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Take A Trip Around The World With Cocktails Inspired By The Transatlantic Route And Global Drinking Cultures, Exotic Spirits And All That Jazz

February 27, 2019 Beverage No Comments Email Email

Heels tap against the tarmac, the purring of the engine grows louder, newspaper rustles as someone turns the page. Fasten your seatbelts and prepare to fly across the Atlantic in style courtesy of Idlewild, Singapore’s newest, most exciting cocktail bar.Idlewild, the original name of the John F. Kennedy International Airport, was at the heart of the action when the first commercial transatlantic flight took to the skies in the 1940s, heralding three decades of what we would come to know as the Golden Age of air travel as travellers set off to exotic lands in search of untold stories and new adventures.

Says Head of Operations and Creative, Andy Griffiths, “We’re really looking to tell the story of the Golden Age of air travel and take guests back to that era of glamour and luxury and more importantly, bring back that sense of wonder and joy of venturing into the unknown that permeated these early days. From the moment guests step through our doors, we hope that they feel transported to an exotic, eclectic world and feel open to exploration and inspired to go on their own adventures and create their own stories.”


Inspired by the decadence and romance of air travel’s resplendent years, Idlewild takes guests on a journey through the era’s greatest hits – popular travel destinations along the transatlantic route, music that defined that generation and the indulgence and luxury that underscored it all. Each element has been interpreted for a modern age from a stellar cocktail programme featuring modern craft spirits infused with influences from around the globe, to a live band playing postmodern tunes. Expect an eclectic mix of music from the late 1940s to 1960s from pulsing, rhythmic funk and soul to booming big band swing sounds and haunting, heart wrenching blues. Smooth, lilting jazz tunes take centre stage this month with London-born singer songwriter Janine Annice in town as the first lead singer at Idlewild accompanied by a four-piece house band.


Enter Idlewild through a salon style entrance which keeps arrivals discreet and adds to the intrigue and mystery of the space. Something glittering will catch the eye – a Cabinet of Curiosities lined with glistening mirrored tiles; inviting guests on an exploration of the world through over 50 rare and exotic spirits and a plethora of trinkets and drink paraphernalia curated from travels across the globe. Perfectly complementing the main holding of over 250 craft spirits and liqueurs.

The interior is separated into two distinct areas, the Parlour and the Main Room, both characterised by plush furnishing and vibrant accent pieces gently lit by the use of warm, old-world club style lighting that transitions throughout the day, adding a soft, dreamy glow. For something more private, choose one of the raised large bay window booths that provide a secluded spot for a romantic date. Upon departure, immortalise a night at Idlewild with a stop at the Ribbon Wall – a modern day message board – to leave a note or a signed coaster for a friend to discover on their next visit.


The cocktail programme was inspired by 10 cities along the popular Transatlantic Route – Dublin, Rome, Lima, Lisbon, New York, Casablanca, London, Paris, Mexico City and Havana. 20 signature cocktails (from S$20++ each) are artfully created using innovative and modern techniques and include a variety of artisanal spirits often sourced from small batch distilleries in each location, and rare vintages. Each location is also represented with a tapas-style bar snack (from S$15++) including Atun Chifa, Duck Rillette and Avocado Fries that draw inspiration from respective native cuisines.

Begin your journey in England at one of London’s finest entertainment establishments – the Shaftesbury Theatre – where some of the most famous musicals including The Phantom of the Opera, Rent and West Side Story once played. Its elegant, enduring nature is encapsulated in the cocktail of its namesake – a blend of London Dry Gin, dry vermouth, Chartreuse Genepi and black lemon bitters – a classic drink for a modern age.

Next, perhaps a pitstop in Cuba with a Passage to Havana, a rich, dry blend of house Cuban rum,
Amontillado and Pedro Ximénez sherries and Foro Amaro for a herbal hint, with the addition of tobacco tincture for a tickle of heat at the back of the throat. A layover in Mexico follows with the Sugarloaf, a heady blend of pineapple rum and cognac, shaken with house-fermented pineapple skin tepache, tamarind, lime and sugar – complete with a mini ‘taco’ hand-rolled from pineapple leather and pickled watermelon rind.

At the halfway point – New York – be greeted by none other than The Big Apple, where we take the classic Star Cocktail into the 21st century with apple brandy, small batch American bourbon and Bianco Vermouth.

For a shot of caffeine after a long journey back across the Atlantic to Dublin, try a Caife – cold drip coffee with Irish Whisky, Guinness reduction and cider concentrate served hot with a generous dollop of ‘Irish’ cream.

Journey of Limun is a visit to Rome and its sun-kissed vineyards – a combination of Bianco Vermouth and bittersweet Bruto Americano, topped off with prosecco and a rich house lemon and strawberry sherbet – the perfect end to a Roman holiday.

Skirt around the Mediterranean to Paris for The French Cook – a combination of French Gin, fresh lemon,chardonnay and Chartreuse Genepi lightly carbonated for a playful tingle on the tongue, topped with
wormwood jelly to recreate the look of the classic 1940s Parisian Absinthe – a drink reminiscent of a stroll down the Champs-Élysées on a fresh spring day.

Then, The Last Crusade, Never Never Gin is lashed with Portuguese spice infused lime cordial and
finished with salted, fried curry leaf for a surprising twist on the classic seafarer’s drink of choice. Round off the final leg of your trip in Casablanca with the Berbere Smash – a heady mix of bourbon and classic Moroccan flavours like mint and cardamom with a hint of salt from the addition of preserved lemon – a moreish, refreshing end to a journey around the world.

Idlewild will also offer larger format Cocktails La Cérémonie that celebrate ritualistic serves native to different parts of the world, ideal for large groups, a party or something to get you going after a long day.

Just enter through the glass doors, pick your next destination and take flight.

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