If you fancy something sweet but with a much-needed kick, High Bar Society is a two-in-one gelato parlour and cocktail bar in Tanjong Pagar that has just what you need.
The late-night 30-seater dessert bar by chef Sharon Tay (who also runs gelato brand Momolato) takes the concept of “alcoholic gelato” to a whole new level.
Mind you, this is no run-of-the-mill rum & raisin or Baileys ice cream; the gelato served here all contain a 6% ABV (alcohol by volume), the highest in Asia, and are infused with top-shelf base spirits. Whether you prefer vodka, bourbon, gin, tequila, or even single-malt whisky, there’s a gelato flavour for you.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen spirits from premium brands like Macallan, Glenmorangie, Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, Patron, Veuve Clicquot and more being incorporated into ice cream, so this is a first!
At the time of writing, there are around 18 different flavours of gelato to choose from, some more cheekily named than others (are you more of a B Cup or an Emerald Nutsack?), all available as either a single portion or a pint.
Think crowd favourites like pistachio, white chrysanthemum, chocolate hazelnut and yuzu, along with a couple flavours specifically tailored towards local palates.
For instance, durian lovers will go gaga over the Grey Goose-infused Goose Bumps (S$19 for single), a strong and bittersweet Mao Shan Wang gelato, while those who enjoy both coconut and gula melaka can lull themselves into the Jonker’s Cream Dream (S$13 for single), an Irish cream-based gelato.
There were two flavours that stood out for me, the first being the Misty Scotsman (S$18 for single), a dark, decadent and absolutely divine pairing of nama chocolate and Laphroaig Quarter Cask whisky. The second, Zest My Zing (S$15 for single), was a crumble-topped key lime pie and ginger flower gelato with Tanqueray No.10 gin — slightly tart and very refreshing.
Although I’d be more than happy to get tipsy on gelato alone, High Bar Society also boasts a pretty decent selection of curated cocktails and boozy milkshakes.
if you’re still riding off that Barbie high, the vodka-based Barbie’s Pink ‘Fro is a frivolous yet fun creation, with actual shimmers and a “full head” of of pink cotton candy.
The Berry Posh (S$22), comprising vodka, chambord, and fresh raspberries topped with bubbly, is another worthy contender perfect for a girls’ night out, but if you prefer something more classic, go for either the Old Spiced or Banoni, the bar’s twist on a negroni.
My cocktail of choice was the Kultural Kooler, a sour and herbaceous Southeast Asian-inspired mix of lemongrass, gula melaka, citrus, and young ginger.
But that’s not all. There are also desserts on the menu that are not to be overlooked.
Firstly, if you agree that dark chocolate and smoky whisky are a match made in heaven, the Banana Rama (S$18), a whisky-caramelised banana chocolate tart with a side of whisky chocolate gelato — think a slightly sweeter and less intense but no less delicious version of the Misty Scotsman — will be right up your alley.
I also enjoyed the Zing & Blossom (S$14), a tangy osmanthus-infused lime mousse cake with mango crunch, but it was the Smoke & Barrel (S$16), a Guinness chocolate burnt basque cheesecake that arrived in a dome with applewood chips, that really left an impression.
Burnt cheesecakes have had their time in the spotlight (remember when they were all the rage?), and I typically don’t order them anymore, but this delightfully creamy and well-balanced rendition is one I’d gladly make an exception for.
Feel free to order tapas-style bar bites if you’d like something savoury to munch on, such as the Salmon Avocado Tartare (S$16) and Zesty Prawn Cocktail (S$19), but I recommend giving them a miss and sticking to what they do best — sweets.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to satisfy your sweet tooth and alcohol cravings at the same time, High Bar Society is the place to be.
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