Mixology. Cocktails. Bespoke. The past 2-3 years has seen the bar scene veritably explode in Singapore, with each bartender now acting as an artist, using glassware (or various other containers!) as their canvas on which to create.

Whilst some may find the bespoke concept a bit risky or even pretentious, it does offer some great advantages for both the consumer and the bartender. For a start, it allows you to try drinks that are truly unique, and often never created before. It’s something you will have once, and possibly never again. As for the bartender, it gives them a break for their strict menu and allows them an opportunity to assert their creative juices.

How NOT to order a bespoke cocktail:

Say to the bartender one of the following:

  1. a) ‘Ummm, make something good’
  2. b) ‘You decide’
  3. c) ‘Whatever you recommend’
  4. d) ‘Make me your signature cocktail’
  5. d) ‘Surprise me!’

Saying one of the above will not only land you with a cocktail you probably won’t enjoy as much, but it will also (even if they don’t show it) piss off the bartender. It’s almost like going to a restaurant and saying to the server ‘Um, I don’t know what I want to eat, can you decide’… then you yell at the server because all the dishes come with meat and it turns our you’re a VEGETARIAN.

Here’s the thing. Ordering a bespoke cocktail is all about ordering something personal to you. So take note and read these words carefully…

How to order a bespoke cocktail?

Step 1: Choose a base.

Love Whisky? Rum? Vodka? Gin? Tequila? Start with that. If you spot a specific alcohol brand you see on the bar’s shelf that you like, don’t be afraid of requesting it.

Step 2: Choose a style

Do you like sweet? Do you like sour? How about spicy, bitter or savory? Maybe you feel like something fruity or chocolaty… maybe both at the same time?! Also can!

These are the kind of cues that bartenders need to make your perfect and unique drink.

Step 3: Sit back and watch the magic

Maybe you ordered something classic and are about to be mesmerised by the twirling bar spoon or the hypnotic sound of the cocktail shaker rattling up and down. Perhaps you’re about to be dazzled by dry ice or a blowtorch smoking the fresh herbs that garnish your drink. Anything is possible.

Step 4: Enjoy

Duh.

Example orders:

”Could I please get a bourbon based cocktail. Refreshing and a little sour. Not to sweet or fruity…And feel free to spice it up a little’.

‘I’m in the mood for something fruity and dessert-like. Not so strong on the alcohol or bitter please.’

”I love dark rum. Could I get a rum-based classic cocktail? Something like a Negroni or Manhattan in style.’

Now was that so hard?

Drink on fair Nomads, drink on.

Time to go bespoke? Check out Top 10 best bars in Singapore for bespoke cocktails feature.