Time Out Singapore - - Native Toil -

Sichuan Pep­per Gin? Am­rut Whisky? If these re­gional spir­its don’t ring a bell, fret not – clue­ing im­bibers in on the on­go­ing trend of turn­ing to Asian-made spir­its is a spe­cialty of Vi­jay Mu­daliar’s, who is the owner and head bar­tender of the hip new hang­out, Na­tive.

In less than a year, his small bar perched on the sec­ond floor of a shop­house along Amoy Street has al­ready gar­nered crit­i­cal ac­claim. It de­buted at the 20th spot on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2017, and swept up mul­ti­ple wins at this year’s The Bar Awards. Its claim to fame? A fo­cus on all things re­gional, from the spir­its and in­gre­di­ents used, to the mu­sic, uni­forms and decor. And you’ve most likely heard of it as the bar that in­ten­tion­ally serves ants in its cock­tails.

‘ With Na­tive, we seek to high­light spir­its that are from where we’re from, as well as dis­til tra­di­tional prac­tices from this re­gion,’ the 28-year- old bar­tender ex­plains. ‘ There are many Asian craft brew­ers and dis­tillers that are do­ing great things, but be­cause they’re from this neck of the woods, they get put down as pro­duc­ing moon­shine or al­co­hol that’ll give peo­ple a hang­over. We want to dis­pel that no­tion.’

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