I've only been on this beat for about four years, roughly the duration of Sugarhall's hiatus before it reopened last month. Which is my roundabout way of saying that no, I've not been to its old post at Amoy, and am visiting the new one further down CBD with wide-eyed navieté. Unassuming back alley entrance? Fascinating. Pub fare by Rosemead's Executive Chef David Tang? Enthralling. Monthly rum specials and 100 rums to choose from? It's hard not to be excited.
Think British neighbourhood pub with Singapore-standard sanitation. There's the dark wood furnishings and cosy booths, even exposed pillars for that gritty look, but thankfully none of that grime. As the fairy lights go off marking the end of Happy Hour, it's a casually intimate nook for any social setting.
You'd think only the rum-based tipples get the attention, but both are equally delicious. Yes, that's the word I'm going for because they absolutely are. Pommy's Margarita seems pretty regular, but the touch of cinnamon and sour plum salted rim makes a significant difference. The Mulata Daiquiri has a velvety taste thanks to the cocoa profile, while Mango Colado is essentially an alcoholic's sorbet.
If you're staunchly here for the rum, flip right to the Rum of the Month where you can savour the selection as a flight or as a cocktail. It was coincidentally my go-to order, except the conventional base was switched out. Believe me when I say I had to let the Rum Old Fashioned sit because it's surely not for the uninitiated.
It's honestly hard to pick a favourite from the extensive menu but being partial to savoury cocktails, the Marshall earns a win. Again, it's the small and distinctive key ingredient that rounds up the drink nicely. Here, the black pepper completes the blend of Oloroso Sherry elderflower liqueur, lemon, agave, and Bacardi Ocho Rum. Special shoutout to the Espresso Martini too, which is one of the best I've tried for its ideal ratio of espresso to liquor.
How we feel about it in a gif
Sugarhall is at 19 Cecil Street level 2, Singapore 049704. Happy Hour runs 4 – 6 pm daily with select cocktails at SGD14 and Sugarhall Sorachi Ace Lager and wines by the glass at SGD12.