Savoury cocktails in Singapore
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For those of us who regularly hit the bar, perusing cocktail menus can be a mundane affair especially after seeing familiar concoctions like “Mojito” and “Bloody Mary” for the millionth time. Those who don’t have a particularly sweet tooth are also limited to the few non-sugary options on a typical bar menu.
But if you’re feeling adventurous or are looking for an alternative to a sweet cocktail mix, treat yourself to some savoury cocktails from one of these bars and you might just discover your next favourite tipple.
1. Bacon Vodka from The Secret Mermaid
It’s safe to say that The Secret Mermaid has some crazy spirits up their sleeve; besides their Smoked Salmon Vodka, they also have an unsuspecting, colourless Bakon Vodka in their stash.
When taken as a shot, this smooth, smokey liquor just slips down the throat without burning your insides. But if you’d like to savour it in cocktail-form, have it in either a Bloody Mary or a Chocolate Martini. The subtle hint of bacon and its natural smokey peppery flavour surprisingly complements both mixes pretty well.
Best of all, this vodka is vegan and gluten-free so your dietary restrictions ain’t stopping you from partaking in this weird cocktail!
Address: 10 Collyer Quay, B1-08, Ocean Financial Centre, Singapore 119315
Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 5PM - 11PM | Closed on Saturday and Sunday
2. Watermelon and Chili Martini from Orgo Bar and Restaurant
Think of Orgo’s Watermelon and Chilli Martini ($20) as a soothing tropical drink with a twist; every swig is a medley of sweet, salty and spicy flavours on top of the refreshing alcohol-infused watermelon base.
Pair their cocktails with their exquisite side dishes - my personal favourites include the Smoked Fish Carpaccio ($15) and Truffle Pop-corn ($14) - or balance out the savoury drinks with their Lemon Sorbet ($19) or Chocolate Truffles ($24).
Address: 8 Raffles Avenue, #11-01, Esplanade - Theaters on the Bay, Singapore 039802
Opening hours: 6PM - 12AM, Daily
Telephone: 6336 9366
3. Chicken Rice cocktail from The Horse’s Mouth
As Singaporeans, there are few things we are prouder of than our internationally-renowned Chicken Rice, and now you can get our national treasure in cocktail form at The Horse’s Mouth.
Their Chicken Rice cocktail ($25) is a unique blend of fat-washed Del Maguey “Vida” Mezcal, house-made pandan-lemongrass syrup, and not forgetting the iconic chicken rice chili sauce foam made from chilli, salt, sugar, and lime. Every mouthful tastes like alcohol-infused chicken rice in liquid form, but the chilli foam slightly overpowers the other flavours in the mix.
You can also order some of their Japanese food like the Spicy Salmon & Tuna Tartare with Crispy Gyoza Skin ($22) or their Bushi Tonkotsu Ramen ($19).
Note: This secret bar is so inconspicuous that you might have a hard time finding it, but all you have to do is head to Uma Uma ramen restaurant and ask for the bar downstairs!
Address: 583 Orchard Road, #B1-39, Forum the Shopping Mall, 238884
Opening hours: Monday - Thursday, 6PM - 12AM | Friday - Saturday, 6PM - 1AM | Closed on Sundays
Telephone: 6235 1088
4. Wasabi Salt Chocolate Martini from Orgo Bar and Restaurant
This rooftop bar serves up a priceless view of the Bay, and some unusual cocktails amongst their extensive drink menu.
If you’re one to relish in the sharp spiciness of wasabi, try out Orgo Bar and Restaurant’s one-of-a-kind Wasabi Salt Chocolate Martini ($22) that gives new meaning to “sugar, spice, and everything nice”. An unprecedented blend of chocolate and vodka with a generous sprinkle of wasabi salt, this cocktail serves up double the sting of alcohol and spice.
For those who can’t deal with the burn, opt for their Black Pepper Chocolate Martini ($22) or Chili Chocolate Martini ($22) that’re both infused with a tolerable level of spice.
