“Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares. If you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Recently placing the 22nd spot at this year's Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020, the Old Man Singapore updates its drinks menu, calling it ‘Best of the Old Man v2’. Conceptualised by Agung Prabowo and his crew, the menu includes new libations inspired by Hemingway’s world… and now they are available for takeaway. Based on his 1926 novel, The Torrents of Spring is glutinous rice cooked mescal grain mixed with Wild Turkey whiskey, Amaro Nonino, Campari and finished off with pomegranate beet shrub and charcoal.
For Whom the Bell Tolls might be a downer of a novel, but as a drink it excites your senses. It’s made from cocoa nibs sous-vide Batavia Arrack, sour strawberries, rotary evaporated burnt butter, Appleton rum and avocado burst.
One of our favourites is A Moveable Feast. The contents: gin; clear spiced cherry tomatoes; coconut; basil-tomato seeds; rotovap sea water (yup), garnished with oyster leaves. You have a salty, spicy, umami flavour profile, almost like you’re sipping drinks by the ocean while your hair is whipped by the winds.
And while Hemingway may not have drunk while he wrote (Papa averred that we’re thinking of Faulkner), if you’re so inclined, maybe read a Hemingway story that corresponds to your drink. Who knows, maybe For Whom the Bell Tolls might end on a chirpier note?
The Old Man bottled cocktails retails from SGD150 and can be purchased online.