Find boundary-pushing ideas and plenty of wild and wacky cocktails at The Old Man Singapore.
Doing drinks at The Old Man Singapore requires a certain mental preparedness. Don’t get us wrong—it’s fun, it’s hospitable. It’s just that the cocktail programme is so avant-garde you should save it for when you’re ready to get out of your comfort zone to try something wild and wacky.
But go you should, to witness the boundary-pushing ideas that propelled the Hong Kong flagship to the top of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019. The Old Man, you may have heard, is entirely conceptualised around the cocktail-loving Earnest Hemmingway. The Singapore offshoot is a faithful rendition of the Hong Kong original, with the same attention to details: the H-shaped island counter is outfitted with a brass column maintained at -35°C to keep drinks at optimal temperatures. The current v1 menu offers nine cocktails (all $17) straight off the flagship’s opening repertoire, prepared by means of sous-vide, fermentation, fat-washing, and rotary evaporation.
Asian influences pop up often. For instance, Islands in the Sun, a G&T with clarified-and-carbonated pink grapefruit and salted gin, tastes like a hat-tip to the salted-lime-and-7Up beverage ubiquitous at cha chan tengs. If natural wines and kombucha are your jam, consider Across the River—Williams Pear-infused campari, vermouth, verjus, soda and jackfruit shrub—for its funky, sweet-sour play. And if you really want to jump into the deep end, The Snows of Kilimanjaro is it. Marshmallow-infused gin, lacto-fermented raspberry, citrus and gruyere make this a mind-boggling mashup of sweet, tangy and savoury flavours.
#01-04, KēSa House, 55 Keong Saik Road. Tel: 6909 5505
This article was first published in Wine & Dine May/June 2019: Game-Changing Innovations.