Singapore, Drinks and Design –
ATLAS BAR at Parkview Square serves drinks dedicated to personalities, events and perspectives of the art deco age to mirror its interior
THE DEVELOPERS OF Parkview Square (above) worked with design firm Hassell Studio to create interiors that include a grand lobby and bar reminiscent of the great European lobby bars and cafes of the art deco period of the 1920s. The dramatic brown building is Bugis was designed by American architect James Adams together with DP Architects, and completed in 2002.
A show-stopper gin tower reaches 8 metres in height and holds hundreds of gin labels from all over the world, from various eras dating from 1910.
Cocktails from left:
TAMARA IN A GREEN BUGATTI – Modern French gin, lavender tincture, much mint, lemon, sugar
THE ATLAS MARTINI – London dry gin, bianco vermouth, orange bitters, champagne vinegar
IMPERIAL FIZZ NOUVEAU – Modern French gin, rose cordial, angelica, orange blossom, cream, citrus, soda
A chat with JESSE VIDA, head bartender, ATLAS Bar
On his favourite gins, and how he enjoys them:
I prefer different gins for different applications. Really into Martin Millers (UK), Beefeater (UK), and Hepple Gin (UK) for a Martini.
I love Hendricks Orbium (Scotland, UK) and Monkey 47 (Germany) for a fresh Gimlet. When it comes to Gin & Tonic, I like some American Gins like Junipero (San Francisco) and Dorothy Parker (New York).”
ATLAS Bar has a spectacular Gin Tower with hundreds of gin collections from all over the world. What gin is a personal favourite of yours, and how do you enjoy your gin?
Agreed – the gin tower is spectacular! I have much to learn about all of the options we offer. I prefer different gins for different applications. Really into Martin Millers (UK), Beefeater (UK), and Hepple Gin (UK) for a Martini. I love Hendricks Orbium (Scotland, UK) and Monkey 47 (Germany) for a fresh Gimlet. When it comes to Gin & Tonic, I like some American Gins like Junipero (San Francisco) and Dorothy Parker (New York).
How do you sketch and design your mixology ideas?
I tend to use my laptop while working on cocktails. It’s more about finding the flavour combination, balance, and what application to execute the drink in. We are in the digital age, and sometimes I can’t even read my own hand writing, so this way is best for everyone involved.
You hail from cities in California, and New York City. What do you think of Singapore’s drink scene and what local food do you like so far?
I am completely in love with the food and beverage scene in Singapore. From simple and delicious, to complex and thoughtful, all bases are covered. One of the many things that attracted me to ATLAS and Singapore was the ambitious nature of this scene and its bars that have been popping up out here. I’ve been eating a lot of noodle soups, dumplings, rice dishes.
What cocktail or tipple goes well with that?
I would go with a nice refreshing Gin Gimlet. It cleanses the palate and washes away the spice from the chilli.
What advice would you give a young student who wants to be a mixologist like you?
My advice to anyone who is looking to achieve at a high level professionally, trade bartender specifics for whatever it is that you do. Do not rush the process, and gain your experience – there is no replacement for it. Stay humble and hardworking, and attitude is about 90% of the battle. Know your classics and study the history of spirits and cocktails.
Lastly just be a fun person to work with, take your craft seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously, no one wants to work with someone who acts like they’re better than their peers and guests. Bartending should be fun, let’s all keep it that way!