a new repertoire of cocktail creations by adding a new district to the list, Balestier, once home to a 1,000-acre sugar plantation and the very ingredient used to make rum. If you love rum-based cocktails, Origin Bar is the place to be. Supposedly, the bar carries 340 bottles or rum brands from 40 countries, including 12 exclusive rums made in-house.
The latest cocktail menu showcases 18 brand new handcrafted concoctions with several non-alcoholic options, imbued with a sense of simplicity and sophistication with little or no garnish.
A stellar creation and must-try is the Crystal Moj!to to honour the Marina Bay area. Unlike the classic mojito recipe which muddles together lime, rum and mint, this molecular version is crystal clear using a cold distillation process to extract all the flavours of its ingredients, minus the colour. In place of brown sugar, the recipe calls for sugar cane juice to lightly sweeten the drink without masking the delicious taste of rum.
One of our personal favourites is Urban Jungle, an ode to Orchard Road which was once a spice and fruit paradise. An updated take on the Old Fashioned, the base of the drink features Cambodian Samai Gold rum accented with a tropical golden blend of baked pineapple, nutmeg and sugar cordial, and garnished with fermented kampot black peppercorn. Surprisingly easy to drink, it pairs well with salted peanuts or artisanal cheeses.
If you are looking for a dram with a stronger kick, we highly recommend the very photogenic Tropez which draws from Balestier’s roots as a sugarcane plantation. It tastes as lethal as it looks featuring seven-year Chocolate Matusalem Rum and Mancino Rosso Amaranto vermouth. Smoked on the spot, the heady top notes turn slightly sweeter thanks to Coconut Maraschino and the citrus aroma of Buddha’s Hand.
For coffee addicts, Dirty Brew is the perfect libation of coffee liqueur and rum enhanced with velvety cardamom cream, a nod to the spice shops of Little India. The rich robust mix features Spiced Mr Black Amaro, The Lovers Rum and Spiritual Coffee. Together, they make the perfect dessert cocktail to elevate the night.
An oriental version of the classic Sazerac, the Saz-Mei pays homage to Chinatown with the creation of a cognac cocktail that oozes smokiness and umami from preserved plum. Remy-Martin VSOP is mixed with in-house absinthe, bitters, sugar syrup and smoked plum in this beautifully floral-ume libation.
For diehard fans of gin, you must try the Nashi and Matcha inspired by Boat Quay, which takes the classic gin highball to a whole other level. Using Roku Gin as the base, the recipe includes nashi pear and caramel cordial topped with tonic water and matcha. The stirrer is frozen into a single large ice cube. To mix the matcha powder, simply lift the ice cube, teabag style, and blend. So refreshing.
Lobby Level, Tower Wing Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 22 Orange Grove Road Singapore 258350 | Tel: +65 6213 4398 | Email: [email protected]