Cover Roku Gin cocktails at Crossroads (Image: James Hii | www.jameshii.com)

Quench your thirst with our bi-weekly recommendations of alcoholic tipples that please

Spring has begun, as you’ll see in the bar menus of talented bartenders who were inspired by Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival. In fact, three of our recommendations this week have a touch of Sakura in their creations: Crossroads at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel has a selection of Sakura-inspired cocktails; Taki Izakaya Bar has a food and cocktail pairing menu that revolves around it; and Heart of Darkness has themed tipples, spring sakes and beers on offer alongside its specially-created Japanese tapas.

One of our fave bars, The Bar at Waku Ghin, has finally re-opened its doors, too. It offers an expanded bar experience thanks to its amazing cocktails and extensive selection of bar bites and à la carte dishes at pocket-friendly prices. Another awaited re-opening is Bar Square formerly Mr. Stork, which still offers gorgeous CBD views complemented by inspired tipples.

(Related: Singapore Cocktail Bar Association Launches Two New Funds to Support The Bar Industry)

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Bar Square

Bar Square is a gorgeous bar with a view at Andaz Singapore. The team has created new signature tipples inspired by childhood memories. One is Elegant Dinosaur which took cues from Milo Dinosaur, and is concocted with Nikka coffee grain vodka, fair cacao and condense milk. It’s finished with a spoonful of Milo powder.

Classic cocktails remain on the menu and updated with the use of Asian spirits. A spinoff of the Old Fashioned is 4 Elements, a boozy drink of Thailand Phraya Elements rum aged in oak barrels. Nectar of Life is another delicious option that uses Amrut Fusion Whiskey as its base, and was inspired by “Amrita”, Sanskirt for the 'elixir of life'. Walk-ins only. 

Bar Square | 5 Fraser Street, Andaz Singapore, S(189354) 6408 1288

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Crossroads

The bar team brings the much-anticipated National Cherry Blossom Festival to you via seven Sakura-infused Roku Gin cocktails and accented with special botanicals sourced from Japan.

Get started with Roku Fierce, a Negroni-style tipple that opens up the palate with a delightful mix of Roku Gin, spiced liqueur, Aperol and Antica bitters. But for something light and more refreshing, opt for the Roku Blossom or the Roku Peach & Jasmine Cooler.

The former is similar to Gin & Tonic and bursts with fruity flavours of grapefruit, while the latter is imbued with springtime floral and citrus notes. The cocktails are available until April 30. Book here.

Crossroads | 320 Orchard Road, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, S(238865) 6831 4552

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Heart of Darkness

The bar team at this craft beer brewery and bar in Keong Saik was also inspired by Japan’s Sakura festival, so they curated themed cocktails as well as spring sakes and beers, available from April 8 to 14.

The dessert-like Issun Boshi is made with sake, Dream Alone Pale Ale syrup and matcha ice cream, and is a recommended drink to ease into the night. But if you want something strong and potent right away, order the Kappa, a medley of granola-infused sake, Nikka Vodka and wasabi.

There are also five Japanese beers on tap, including the award-winning Porter Kuri Kuro Dark Chestnut Ale 9%. And for those thirsting for sake, options include Oze no Yukidoke Junmai Daiginjyo Shungin (Haru) that pairs exceptionally well with the delicious Japanese tapas created just for the event. Book here.

Heart of Darkness | 1 Keong Saik Road, S(089109) | 6208 7940 

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Taki Izakaya Bar

Roku Gin has also collaborated with Taki Izakaya Bar to craft an exclusive food and drinks pairing menu, available until May 15. The bar team has created innovative tipples like Me & U, a reinvented version of Negroni that’s mixed with Aperol and umeshu. It’s lovingly paired with Kogane Karei, a Japanese fish that is grilled and smoked using applewood and genmachai to elevate the delicate flavours.

Another creation is Sloe Dancing, a spicy cocktail using sloe gin and balanced with floral notes of Sakura. It’s accompanied by Spring Garden, an assembly of spring vegetables such as maitake mushrooms and carrots, and genmachai-infused rice. Book here.

Taki Izakaya Bar | 16 Collyer Quay, 01-05A B, S(049318) | 6223 0797

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The Bar at Waku Ghin

After a long wait, the Japanese restaurant and bar has finally re-opened, offering elevated experiences at the chef’s table and The bar. Head to the latter to immerse yourself in the world of Japanese cocktails, crafted with amazing precision and boasting a medley of delicious flavours. Or, indulge in a medley of top-shelf wines and premium sakes that included exclusive creations from Isojiman and Masuizumi, and created just for Waku Ghin. The experience is complemented with an expanded selection of à la carte dishes and delectable bar bites. Walk-ins only.