5. Duck’s Fat Hope from Smoke and Mirrors
Smoke and Mirror’s cocktail - Duck’s Fat Hope ($22) - actually contains drops of Peking Duck Jus (duck fat) shaken with jackfruit-infused rum, five-spiced honey, and lemon juice.
Just one sip of this oriental cocktail is all it takes for your tastebuds to be overcome with a myriad of flavours - first a hit of savoury sharpness from the duck jus, followed by a tangy, fruity aftertaste.
Address:1 St. Andrew's Road, #06-01 National Gallery Singapore, Singapore 178957
Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 3PM - 1PM | Saturday - Sunday, 12PM - 2AM
Telephone: 9234 8122
6. The Egg from Operation Dagger
The salted egg yolk craze has taken Singapore’s foodscape by storm, and even the cocktail scene has not escaped from its clutches.
Operation Dagger, an underground, pharmacy-inspired bar, boasts their very own salted egg yolk liqueur fittingly dubbed The Egg ($25).
This unique cocktail is an amalgamation of cured egg yolk, house-made rum, vanilla beans, and caramel, and is served in an eggshell-like cup nestled in smoked hay and star anise - 10/10 for presentation, no doubt.
At first sip, this cocktail hits you with the unmistakable taste of salted egg yolk, but before you can flinch from the saltiness, the aromatic blend of vanilla and caramel kicks in and you’ll find yourself reaching for more.
Address: 7 Ann Siang Hill, #B1-01, Singapore 069791
Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 6PM - 12AM | Closed on Sunday and Monday
Telephone: 6438 4057
7. Tom Yum martini from Maison Ikkoku
Image credit: Nora Chompunich
Granted, Maison Ikkoku’s Tom Yum martini ($28) may sound a diarrhea-inducing recipe, but if you’re an adventurous drinker, this tangy and spicy cocktail will be an awakening experience for your tastebuds.
Besides this Thai-inspired martini, the bartenders here will be able to shake up just about any cocktail mix you can think of with their extensive alcohol collection, so come expecting the unexpected - in fact, there’s no set cocktail menu to pick from!
For some pre-drinking grub, Maison Ikkoku Cafe is right below the bar so you can get your fill of their affordable specialty sandwiches like the Norwegian Smoked Salmon & Dill Sour Cream ($13.90) and Spicy Chicken and Cheddar ($11.90).
Address: 20 Kandahar St, Singapore 198885
Opening hours: Monday - Thursday, Sunday 10AM - 5PM, 6PM - 1AM | Friday - Saturday 10AM - 5PM, 6PM - 2AM
Telephone: 6294 0078
8. Smoked Salmon Vodka from The Secret Mermaid
Smoked salmon salad gets a sure yaas from us but Smoked Salmon Vodka? This cocktail may sound vile at first, but the bartenders at The Secret Mermaid sure make it werk.
This spirit particularly complements the ingredients in a Bloody Mary, so you can substitute regular vodka typically used to make the cocktail with this Alaskan smoked salmon-infused vodka. Your basic Bloody Mary cocktail will instantly be transformed into a dimensional drink with hints of savoury and smokey flavours.
9. Not Your Cheese cocktail from Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
The name “Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall” might bring to mind a primary school canteen’s drink stall, but rather than $0.40 ribenas, this hipster bar serves up some wicked bespoke cocktail concoctions.
Order their Not Your Cheese Cocktail for a savoury mezcal (Mexican agave-based alcohol) drink topped with nacho cheese Doritos and you’ll never see nachos the same way again.
Note that there are limited seats at this cosy bar that doesn’t allow standing around, so head down there early to chope your seats especially if you’re going in a big group!
Address: 60 Boat Quay, Singapore 119848
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday, 6PM - 2AM | Closed on Sundays
Telephone: 6535 0838
Unique and interesting in Singapore
There’s more to look forward to during your bar-hopping rendezvous than just happy hour. With so many wacky cocktails out there, it’s only fair to jio some victims friends along on this tastebud-tingling expedition to find your favourite savoury concoction!