Fresh from being number 9 on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, Jigger & Pony has an updated menu that explores spirits beyond the usual suspects like gin, rum, and vodka.
The new selection of cocktails also comes with a fresh issue of the Jigger & Pony magazine/menu featuring some surprisingly insightful and thought-provoking reads beyond the ingredient lists (themselves already quite intriguing) of the cocktails.
If perusal is neither a strength nor area of interest, the grid-format at the back should at least garner some attention.
While classics and perennial favourites like their Old Fashioned (Bulleit Bourbon, demerara, and Angostura) and Crystal Ramos Gin Fizz (Tanqueray dry, clarified Ramos fizz, orange flower bubbles) remain — lest there be some kind of outcry — at least a third of the 27 item-long cocktail menu is new.
Most significantly, they’re playing with new base spirits now. Namely, spirits that wouldn’t be traditionally considered in a cocktail, or even considered at all for imbibing. Take for example eau de vie, or fruit brandy — a class of spirits, usually unoaked and unaged, that’s more closely associated with a dusty old bottle at the back of your (or some European) grandmother’s closet than a bar staple.
With two pear-distilled eau de vies — Vedrenne Poire Williams and the rarer, Italian-made Capovilla Pere Williams — jasmine-orris liqueur, lime, and soda, the bar has constructed a perfumed, elegantly dry highball that has the finish of biting into an overripe, meltingly-juicy pear.
There’s also their Barley Manhattan, made with Maker’s Mark, Cocchi Torino, and Tsukushi Kuro Barley Shochu, a distilled spirit from Japan that usually measures in at about 25% ABV, and can be made with a variety of grains and starches like barley, rice, sweet potato, and buckwheat. This particular label comes with plenty of toasty notes that, combined with the sweetness of the bourbon and the complexities of the vermouth, give an almost chocolate-like flavour to the spirit-forward drink.
Other cocktail highlights:
Mango Hazelnut Daiquiri
When was the last time a serious drinker held a daiquiri in their hands? This delicious version at Jigger will change hearts and minds with a silky smooth, deftly-balanced mix of mango, hazelnut (coming from Frangelico), lime, cream and another unique base spirit: Haitian rhum agricole, a variant of rum that uses fresh sugarcane juice instead of molasses as its base.
A sexier version of the original TGI Fridays version that was created in the coastal city of Busan, Korea. The June Bug here uses a less-sweet homemade midori, soju, coconut rum, and awamori to create a heady but easy-drinking tipple. Now if only they’d let you tote your drink to the nearest beach.
165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Amara Hotel. Tel: 9621-1074