Looking for tips on how to throw a successful soirée? Serving up a signature cocktail is a good way to start. Leading mixologists from five of Singapore’s best bars, including Jigger and Pony which ranked number two on the recently announced 2021 Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, give us their favourite cocktail recipe to make at home. And if that sounds like too much work, they also offer a range of takeaway cocktails.
ATLAS Martini, from ATLAS (#7 on Asia’s Best Bars 2021)
While it might be tricky to recreate the gilded interiors of the Art Deco-inspired ATLAS, head bartender Jesse Vida insists it’s easy to mix up the flagship drink. California-born Vida, who rose to prominence at top New York bars Dead Rabbit and Black Tail before moving to Singapore in 2019, believes that flavour and balance are always more important than fancy flourishes when it comes to making a great cocktail. While revealing how to put together the bar’s signature martini, Vida says, “We want to share ATLAS’ much-loved classic cocktails with everyone, so they can enjoy them from the comfort of their own home.”
2 dashes of orange bitters
5 dashes of champagne vinegar (or substitute with white wine vinegar)
15ml of white vermouth
60ml of dry gin
Build all the ingredients into a stirring vessel. Stir with ice before straining into a chilled martini glass.
Alongside a selection from the bar’s food and drink menu, Atlas is now offering a range of bottled cocktails and gin and whisky cocktail sets for delivery or takeaway. Cocktails come in 100ml, 250ml and 500ml bottles and cover classics such as the Atlas Negroni and Martini, as well as options from the current menu, such as the Rose Coloured Glasses (Japanese gin, elderflower, Greek vermouth, palo cortado sherry, orange bitters). The sets include spirits, mixers, garnishes and recipes. Don’t have the cocktail gear at home? Don’t worry, you can also buy bartending tools, from jiggers and shakers to strainers and spoons.
Yuzu Whiskey Sour, from Jigger and Pony (#2 on Asia’s Best Bars 2021)
One of the pioneers of Singapore’s cocktail scene when it first opened on Amoy Street in back 2012, Jigger and Pony continues to push boundaries, now at its more recent digs at the Amara Singapore hotel. Former Singaporean bar manager Jerrold Khoo’s selection of the Yuzu Whiskey Sour highlights one of the bar’s key strengths: introducing Asian flavours and ingredients to classic cocktails. Khoo, who left the bar on 31 March 2021, says he picked it because it’s easy to make yet has a real twist with the addition of the yuzu marmalade. “Marmalades are already sweetened so you don’t have to add to your sugar content,” he explains. “And it’s such a crowd-pleaser at Jigger & Pony – I’m sure nobody wants to make cocktails at home only to find that nobody but yourself liked it!”
20ml egg white
20ml lemon juice
2 teaspoons yuzu marmalade (available at most Korean marts)
5ml elderflower liqueur (St Germain, for example)
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake and strain into a glass. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
From its Singapore-inspired Little Red Dot (Tanqueray No. 10 Gin, Giffard Lychee, raspberry, grapefruit, Fee Brothers rose water) to classic mixes like Jungle Bird (The Lovers Rum, Campari, lemongrass, clarified Granny Smith apple juice, lime) and Old Fashioned (Bulleit bourbon, demerara sugar, Angostura bitters), there are a host of Jigger and Pony cocktails on offer for islandwide delivery. The bonus is you can also pick and choose from the rest of the group’s offerings which includes sandos and drinks from Live Twice as well as drinks from Caffe Fernet, Gibson and Humpback.
Oshakawa Rum Highball, from Junior
Junior has swapped its tiny 10-seater establishment for a bigger space at Ann Siang Hill, but it is still known for packing a punch with its creative cocktails and regularly rotating themes. Previous iterations have included tributes to tiki bars, mezcal spots, Alpine retreats, and a Washi theme that is firmly focused on Asia, taking its inspiration from Shinjuku’s Golden Gai bars. Award-winning head bartender Peter Chua helps you bring a slice of neon 1980s Tokyo into your front room with this quirky take on a highball. “It’s both easy to make, and the flavours are very approachable,” says Chua who was on the opening team at 28 Hong Kong Street. “The natural combination of peach and thyme coupled with the ginger beer and rum make this drink extremely refreshing as well.”
