Historic bar revives original grandeur & introduces impressive whisky collection & whisky-based cocktails
June 18th, 2015
As Raffles Singapore celebrates the 100th anniversary this year of its iconic Singapore Sling cocktail, another historic element of the grand hotel’s storied past – the Bar & Billiard Room – has been recently revitalised with a new focus on whisky, polished cocktails and top-notch cigars. First established in 1896, the Bar & Billiard Room at Raffles maintains its status as the longest continuously operational bar in Singapore, and with its stellar combination of elegant colonial-era decor, exemplary drinks service, and relaxed sophistication offers an enticing destination for a discerning contemporary clientele. Conveniently located adjoining the hotel’s original main building, the Bar & Billiard Room once again becomes a destination for relaxed conversations, elegant libations, a game of billiards, and enlivened on weekends with live jazz performances on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Grandly proportioned with high ceilings, wide verandahs and spacious interior, the Bar & Billiard Room retains essentially the same structure and layout as when it first opened nearly 120 years ago. Elegant chandeliers, dark timbers and classic tiled flooring epitomise the renowned colonial era charm of Raffles, while two antique billiard tables continue in service, evoking the rich heritage of the original gentlemen’s billiard room. With the updated layout, guests can now select between a number of seating options, with high tables adjacent to the central bar, well-spaced table settings across the expansive floor space, and relaxing rattan sofas and chairs on the front terrace.
At the heart of the new whisky-focussed beverage menu at the Bar & Billiard Room, Raffle’s Singapore Resident Whisky Expert, Christoph Nyfeler, has selected over 400 varieties for the whisky list – primarily Scottish single malt bottlings – including limited editions – and supplemented with selections of American bourbons and Japanese single malts. The bar team have also created a concise new cocktail list of both classics and original whisky-based signature cocktails. Whisky cocktails such as the BBR 1896 and Syonnan Ryokan reference significant historic milestones of the hotel, while other cocktails feature aged single malts combined with in-house infusions and bitters to create tantalising flavour combinations.
Included within the new cocktail list, an updated menu of bar snacks and sharing platters offers well-executed classic dishes including Irish Beef Tartare; Crabmeat Cigars; and Caramelized Iberico SpareRibs. And the famously indulgent Sunday Champagne Brunch continues to delight an in-the-know crowd.
The Bar & Billiard Room opens Tuesday to Saturday from 5 pm, and from 12pm on Sundays for Brunch.