Where aperol and pipagao co-exist in harmony.
Familiars on the Singapore bar scene would have already sampled the mixological prowess of Byron Tan (The Horse’s Mouth) and Sam Wong (Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall) – both particularly adroit at working Asian elements into cocktails. Their powers now combine at Mona Lounge, Sum Yi Tai’s new second storey hidey-hole, and they’re the only reason we’d down a pipagao-infused tipple (that’herbal cough syrup for the uninitiated).
Amid gratifying Canto bar bites, remixed Chinese oldies of which most know only the chorus, and decor plus lighting aimed at recreating the dripping hedonism of a decadent ’80s Hong Kong, you get a perfect backdrop for living out that Wong Kar Wai-inspired mobster fantasy. Some tabletops are inset with glittering mahjong tiles, for crying out loud. The staff were regretful to inform us that one can’t play mahjong on the premises (we might have sparked a brainwave by querying). Ask to see Mona to get the access code.
Level 2, Sum Yi Tai, 25 Boon Tat Street. Tel: 6221-3665.
TEXT CHARMIAN LEONG & LIAO XIANGJUN
01 TIME WARP
Step through the restricted access doorway into another era.
02 MEDICINAL VALUE
Hacking cough? Here’s your cure, in cocktail form.
03 CASE OF THE MUNCHIES
Indulge in the wanton life with bar bites supplied by Sum Yi Tai.
Cognac isn’t exactly viewed as the trendiest of spirits, but we applaud any effort the industry makes to remedy that. Like how Remy Martin has roped in Matt W. Moore, painter, aerosol artist and graphic designer, to apply his “Vectorfunk” style to Remy Martin’s latest VSOP Limited Edition. All of Remy Martin’s hallmarks, from the grapes to the centaur, have been reimagined in Moore’s delightful aesthetic, along with custom typography. The distillery has also launched the Art by Remy Martin augmented reality app for iPhones, which allows you to add Moore’s designs to your photos and videos. The limited edition bottle and coffret is available exclusively at www.asherbws.com
A GOLDEN YEAR
Don Melchor, a wine estate located at the foot of the Andes, found fame on the global luxury stage when it debuted Chile’s first icon wine. It’s been 30 years since then, but every new vintage released by the talented winemaking team is cause for excitement. And the 2015 does not disappoint. Near-perfect weather conditions allowed for particularly even ripening of the grapes, of which 92 per cent used in the vintage is cabernet sauvignon, 7 per cent is cabernet franc, and the last 1 per cent is, for the first time in the winery’s history, petit verdot. Give it time to air and you’ll be rewarded with a captivating nose of coffee and dark chocolate, and a silky smooth texture with excellent structure.
LAND OF PLENTY
Given how terroir is defined as the characteristic flavour imparted to wine by the environment it’s produced in, it stands to reason that terroir can be factored into any beverage that relies on nature’s bounty. Belvedere certainly agrees.
The Polish distillery has brought two new products to our shores, Smogory Forest and Lake Bartezek, each named after the village of the estate its Dankowskie Diamond Rye came from and crafted to capture the distinctive essence of their respective soil, topography and climate.
So, far from being just a neutral base for cocktails, Belvedere is trying to show that vodka offers unique expressions for those who can discern its subtleties. The lush forests, mild winters and fertile soils of Smogory Forest give its vodka notes of salted caramel, honey and white pepper. Lake Bartezek, on the other hand, known for glacial lakes, Baltic winds and snowy winters, brings out black pepper, toasted nuts and cream.
Obviously, you’ll want to sip on these neat or on the rocks if you want to taste the difference, but either will make a lovely alternative in rye whisky cocktails.