Cover Photo: Analogue

A rising crop of eco-conscious watering holes that make for a night of guilt-free indulgence

With environmental awareness on the rise (due in part to the ongoing pandemic), the need to advance sustainability has also increased. Beyond managing energy consumption and food waste, the eco-conscious spirit has been carried into the local drinks scene, too. This growing crop of sustainable bars in Singapore is helping to raise awareness for the world we live in—one drink at a time.

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1. Mallow

The pocket bar at InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay is welcoming a seed of change. Taking over the space of 50Fifty by pastry chef Janice Wong is a new plant-forward concept Mallow. The restaurant and bar is named after an edible plant that grows in abundance in Denmark, and boasts a menu that is designed to spark conversation around conscious living.
 
Helming the kitchen is chef Christina Rasmussen, who cut her teeth as head forager at the world’s best restaurant, Noma. And she brings with her a reverence to locally-sourced produce; the six-course degustation menu might come with mini sourdough buns from homegrown Mother Dough bakery, served alongside creamy pine nut and pumpkin seed pesto; or kelp tart lined with blackberries and kohlrabi that pays homage to the chef’s time foraging and cooking in the farmlands of Denmark.
 
Wash it all down with a drinks program by Sasha Wijidessa (of Operation Dagger fame). Empirical Spirits form the base of most recipes, which then get layered with unexpected ingredients to create novel tipples. Sip on Off to the Races, a curious mix of charred feta rum and green grapes for a crisp, savoury number; or sample some king oyster mushroom-infused whiskey as you raise a toast to leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Book here.

Mallow, 1 Nanson Road, 02-07, InterContinental Singapore, Robertson Quay, S(238909), +65 8399 0679

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2. Sol and Luna

Taking root 100 metres above the ground is Sol and Luna, an all-day dining destination located within CapitaSpring. But more than just providing great views of the city, the restaurant and bar also offers soothing scenes of lush greenery. It sits within a thriving green oasis, which features vertical plots of plants, dense trees, and the world’s highest edible urban garden. Crops are grown, harvested, and utilised within various boozy recipes. The kitchen also doubles down on sourcing locally, and uses misshapen fruits and vegetables (ugly ingredients) that would have otherwise been discarded and wasted.
 
Red cabbage is first turned into soda in the Cidra Morada Y Vino, a sangria-like drink mixed with white wine and blood orange, then made into gummy garnishes for a sweet nibble. Hibiscus can also make an appearance in multiple ways: as part of its house-infused tonic in Dolce Ibisco, and dehydrated into edible embellishment in the Portuguese-inspired Lisbon Lips. Book here

Sol and Luna, 88 Market Street, 17-01, CapitaSpring, S(048948), +65 8031 4316

3. Graft

You’ll get to make your own drink at Graft. The eco-friendly bar, opened by the team behind Jekyll and Hyde in collaboration with The Mandala Group, offers a series of cocktails, beers, and even mocktails on draft, that customers can pull by hand. It provides a novel drinking experience, and one that reduces manpower for the business, making it more sustainable in the long run.
 
Graft gets its name from a plant propagation technique, and that same inspiration is evident in its edible garden and botanical cocktails. Blue orange flower, curry leaves, sage, and other herbs might take root within the soil, and are used to flavour various food and drinks. Artemis is made using jalapeño-infused tequila, and Coffee G&T is crafted using gin re-distilled using expanded coffee grounds. And each drink might come served in recycled glassware—old sake, beer, and wine bottles that were painstakingly sanded down by hand. Book here.

Graft, 76 Neil Road, S(088840), +65 8940 2450

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4. Analogue Initiative

This is possibly the very first wholly plant-based bar in Singapore. Opened by the same owner behind Native (18th on the World’s 50 Best Bars list), Vijay Mudaliar sets out to create a sustainable space where everything—food, drinks, even interior—has been designed to raise awareness for the environment. For a start, a striking cerulean countertop anchors the space; some 1,600kg of recycled plastic bottles were used to create the 3D-printed bar table. Lining the perimeter are tables fashioned out of more green materials: mycelium, an interwoven web of fungus or mushroom.
 
Grab a seat, and choose from cocktails inspired by food issues that plague the industry; Soursop uses vegan honey in place of the unsustainable sweetener, and Spirulina is a colourful ode to algae, one of the most environmentally efficient crops. Mocktails, too, are made with nature in mind. Most are fortified with nourishing properties, including vitamin C in the strawberry-tinged El Mariachi, and ashwagandha in the refreshingly Passionfruit. Hungry? Bar bites of plant-based nuggets, pumpkin-stuffed dumplings, and jackfruit rendang tacos will satiate the tummy—all without hurting the planet. Book here

Analogue Initiative, 30 Victoria Street, 01-31 Chijmes, S(187996), +65 8518 1882

5. Native

Before Analogue came to be, Mudaliar was already shaking up the drinks scene with his novel approach to sustainability. Much like its name, the bar aims to spotlight foraged ingredients and regional finds—from the spirit used, right down to the music and even the staff apron. And as a serious nod to its zero-waste approach, Native is perhaps most famously known to utilise ants and fermented grasshoppers in its drink-making process. Unusual? Perhaps. But it is this commitment to unsung, local ingredients that earned the bar the Sustainable Bar Award in 2019, and continues to draw people in through its doors. Book here

Native

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