We all have our favourite watering holes that we patronise to relax with a reliable feel-good drink. From stunning rooftop bars to secret speakeasies, the fundamental elements in these fail-proof tipples are often safe choices that stimulate the taste buds yet calm the nerves. What if an experienced mixologist decides to concoct creations that features an ethnic twist? Would you give it a shot (or two)? We went out of our comfort zone at Flying Monkey and was pleased with the contemporary-focused delights.
An entrant in the Kampong Glam 'hood since 2017, the Pan-Indian restaurant and bar deviate from the expected intimate environment filled with dimmed lights. Instead, its casual ambience puts patrons at ease before your seat's warmed up. Case in point: the menu's cheeky illustrations and quirkily named dishes, with the latter applied to its brewed cocktails too.
Brave youths stretch boundaries; Flying Monkey's blooming presence didn't deter it to be innovative with a refreshed cocktail menu. Inspired by the flamboyant Bollywood entertainment industry, traditional Indian spices and ingredients were skillfully assembled with quality spirits to produce a collection of unexpected alcohol blends with flavourful South Asian narratives. Below are the drinks that touched (pun intended) my tongue. And boy, were they memorable.
This cocktail recipe is based on an award-winning Bollywood song featuring Sunny Leon, a pornstar turned popular Bollywood actress, which was released in India on February 14th (Valentine's!). Vodka is shaken with tropical pineapple juice and laced with aromatic vanilla extract, giving it subtle floral notes. Appearing on the top is a froth whipped harmoniously from freshly-squeezed lemon and egg white, finishing with generous strands of luxurious saffron that seduces both your sense of smell and taste.
Honey! Where's My Chai
Derived from a pick-me-up from a loving wife to her spouse, this cocktail features a complementary fusion of home-brewed espresso chai (tea), Drambuie, Dark Rum and Kahlua. Be captivated by its spicy aftertaste from the cardamom bitters which permeates the smooth mix.
Quick Gun Murugun
Popular culture makes good references for creations and this concoction lives up to its name. Based on a bizarrely celebrated 2009 South Indian Western movie of the same name, Quick Gun Murugun shares the same vivid colours, far-fetched drama (ingredients) and unimaginable plot (taste) that makes it a standout. You will be amazed by the intriguing, but not cloying rich zest, made from this deliberate mixture—Milagro Tequila, Mezcal, Agave, Cointreau, Lemon, heat from fresh green chilli and a spicy jolt from Podi or South India’s Gunpowder (a blend of red chillies, lentils, asafoetida, black pepper and rice). Go easy with the addictive 'crystals' on the glass rim.
Adventure seekers and curious tipplers who refuse to stop at three can proceed to explore The Japanese Wife (a marriage between India's iconic Old Monk and Sake), Holy Water (its unassuming jasmine aroma may fool you on its potency) and Lassi Wassi (a grown-up version of the utterly delicious Indian yogurt drink, courtesy of Monkey Shoulder).
Flying Monkey is located at 67-68 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199480. For more information, visit Flying Monkey's webpage.