Toast to drinks like the ‘Opium Wars’
By Natasha Tan
Nutmeg & Clove offers a wide variety of locally-inspired cocktails.
Take a trip down memory lane and explore Singapore’s rich heritage at Nutmeg & Clove — one drink at a time.
The Asian-centric cocktail bar, situated at the foot of Ann Siang Hill, has now reopened in a joint collaboration with
The Establishment Group.
For the uninitiated, its unique name was derived from the surrounding area, which had once been a nutmeg and clove plantation.
Refreshed Cocktail Menu
In terms of the menu, much thought had been put into making the comeback a memorable one. Refreshing and innovative creations have been added to the cocktail line-up — each one a representation of the different eras in Singapore that have in turn helped to shape the cocktail culture here.
We were pleased to be treated to a few of these potent cocktails, crafted by the nimble hands of Bar Manager Leon Tan.
The following are three particularly interesting cocktails, which we loved:
Barrel Aged Singapore Sling
1. Barrel Aged Singapore Sling
The Barrel Aged Singapore Sling ($22) is a playful spin on Singapore’s national cocktail — the Singapore Sling. Inspired by the trading post era, during which Singapore was still a growing shipping port, the dry gin-based tipple is served in an adorable mini-trishaw.
The drink is sweetened with cherry and orange liqueur, and infused with pineapple and house bitters. Compared to the saccharine concoction of the Singapore Sling, I felt Nutmeg & Clove’s version tasted heavier, with more complex flavours.
A dining companion even remarked that it reminded her of liang teh (iced tea).
2. Opium Wars
The Opium Wars ($22) cocktail drew its inspiration from Singapore’s colonial era. The combination of tequila blanc, orange liqueur and lime mixed with Lapsang Souchong (black tea) produces a distinct smoky flavour.
The drink, which tasted fresh yet earthy, was garnished with gunpowder on the side of the glass.
The Nutmeg & Clove
3. The Nutmeg & Clove
A celebration of our nation’s development into its current-day metropolis, The Nutmeg & Clove ($22) represents a growing and thriving Singapore. This vodka-based cocktail is light and refreshing.
The addition of kumquat slices complements the sourness of the hawthorn, and they together give somewhat sweet traditional Chinese flavours. On the whole, its zesty and tangy flavours excited my taste buds.
Overall, the refreshed Nutmeg & Clove looks promising with its daring cocktail creations, top-notch service and
Nutmeg & Clove, 10A Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069789
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 150, April 15 – April 28, 2016, with the headline ‘Complex flavours in heritage-inspired cocktails’.