Propeller, the rooftop bar on top of the rebranded Travelodge Harbourfront has always been a bit of an enigma to us. We never quite understood their drinks, and being situated far away from the community of leading cocktail bars in the city centre, we’re not sure if they did either. So we were pleasantly surprised to find out that they’ve since revamped the drinks programme — for the better, thankfully. As it turns out, sometimes all you need is one very dedicated mixologist on board.
Haran, the bar’s new manager, joined the team in June after a short stint championing the sprits programme at Brass Lion Distillery. Before that, he was the brand representative of Fabbri 1905 and part of the team that brought Jumping Goat’s cold brew coffee liqueurs into Singapore. As for his latest project, he’s taken Propeller around the world before settling down to enjoy the Sun, Sand, and Sea in the form of nine new cocktails.
The Blazing Agave (S$15) is a fabulous thirst quencher, but it’s something we’ve come to expect of these Tequila Sunrise-inspired drinks. Haran tinkers with blanco tequila, clarified orange juice, housemade pomegranate syrup, boosting up the acidity up with red wine reduction and citrus agar.
More drinks from the “Sun” category include the spirit-forward Dusk to Remember (S$15) with banana vermouth-infused gin and blended herbal liqueur — think a very earthy Negroni — and Café Amore (S$17), the exotic cousin of an Espresso Martini. The latter is concocted with Vietnamese cold brew coffee, passionfruit juice, and Reposado Tequila that’s been lovingly fat-washed with butter, and it’s as funky as the kopi gu you from your favourite coffeeshop.
I’m not a beach person, but I am occasionally a whisky man. The Sand-hattan (S$15) with its almond-infused Scotch whisky is quite delightful with its high octane amaretto finish. The drink is served on a sandy bed of crushed almonds, so you’ll want to have a spoonful after a few sips for the full nutty-fat effect. Then, fall in love with the Seatini (S$15) — vodka infused with seaweed and topped with salty saline solution bubbles to bring out the umami. It’s not as strange as it sounds.
The rest of the menu sees things like the Siloso Breeze (S$15, rosemary-infused vodka with beer reduction, lime juice, and a dash of soda), the gingery rum-based Red & Murky, and Chill Pill (S$15), Haran’s tribute to the humble Penicillin.
Seating-wise, indoors and air-conditioned is available like everywhere else in Singapore, though we instantly gravitated to the alfresco area here with panoramic views of the Harbourfront precinct and the daily fireworks from Sentosa.
Even an indulgent dinner can be had here: the Crispy White Bait (S$11.50) is served with earthy beetroot and mala sauce – an easy-to-eat take on the humble fish and chips.
We also enjoy the Waffle Fries (S$13.90) with corned chilli beef cheese, and a Teriyaki Beef Pizza (S$18) with bonito flakes, leek, and seaweed tossed around. Clearly nothing is too healthy, but it’s ideal food for a casual evening filled with happy hour drinks and good company.
That’s exactly what Propeller has been designed to deliver.
Propeller is located at Travelodge Harbourfront, 50 Telok Blangah Road, Singapore 098828, p. +65 6818 6676. Open Mon-Thu 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am, Sun 5pm-12am.