Hotel tea lounges have always been popular among Singaporeans, but we’ve got our eyes on the new kid on the block, Ginger Lily. The botanical-themed lounge and bar in Hilton Singapore Orchard has been making waves—first for its high tea set, presented in a giant pink “story book” and now, its brand-new cocktail menu called Bloom.
Seated in front of an island bar counter, I was privy to all the cocktail-making action by head mixologist Michael Mendoza. From the custom barrels of infused concoctions to rows of freshly grown herb, the open space makes it an inviting experience for guests to explore, ask questions, and learn more about what exactly goes into their tipple.
An ode to the rich plantation history of Orchard Road, Bloom is a seamless continuation of the high-tea menu with 17 spirit-forward cocktails, including low-to-no alcohol creations for teetotallers. We were spoilt for choice by three curations: Perennial, which features signature cocktails; Changing of the Seasons, which includes nature-inspired drinks for all occasions, as well as Evergreen, which offers easy-to-enjoy tipple, as well as non-alcoholic mixes.
Our botanical journey kickstarted with In Full Bloom, an innovative take on the G&T, sans the gin. Possibly one of the prettiest cocktails I’ve seen, it was presented in a Porthole infuser with a vibrant mix of citruses, berries, and fresh herbs steeped in Rinquinquin, a refreshing white wine-based peach aperitif. The longer I allowed the tipple steep, the more intense the botanicals tasted, making it a great pairing for the trio of savoury appetisers—poached tiger prawns, seared Hokkaido scallops and Iberico ham.
A favourite of mine, the Seashell takes its inspiration from Singapore’s history as a fishing port. Dried and crunchy mini crabs resembling fresh catch lie on a wavy metal net atop the drink. This sets the scene for a cocktail with flavours that remind one of the ocean thanks to its breezy notes of lime, lychee lemongrass and cucumber.
For mains, I tucked into the Premium New Zealand Maimoa Lamb Rack, which was equal parts tender and flavourful. Accompanied by salad and cumin yoghurt, it proved to be a satisfying treat.
With my belly filled, we were presented with the Kokum Spice next. A fully vegan cocktail, it brought on the theatrics with a burst smoke bubble, which nicely enhanced the sweet and spice-forward martini. Featuring kokum, a common spice used in traditional Ayurvedic healing, the cocktail was delightfully rich.
Before calling it a night, I had to try the Mellow Fellow, which was Mendoza’s rendition of a negroni. Featuring a mellow blend of their most-prized spirits like the Mancino Rosso and Cainama Gin, the tipple is aged in a bamboo barrel to add a light and herbaceous aroma.
More information here.