Nutmeg & Clove Bar in Ann Siang Hill is giving classic cocktails a distinctive local twist: you’ve never had watermelon like this
Here’s a little history lesson for you: Ann Siang Hill, which we know and love for its secret bars and fantastic food scene, was once a plantation thriving with herbs and spices. You can still find wild tamarind, betel leaves and turmeric if you know where to look, but much easier to find is award-winning bar Nutmeg & Clove, which takes its name from the former life of its neighbourhood. And just sayin’, Nutmeg & Clove ranked #30 in the 2017 Asia’s Best Bars list – if it isn’t already on high rotation in your after-work drinks routine, you might want to re-evaluate.
What else do you need to know? The name William Farquhar: first British Resident and Commandant of Singapore, who documented Singapore’s rich biodiversity through a series of botanical illustrations. The William Farquhar Collection is currently on display in the National Museum of Singapore. We’re getting to the drinks, I promise: you’ll also find his illustrations throughout Nutmeg & Clove’s new cocktail menu, inspired by the spices, fruits, herbs and flowers that mesmerised Farquhar all those years ago.
The concept? Classic cocktails reinterpreted as 12 new concoctions starring a local ingredient. Southeast Asian stars such as durian, mangosteen, Indonesian bay leaf, turmeric and tongkat ali all come to life in cocktail form. What won us over? You’re One in a Watermelon: a play on the classic Gin Fizz. It’s as refreshing and fizzy as it comes, thanks to clarified watermelon juice, fresh lemon and Hendrick’s infused with butterfly pea flower. We got an extra kick from the garnish of pickled watermelon rind.
You can, of course, order the classic versions that inspired the new stars at Nutmeg & Clove. Turn your cocktail session into a study in contrasts. And get yourself a good seat by the bar so you can watch the team expertly hand carve ice – it’s a nail-biting art, all in the name of keeping your cocktail chilled for a few more precious moments. Respect.
But back to that pickled watermelon rind. It’s damn moreish. New bar snack fave right there. Our hot tip? Stay on for a bite after those cocktails – the bar food here is as solid as the drinks menu, so you can make it a night at Nutmeg & Clove without ever leaving that seat.
Mondays to Saturdays from 6pm to 1am (on Mondays to Thursdays) and from 6pm to 2am (on Fridays and Saturdays).
Nutmeg & Clove; 10A Ann Siang Hill Singapore 069878
Like this story? Here are more we think you’ll enjoy:
Cocktail of the week: Kaya Toast at Bitters and Love
Shhhh: do you know these secret bars in Singapore?
A medieval apothecary bar opens in a secret room on Ann Siang Hill
The café that turns into Singapore’s only Tiki Bar at night