Things in the local drinks scene took a relatively tame turn during the Christmas period, but with the New Year around, it’s all back in full swing. If your New Year’s resolution is to hold off the drink in the name of health and savings (because let’s be real, isn’t everyone’s?), you might want to set that aside, because there are some things not worth missing out on. For example, a cocktail with freeze-dried ants in an up-and-coming local bar.
Or, you could do as we do and proclaim the new year to only take effect after the upcoming lunar one, and therefore all no-drink resolutions are currently on hold. Life is best enjoyed when lived to its fullest, after all.
In honour of Chinese New Year, Diageo is releasing three limited edition festive designs of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, each depicting a particular facet of Chinese mythology and artistry. Pictured is the “Keep Walking China” series that celebrates traditional Chinese ceramic art, where four bottles placed side-by-side form an elaborate scroll painting. The other two ranges feature gold-engraved calligraphic prints of the Zodiac and Fu Lu Shou deities.
Bottles are available only through Diageo’s Private Client Service, firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many bars in Singapore that craft locally-inspired cocktails, but Native takes it to the next level by foraging its own ingredients. Vijay Mudaliar, previously from Operation Dagger, is the man behind the magic, unifying drinkers with the Singaporean landscape through his unique expressions. One example: A Thai rum cocktail with sugar cane and soursop, garnished with crunchy weaver ants.
Native, 52A Amoy Street, Singapore 069878, +65 8139 6433.
Nutmeg & Clove goes down the festive route by creating three cocktails inspired by signature Chinese New Year treats. There’s the Campari-based Huat Ah! with accents of mandarin orange, a pineapple tart-inspired Prosperity Flip with Barcardi, or the savoury Chinatown cocktail with bak kwa–infused bourbon, vermouth and Shao Xing wine. Yam seng, we say.
Nutmeg & Clove, 10 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069789, +65 9389 9301.
In the likes of hidden bar 28 HongKong Street, Teepee is a neighbouring hole-in-the-wall bar branded as a guerrilla diner. All you get is a little cardboard sign emblazoned with “COFFEE?” hinting to the wonders beyond. Asian fusion bites and beverages dot the menu, with a variety of café fare and a handful of cocktails crafted by bartender Matthew Chan. Passionate indie joint hoppers, mark this one on your list.
Teepee, 31 HongKong Street, Singapore 059670, +65 6225 0025.
What used to be Azzura is now taken over by Ola, a cool new beach club reminiscent of Hawaii. Tiki-themed drinks, food and vibes abound as you enjoy the sea, or partake in the array of water sports offered, including flying above the waves in a water jet pack. We aren’t kidding.
46 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa, Singapore 099005, +65 6250 6978.