Here’s a new cocktail bar that’s touting an interesting new concept for its drinks programme. Skai Bar, newly launched at the 70th floor of the Swissôtel at the Stamford, has a menu led by altitudes. That is, ingredients and flavours from different heights inspire the drinks. Think of sea level, rainforests, alpine, and the like.
This innovative idea is helmed and curated by the bar’s beverage manager Rusty Cerven, a veteran who cut his teeth first at the Connaught hotel and Gibson bar in London, before moving to Singapore as head bartender at the private members' club 1880 until August this year, with his move to the Stamford.
Singapore is maturing as a drinks destination – cocktail bars, in particular, have hit the mainstream and see varied crowds these days not just of craft cocktail enthusiasts but tourists and casual drinkers alike. Gone are the days when a hard-to-access entrance can count as a unique selling point – the drinks themselves have had to up their game in creativity and in quality.
Skai takes four key contrasting vantages as inspiration: the previously mentioned sea level, deserts, rainforests and alpines.
The sea is evoked in something like the Samphire Cocktail, which balances gin, Noilly Prat vermouth, Samphire – a salty marine vegetable, oyster leaf, and citrus oils for a rich umami flavour and a zesty kick.
The bar's Amazonian and aquatic cocktails.
Further into the tropics, the Camu Camu nods to Amazonian lushness with pisco, soursop, lime and Camu Camu powder – derived from the very tart Amazonian superfruit. It’s got the kind of quenching juiciness that befits its inspiration. Another drink to dream up and deal with heat is the Desert Rose, which combines smoky mezcal with prickly pear, wild liquorice, lime and mesquite – a sweet and piney fruit. The result is a refresher with some body in it, thanks to the earthy effect of the mezcal.
Frosty alpine and dusky desert cocktails.
On the polar end is the alps, which Cerven has summoned through a full-bodied drink called the Summit. It uses Icelandic Reyka vodka, oak smoke, Tempus Fugit Duplais Swiss absinthe and wild strawberries for a well-rounded and refreshing kick.
Cocktails are priced at SGD25 each. Located at the 70th floor of the Swissôtel at the Stamford, 2 Stamford Road.