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#2 Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 Jigger & Pony rolls out a new menu of redefined classics

Jasmine Alimin
Jasmine Alimin • 6 min read
#2 Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 Jigger & Pony rolls out a new menu of redefined classics
Jigger & Pony has always stayed true to its identity — and that is to honour the evergreen classic cocktail
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In a competitive bar industry where bartenders and mixologists work extremely hard to outdo one another with creative concoctions each more unique and unusual than the next, Jigger & Pony has always stayed true to its identity — and that is to honour the evergreen classic cocktail.

Founded in 2012 by husband-wife team Indra Kantono and Gan Guoyi, Jigger & Pony was one of a handful of pioneers specialising in Prohibition-era tipples at a time when craft cocktails at 28 HongKong Street and Tippling Club were gaining in popularity.

It enjoyed autonomy as the only cocktail bar on Amoy Street amongst a sea of restaurants, bistros and cafes. Slowly, it built a loyal fanbase of cocktail aficionados who welcomed the fresh interpretations of well-loved classics. Without Jigger & Pony championing the movement to resurrect classic cocktails, these oldies but goodies would have probably remained a novelty as far as mainstream tipples go.

Now located at Amara Singapore, Jigger & Pony enjoys a larger, more elegant space befitting of its well-crafted libations that remain strongly rooted in the classics. More importantly, it still extends the same convivial hospitality and unpretentious atmosphere on which the brand was founded.

As far as cocktail awards go, Jigger & Pony has been a regular recipient each year in Asia’s 50 Best Bars, clinching the #1 spot in 2020 and #2 in 2021. It also climbed to the #9 spot on World’s 50 Best Bars 2020, and now plays on a global field.

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“The first Singapore Cocktail Week (now the Singapore Cocktail Festival) launched in 2015 shone a spotlight on our cocktail bar scene. The following year, Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2016 was launched and Jigger & Pony ranked #8 on that inaugural list. Prior to that, these lists had less of an internationally representative panel of judges. You could say that Asia’s 50 Best and the Singapore Cocktail Festival turbocharged this, as we welcome the world to our vibrant city,” shares co-founder Kantono.

He adds: “Over the past nine years, Jigger & Pony has continued to grow stronger — honing its craft, strengthening its team with diverse and like-minded people, and growing in multiple concepts that have added to Singapore’s vibrant F&B landscape.”

Revisiting the classics

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Currently at the helm is principal bartender Giovanni Graziadei from London’s 69 Colebrooke Row, who has been instrumental in the curation of Jigger & Pony’s annual menu-zines (a menu in magazine format) since moving to Amara.

The latest menu-zine, the fourth edition since 2018, is a reflection of the impact of Covid-19. Developed over six months by Graziadei and principal bartenders Silvio Daniele and Uno Jang, A Decent Menu celebrates reunions and reconnections with a tight set list of 24 cocktails (all $25++ each) ranging from redefined classics to new creations, plus hall-of-fame favourites, and even punch bowls for sharing.

“We went back to the basics, analysing the DNA of timeless cocktails with the goal of mastering them,” says Graziadei. “And while we will innovate and put our own unique touch, we always focus on preserving the essence of these classic drinks and the humble ingredients that go into them. For us, the classics of yesterday are also the classics of tomorrow.”

One of Jigger & Pony’s iconic serves, the Old Fashioned retains the standard recipe of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, demerara sugar and angostura bitters served over block ice and garnished with a citrus wheel. The timeless version is a slice of orange, lemon, lime and cherry; but seasonally you may find grapefruit, kumquat, blood orange or makrut lime lending their unique finish.

We think the Corn Colada — a riff on the Piña Colada — will be a definite crowd pleaser. Rich, creamy and comforting, this drink is a heady concoction of Bacardi Reserva Ocho 8 Year Old Rum, corn, butter, lime and egg white. Every sip reminds us of buttered popcorn!

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Another hit is the Jasmine & Rice, which takes a leaf from the classic Bellini. For this cocktail, cooked jasmine rice is turned into puree then strained to extract its rich, creamy texture. Paired with Havana Club Three-year-old Rum for a touch of coconut and caramel, along with the uplifting notes of tea and Louis Roederer Champagne, each sip is refreshing and relaxing.

One that we’ll go back and order again is the Espresso Martini. A collaboration between Jigger & Pony and PPP Coffee (formerly known as Papa Palheta), this caffeinated concoction contains Grey Goose Vodka, coffee flower honey, cacao tuile and PPP x Jigger & Pony Espresso Martini Blend featuring a capsule of Rio Brilhante and Thippanahalli Estate coffee.

Promising new hits

Not one to steer away from innovation, Jigger & Pony does also offer original creations that are worth a try. If you are a K-phile, you have to order the Korean Boilermaker loosely inspired by the soju bomb, where you dunk a shot of soju into a glass of beer. This variant combines Lee Gang Ju Soju infused with hops and passion fruit (for the beer aspect), backed by malty and woody notes from Glenlivet 15 yo Scotch Whisky. Its playful presentation with a block of ice on spoon invites you to “bomb” your drink.

For tea lovers, you have to try the Soy Milk Punch — one of the prettiest drinks on the list — which marries the tannins of oolong tea and red wine with the sweetness of lychee, clarified soy milk and rice- based Ki No Bi Gin. Very aromatic, floral and creamy, all at the same time. Another interesting drink is the Sweet Potato Opera, a gin-based cocktail that pairs the sweet earthiness of sous vide purple sweet potato with the dry, bitter finish of Hendrick’s Orbium Gin and smoothened with cacao liqueur. This is a great pick-me-up after one too many drinks.

If you’re feeling peckish, Jigger & Pony does offer a small list of bar bites from cheese ($34) to cured meats ($45), pickled olives ($10) and even fresh vegetables with dipping sauce ($38). A bestseller is the Jamon Iberico Toast ($24) which features thinly sliced jamon iberico with stracciatella, served on a buttery brioche toast.

Jigger & Pony

165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Amara Singapore
Contact: +65 9621 1074
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays: 4pm–10.30pm | Closed on Mondays

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