Hidden hotel cocktail bar a destination for late-night imbibing of modern Asian mixology
September 11th, 2023
Set within the recently opened Mondrian Singapore Duxton luxury hotel – the hidden cocktail bar Jungle Ballroom celebrates modern Asian mixology with a vibe of understated decadence until late in the night. Behind the bar the talented team is headed by the regionally acclaimed bartender Adrian Besa- previously the recipient of the prestigious ‘Art of Hospitality’ award at Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2021.
Adrian and his talented team (together with consultancy Proof &Co) have crafted a colourful and highly creative cocktail menu for Jungle Ballroom, designed to light up the senses – both taste and visually. “In contrast to the dark finishes and furnishings of the interiors, our drinks pop with colour,” Adrian explains. “That makes the cocktails really stand out and grab your attention.”
The themed menu takes guests on a journey through concepts such as the Jungle Canopy (exemplified by the ‘View From the Treetops’); the Understorey (try the ‘Rose-hued Waterfall’), and the Forest Floor ( ‘The Lost Ruins’ is a standout in this concept). Using regional ingredients is a cornerstone of the cocktail creations – including longan, banana leaf, young mango, turmeric, black sesame, ginger, and cacao. Combining local ingredients with an extensive selection of Southeast Asian spirits labels distinguishes Jungle Ballroom from most other cocktail bars in Singapore.
Creative design and art are fundamental to the Mondrian ethos – and for Jungle Ballroom the designers wanted to create the feeling of stepping into a hidden sanctuary, incorporating two hidden entrances, where guests can come up from street level through a ‘secret tunnel’ enveloped in greenery, or through the curtained entrance within the hotel – revealing a sense of discovery within the hotel.
Helping provide sparkle to the space are psychedelic, kaleidoscopic artworks by Australia’s Emma Anna, whose creations are inspired by magic realist storytelling. Adorning the Jungle Ballroom’s walls, Emma’s ‘Flower Mandala’ artworks are large-scale digital collages, visual cocktails composed of photos of exotic blooms.
(L) View from the Treetops – Singapore dry gin, bianco vermouth, citrus, cacao, persimmon, black sesame.
(R) The Root of All – agave spirit, banana, pineapple, lemon, jungle ballroom spices, longan.
(images credit Mondrian Singapore Duxton)