Cocktail bar oozing old-school glamour at InterContinental Singapore
Longstanding English-style pub Victoria Bar is no more, and in its place now stands an ode to the golden age of air travel with Idlewild, InterContinental Singapore hotel’s cocktail offering.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the hotel’s spacious lobby lounge, simply locating Idlewild offers a sense of discovery upon reaching its understated salon style entrance. Weave your way through the entry and the first thing you’ll likely notice is an eye-catching walk-in cabinet filled with curios, trinkets and drink paraphernalia that harks back to a time when collecting various odds and ends during travel were in vogue.
It may seem like a cosy spot at this point (with dim lights adding to the elegant vibe), but make your way through to the main area of the bar and the space opens up to a vast section filled with tables and chairs, booth seats, a banquette and an unleveled stage. Here, a four-piece house band belts out postmodern tunes from the ‘40s to the ‘60s, accompanied by a changing roster of singers taking the mike.
The beverage programme, led by Head of Operations and Creative Andy Griffiths, takes cue from the bar’s theme. The result is 20 signature cocktails inspired by 10 cities found along the popular transatlantic route—like New York, Casablanca, Paris and Havana to name a few.
You get drinks like The French Cook ($26), a zesty and herbaceous gin-based mix made using a bouquet garni cordial, a throwback to Griffiths’ earlier days trained in French kitchens. Sparkling wine, fresh lemon and a dash of absinth then adds freshness to the drink, while a wormwood jelly garnish completes the flourish.
For a solid tipple, Dagda’s Harp ($24) will not disappoint. Peaty and creamy yet light and clear, the sweetness from this layered cocktail comes from good use of locally-made mead, resulting in a naturally balanced flavour profile. But a clear standout has got to be the Passage to Havana ($30), an addictive and potent concoction that’s easily worth the price tag. It’s a journey that starts and ends strong, and best begun with a whiff of its sherry-rum blend. Look out for notes of molasses as you imbibe, then dried herbs, before letting the sherry hit you again for a finish you’ll savour for a long time.
To soak up the alcohol, Idlewild has a wide selection of tapas-style bites also themed after the key transatlantic cities. You won’t find truffle fries here (finally), but try the avocado fries ($15) for a healthier alternative that just might scratch that same itch. Else, you can always go for the classic fish and chips ($18), the kind you douse in malt vinegar, for a dependable snack to accompany your sojourn through the bar’s many cocktails.