Oshakawa Rum Highball
45ml Diplomático Planas Rum
7.5ml Merlet pêche liqueur (any peach liqueur will do)
20ml fresh lime juice
20ml thyme syrup (recipe below)
Top up with East Imperial ginger beer
- 300g white caster sugar
- 300ml water
- Put sugar and water into a pot.
- Stir sugar over heat till completely dissolved.
- Put 4 thyme sprigs into sugar syrup and let simmer for 15 mins.
- Strain out thyme
Simply add all the different elements of the cocktail into a highball glass over ice. Stir until chilled then garnish with a lemon wheel and a sprig of thyme.
Much like the bar itself, Junior’s takeaway options feature a regularly changing range of cocktails tied to previous themes. At the moment, they’re making available a selection of cocktails and street snacks from its Peruvian concept menu. Try options such as the Amarillo Sour (Amazonian gin, aji amarillo pepper, guava, citrus and green Chartreuse) and the Cacao (Peruvian rum, rye whiskey, raw cacao bean and PX sherry). Servings come in 250ml bottles and include garnishes where needed. Check out their Instagram account for the latest offerings.
Manhattan, from Manhattan (#6 on Asia’s Best Bars 2021)
Classy and sophisticated are words that come to mind when talking about this grand hotel bar whose stylish ambience is a throwback to 19th-century New York. It’s not surprising that its former bar manager David Nguyen-Luu opted for the equally classic and sophisticated drink of the same name. With just three ingredients, the Manhattan might seem simple, but it’s been perennial favourite among cocktail connoisseurs since its invention back in the mid-1850s. “It’s super easy and it’s delicious and sophisticated,” explains Nguyen-Lu, who made his name in the cocktail bars of Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney before relocating to Singapore. “It contains three staple ingredients prevalent in most home bars: rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. Our Manhattan comes with a house-made cherry brandy too, but that’s a little tough to replicate at home.”
50ml rye whiskey
20ml sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir all the ingredients with ice until they are properly chilled. Strain into chilled glassware and then garnish with a cherry. As a pro tip, David recommends twisting orange peel over the finished drink to release orange oils for added zing.
Fans can choose from a number of the bar’s highlight cocktails, including 100ml offerings of the Apollo (Matusalem 15 Years Rum, Lagavulin 16 Years Whisky, cynar, D.O.M. Benedictine, cacao, bitters and absinthe) and Monsieur St. Jour (Botanist gin, Lillet rosé, fino sherry, mignonette cordial, orange bitters). They also do a 700ml bottle of The Manhattan. While you’re at it, you can also order from the Regent Singapore hotel’s other F&B venues such as Basilico and Summer Palace.
Negroni, from The Old Man (#42 on Asia’s Best Bars 2021)
The Singapore branch of Asia’s Best Bar has quickly established itself on the local scene thanks to its fun and friendly vibe as well as its cocktails, which all take inspiration from the works of American writer Ernest Hemingway. Despite this, well-travelled head bartender and managing partner Andrew Yap has opted for a straightforward classic for you to recreate at home. “A Negroni is my go-to cocktail because it can be drunk at any time of the day and goes perfectly with my favourite gin,” explains Yap of his choice. “A simple drink to recreate at home, the Negroni is great for any occasion.”
30ml London dry gin
20ml sweet vermouth (such as Cinzano 1757)
Mix all the ingredients into a glass filled with ice and stir for 10 seconds. Then strain over a rocks/lowball glass filled with a cube of ice. Zest with orange peel and serve.
Bartender’s tip: If you don’t have a bar strainer, use a food strainer to collect the ice. If you don’t have a stirring spoon or mixing glass, substitute with chopsticks and a tumbler.
If you fancy a little food to go with your drinks, The Old Man is offering a selection of its cocktails which you can purchase in bundle deals with its specialty burgers, or if you prefer, on their own in 250ml servings. The list includes The Sun Also Rises, prepared with copra fat-washed Applejack, curry leaf-infused Bulldog gin, Cinzano 1757 vermouth sous-vide pandan leaves and kaffir lime; and the Garden Of Eden, which features rotovap honeydew wild turkey rye whiskey, goat milk wild turkey bourbon, caramelised sauterne cordial and orange-phosphate bitter. Get the full menu, which also includes a range of accompanying bar snacks, here.
This story was originally published on 8 May 2020 and updated on 5 June 2021.