Japanese and Singaporean bartending styles collide at Jigger & Pony’s new bar Live Twice

Some bars come on hard and heavy with concept, telling you exactly what they are, and in the process shape how you as the guest should behave while enjoying a tipple in their premises. Other bars are free-spirited, preferring guests to be completely themselves.

At Jigger & Pony Group’s latest venture Live Twice (it took over the space Flagship once occupied), both philosophies seemingly collide, and the result is something much-welcomed even in Singapore’s highly saturated cocktail scene.

The name itself suggests a sense of duality, and in many ways, the 40-seater Live Twice does offer a parallel experience. It is at once a highly technical Ginza-style bar yet a place where you feel at ease to let your hair down. It is where you get drinks made with finesse but in an environment that’s far from your stuffy high-brow bars. The drinks menu too, is split equally into two distinct parts.

To demystify Live Twice’s approach, we spoke with 29-year-old Principal Bartender Yinying Leow and found out what the Winner of the 2014 Diageo World Class Competition in Malaysia has in store for guests visiting the bar.

, Japanese and Singaporean bartending styles collide at Jigger & Pony’s new bar Live Twice
Inside Live Twice

Tell me more about Live Twice, its concept and the part you play in its inception.

Live Twice is the Jigger & Pony Group’s newest establishment and an intimate cocktail bar that takes inspiration from the mid-century modern era in Japan.

Together with Aki Eguchi, bar programme director of Jigger & Pony, we developed the cocktail menu for Live Twice and sourced the bar’s glassware. We’re using Kimura glasses. It’s something new and exciting for me.

Naming a bar Live Twice sounds a little cheeky, fun and young. Is that a good description of you as well?

Live Twice is for cocktail lovers who lead successful, dynamic lives by day—but come the night, their most authentic selves come out to play. It is a bar to Live Twice.

The cocktails we serve marry the best of both Japanese and Singaporean bartending styles—a unique blend of Japanese shokunin craftsmanship with Singapore’s vibrant hospitality and conviviality, to produce a new cocktail experience that steps out of the realm of traditional bar concepts.

What do you want the first impression of guests to be when they enter?

We hope guests will feel like they’ve been transported to another dimension or world where they are free to explore and be their true selves. We also want to share the Jigger & Pony Group’s philosophy of convivial hospitality to our guests—no matter who or what you are, you are always welcome at Live Twice.

, Japanese and Singaporean bartending styles collide at Jigger & Pony’s new bar Live Twice
Live Twice’s Vesper

Tell me about two or three of the signature cocktails.

Live Twice features two cocktail lists, reflecting the dual-faceted dynamics that underlie the bar’s philosophy and challenging the traditional purist ideals one expects of a Japanese bar.

The first cocktail list, “One Life for Yourself”, features classic Japanese inspired cocktails, headlined by the Vesper. Live Twice’s version uses Kina L’aero d’Or, Ketel One vodka and Ki No Bi “Sei” Navy Strength Gin. It is shaken and strained through a coarse strainer so there are more ice shards in the drink, ensuring that it stays cooler for longer.

The second list, “… And One for Your Dreams”, is more imaginative while still holding true to Live Twice’s ideals of simplicity and minimalism. Each of the cocktails on this list are made with a maximum of four ingredients. For example, the Little Bell cocktail is made with Calvados, lemon and yellow bell pepper honey, and it is both sweet and savoury at the same time.

What do you think will set Live Twice apart from other bars in Singapore?

It is the only bar in Singapore that transports you to the mid-century modern era in Tokyo, with stunning interiors featuring vintage and sometimes unreplicable furniture, such as Saarinen stools and mint condition Falcon armchairs that are valued at $3,000 each.

Other than the bars under Jigger & Pony, where can I usually find you having a drink at?

There isn’t a specific bar that I frequent, but with so many new bars and concepts in Singapore, I enjoy checking out the newest drink places. For example, No Sleep Club at Keong Saik Road. I also enjoy going to places with great concepts and that are welcoming as well, such as Manhattan and Wine RVLT.

If you can only drink one classic cocktail for the rest of your life, what will it be?

I would have the Manhattan. It is my comfort go-to drink—straightforward and simple, the flavours are familiar and expected. At the same time, the Manhattan is not an easy drink to make, with many different interpretations of the same drink. I like how everyone has their special way of making it.

Live Twice is open Mon-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri-Sat 6pm-2am at 20 Bukit Pasoh Rd.