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Drink things: Bar updates, new menus, boozy announcements, and more

Studio 1939 Potato Head Singapore

Singapore’s drinks scene is constantly evolving. From the updating of cocktail menus and pairing ideas, to more major overhauls in terms of interior spaces and overarching concepts, there’s always something going on.

Always on the prowl and looking out for interesting changes here, we checked out several establishments in town and found out what’s new in store. 

Launch of 1918 Heritage Bar

The counter area at 1918 Heritage Bar

Taking over the indoor ground level of The Alkaff Mansion where TXA once stood, newly opened 1918 Heritage Bar is a cocktail spot paying homage to the historical roots of the building it resides in. From creative signature cocktails to concoctions with plenty of showmanship, and even tipples poured from the tap, there’s lots to try here.

The Mizumi (S$20), a twist on the Midori sour using miso as a salty and umami balance to the usually sweet and sour drink, is great to start with. Or go for the Alkemy (S$22), a tall herbaceous cocktail that’s made using a contraption usually used in coffee making. The food here is delicious too. The Laksa Squid Ink Prawn Roll (S$16) is a great bar bite and showcases the chef’s ingenuity with local flavours.

Not your average pairings at La Dame de Pic

Saison de Pic

Renowned chef Anne-Sophie Pic’s first Asian outpost at Raffles Hotel Singapore may be well known for its complex yet elegant cuisine, but we were mighty impressed by their beverage programme too. Under the purview of chef sommelier Justin Wee, not just the wines, but cocktails, non-alcoholic concoctions, and even beer options have gotten plenty of love and attention.

His mixed pairing is case in point. Special vintages and premium bottlings are, of course, a highlight, but so are his selection of sakes and zero ABV cocktails he has created. We especially enjoyed the distillate of Granny Smith apples infused with shiso, and served convincingly in a martini glass. One truly exceptional pairing comes in the form of the Saison de Pic, a beer of exceptional finesse and alluring aromas, brewed by Asia’s ‘queen of beers’ Kim Wong specially for La Dame de Pic.

Highlights of Penfolds Collection 2023

The Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

The annual release of Australia’s premier winery is always a highly anticipated event. Fans of their various Bins will be glad to know that this year’s release has been well received, with many bottlings showcasing top vintages as well as their signature Penfolds house style. 

The Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 has already been declared a classic, featuring a stellar 2021 Coonawarra harvest. Then there’s the debut of the Bin 21 Barossa Valley Grenache 2022. This regional style has earned its stripes after many years of cellar reserve releases. And of course there’s the Grange. Though exceptional every year, the 2023 Collection underscores the 2019 vintage with a wine that’s already great to drink now, yet will undoubtedly only improve in the decades to come.

Republic bar expands with new terrace space

The spritzes at Republic Bar

Republic Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore is one of the most exciting hotel bars to have opened here in the last few years. Not resting on their laurels (after winning a spot on Asia’s 50 Best Bars), they’re now adding an outdoor terrace area to the venue, expanding their space but also their drinks roster to now include more sessionable, thirst-quenching tipples.

Find 10 new spritzes and cocktails (all S$26) available only in their separate terrace menu. Try the Blood Orange & Chocolate for a classic pairing of flavours that you don’t often find in a bubbly drink. Or get the Basil Smash, a mix of gin, lime, basil, and simple syrup for a stiffer but still utterly quaffable drink. Order from Republic Bar’s usual food menu for a complete experience.

6 mighty years of RVLT

A range of natural wines at RVLT

The OG of natural wine bars here, RVLT is making a splash as it celebrates its 6th anniversary this year. If you missed their special dim sum menu offering and weekend party shenanigans during their celebratory week, do not fret, for they’ve come up with a birthday surprise running through till end 2023.

From Mondays to Saturdays, 4pm-6pm, all guests are entitled to progressive bottle discounts. Getting one bottle nets you 6% off, getting two bottles nets you 12% off, three bottles nets you 18% off, and four bottles or more nets you a neat 24% off. It’s their way of saying thank you for all the support all these years, and we can’t help but oblige.

New offerings at Studio 1939

Imagine Dragon

Potato Head Singapore’s third floor drinking den has unveiled their Palette of Sounds menu, featuring all-new creations named after and inspired by the worlds of music and art. The bar team likens their drinks to those art forms, as, akin to works in those fields, their cocktails are up to interpretation depending on individual perspectives too.

The Imagine Dragon (S$23) is great to start with. The tall and bubbly gin-based drink combines flavours of dragon fruit, peach, pineapple, calamansi and lemongrass for a fruity tropical burst with an edge. Meanwhile, Voice of the Moon (S$21), though lighter in ABV, packs a punch with a sublime mix of rum with starfruit, kampot pepper, coconut, lime, and salt. The bartenders here are game for a bespoke order too, so feel free to order up a custom drink made just for you.

Ume San 100 reinvents itself

Ume San 100’s range of cocktails

This quirky store made a splash when it first opened featuring a hidden entrance disguised as a vending machine. It continues delighting not just with its inviting, eye-catching surrounds, but doing so with a scrumptious new lineup of cocktails as well as drink-friendly dishes such as the comforting Breakup Ramen (S$20; served cold with runny egg and seared scallops) and the moreish Fugu Karage (S$18).

On the drinks front, don’t be fazed by the relationship-themed cocktail names and order up a Tinder Swindler (S$23) for a umeshu and gin based drink that refreshes yet hits hard at the same time. Or just go for the Cougar Town (S$23) for a stiff Japanese whisky based tipple that is bitter, aromatic, with just a hint of sweetness to bring it all together. With a name like Ume San, umeshu is of course still a focus here. There are lots to choose from, including bottlings exclusive to them, making the themed tasting flights here especially tempting.

Top tier negronis at Wildcard

Four different takes on the negroni

Not that we needed more reason to love cafe and natural wine bar Wildcard at Furama Riverfront, but they’ve recently added a range of bottled negronis crafted by London’s famed Bar Termini to their menu, and it’s quite the banger. The pioneers in bottled cocktails have perfected the format throughout the years, and have brought four of their negroni range here.

You can’t go wrong with the Negroni Classico (S$92/750ml), an aged version of the classic we know and love, made using a time-tested mix of London dry gin, Italian vermouth and Campari. Or give the Negroni Superiore (S$92/750ml) a go. It builds on the Classico base, adding an infusion of pink peppercorns into the concoction for greater aromatics and a subtle spice kick.

[Read more: Japanese cocktail bar Kakure is Singapore’s best kept secret]