Mr Stork is, however, a welcome break to my almost fatalistic attitude towards rooftop bars. Yes, it’s up in the sky, on the 39th floor of Andaz Singapore, and overlooks all of the CBD – but it also offers some ace pours. Panoramic sunset views of the city is a rather lovely thing to behold here, too, particularly as this floor, with its living greenery, cute teepee huts and beachy outdoor seats, makes you feel like you’re on a holiday. But where, exactly? That depends on the cocktail you’re having.
There are six made-to-order tipples on the bar’s newish drinks menu, all of which take after Asia’s vacation hotspots. Aaliya and Sapphire are nods to Sri Lanka: the former is a tribute to toddy tappers with its infusion of Ceylon arrack (alcohol made coconut palm sap), spiced pear, coconut, passionfruit, lemon mist and bitters, while the latter combines Colombo navy-strength gin, maraschino, botanicals from the hotel’s herb garden and cloudberry for a muscled, herbaceous drink with hints of floral-berry sweetness. The Bali-inspired Barong, crafted with Nusa Cana spiced rum, gula jawa, pineapple, lime and bitters, is full of Tiki vibes that make us think fondly of the mystical island. Thai Tonic channels Phuket with a fun, refreshing mix of Chalong Bay white spiced rum, coconut, cinnamon, lime and bitters. Oh Yuzu will please coffee lovers with its unexpectedly robust and well-balanced blend of Nikka coffee vodka, aged plum, yuzu, mirin and saline solution. Our favourite of the evening is the Amrita, a relentlessly excellent thirst-quencher with Stranger & Sons gin, guava, lemongrass and mint that aims to transport you to Goa’s Sinquerim paradise. We ordered two (maybe three) more of it, with extra guava slices on the side.
Good as they may be, Mr Stork has more up its sleeves with regards to cocktails. In an attempt to inject more life into our restless bar scene – which, as we all know, have been mired by the pandemic – the bar is gathering some of the city’s top mixologists for Mr Stork X, a pop-up series that reflects a show of solidarity for the industry. Kicking off the string of collabs is Thomas Sobota of Lime House, whose Carribean-style cocktails are taking up residency at the rooftop drinking spot until the end of August. Right before Singapore went into Lockdown 3.0, we had Sobota’s tarty Haiti daiquiri, Last Word in Fire (a feisty twist on the sweet and cirtusy Last Word classic with Jamaican overproof rum, Rum Fire) and In Negroni Veritas, in which he swapped gin for white rum in a typical negroni spec for a fuller body. In a word, they were punchy and rather appropriate for these mundane times.
Come September, Edu Zamora of Smoke & Mirrors will be sending his art-inspired creations for the second edition of Mr Stork X. Thereafter, Joma Riveria of Café Utu will be following suit in the third instalment with his signature African cocktails. Each pop-up menu includes a nibble (for Sobota’s shift it was Jamaican jerk chicken with a cilantro lime dip) for those having the munchies, but if you’d like more grub options, the kitchen also puts out can’t-go-wrong bites like juicy karaage, sliders and panko tiger brown with mentaiko yuzu mayo.