Instead of knocking back beers during happy hour after a long, long day at work (I feel you, though), here’s a unique drinking experience you might want to consider for next time.
You don’t have to be an avid imbiber to have heard of Compendium Spirits — you’ve probably seen products like their ondeh ondeh soju in supermarkets.
The folks behind the popular local craft spirits producer have finally set up shop in a three-storey heritage shophouse located along Circular Road, a cocktail bar and brand house called Anthology.
This is where guests can not only wine, dine, and try, but also partake in specially curated learning experiences, from exclusive themed workshops to customising and barrel-aging spirits from scratch. This really is the perfect place to unleash that “alcohol aficionado” side of you.
If you’ve never tasted any of Compendium Spirits’ products, there are tons of specially curated tasting flights that’ll let guests learn about ingredients, the production process, and so on and so forth.
We got to try the Coconut Tasting Flight (S$35), featuring a line-up of four aromatic coconut-based and infused spirits served neat in a row of Glencairn glasses: Coconut Toddy, Melaka Arrack, Aged Arrack, and Chendol Gin. Think the flavours we all know and love, but in spirit form.
However, we won’t judge if you want to just zero in on the cocktails, which are inspired by classics.
Once again, Southeast Asian flavours feature most promimently in tipples like the Rojaktini (S$24), a punchy combination of rojak gin, bianco vermouth, pink peppercorn infusion, and orange bitters, as well as the earl grey-infused Teh-groni (S$21) with a spray of lavender citrus.
Espresso martini-loving me couldn’t stop raving about the refreshing tequila-based Kopi Tonic (S$21) concocted using Kopi-O Liqueur, lemon juice and tonic.
Unsurprisingly, the food at Anthology, which can be best described as “Southeast Asian fusion”, does not pale in comparison. You’ve got an array of crowd-pleasing appetisers like the Rojak Greens (S$16), a playful flavour-packed salad that sneaks in rojak gin-infused turnips and ginger flower, and the numbing Chicken with Szechuan-Kampot Sauce and Parmesan Crunch (S$18).
However, it was the Asian-spiced Braised Duck Rillettes with Croutons (S$18) that truly stole the show (and my heart).
As for mains, the Beef Short Ribs Char Siu (S$38) paired with homemade rice crisps is nicely caramelised, though not as tender as I would’ve liked, while the vegetarian Coconut Fried “Chicken” (S$28) with grated coconut, aromatic rice, and a fiery sambal, hits the spot.
Don’t miss out on the Churros with Pandan Salted Caramel (S$17), which you’re recommended to pair with the Nutslide (S$24), a creamy dark rum and peanut butter cocktail.
Wanna venture up to Levels 2 and 3? You’ve got to become a member under the Chartered by Compendium Spirits programme, the first of its kind in Singapore, which involves customising your own spirits and barrel-aging them in the climate-controlled Chartered Cellar.
Afterwards, you’ll get to enjoy exclusive access to the Private Lounge and request for bespoke cocktails to be made out of your own barrel’s spirit for just S$10 each. Anyone wants to gift me a barrel?
Ready to broaden your perspectives on all things alcohol? Reservations can be made here.
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