Going back to the start with Origin Bar.
On this tiny island, our crowning local drinks are limited to the Singapore Sling, Tiger beer and the many variations of kopi and teh. I’m not going to offend anyone by stating that it goes in that respective order, but I dare say I’ve found contenders worthy of the list.
Located at the tower wing of luxury hotel Shangri-La, Origin bar serves a cocktail array that recounts Singapore’s past as a trading port, possibly making our forefathers very proud. The cocktails carry the legacy of five key districts that played a major role: Orchard Road, Chinatown, Little India, Boat Quay and Marina Bay.
Each ode is an anecdote distilled in a glass. Take for example, the Orchard Road-inspired cocktail, Origin. You probably didn’t know that the shopping paradise was once home to pepper and nutmeg plantations in 1880, but bar manager Adam Bursik does. His gin-based masterpiece is a spicy mix of sugar cane honey, nutmeg, pepper, charred pineapple and lime husk wine. Other bittersweet creations offer you exciting elements like cardamom and tamarind, aromatic fruits like fig and jackfruit, and delicious woody undertones of aged rum or osmanthus-fortified wine.
A visual standout of the mix is clearly The Pearl. Its seashell presentation is hard to miss, and so is the unusual ingredient used to enhance the smooth texture of the blend—silken tofu. It’s fascinating how the land and sea tribute to Marina Bay gives a floral flavour from the mix of Black Forest gin, barley shochu and sea grapes. Teetotallers are not left out of this tropical voyage down Singapore’s illustrious history. Each district comes with a non-alcoholic option that celebrates local produce in equal parts.
So drink up; there’s no better way to raise a glass to our national heritage.