Manhattan in Singapore

Manhattan in Singapore
Cocktails at Regent hotel’s new bar, Manhattan, will be made by bartender Ricky Paiva.

SINGAPORE - It will take a Manhattan, in Manhattan, in... the Regent Singapore? A new hotel bar, named after the famed New York City borough and styled after its legendary 19th-century watering holes, is opening in the middle of next month at the hotel in the Orchard Road area.

The 90-seat bar will be home to the world's first in-hotel rickhouse, a space to age whiskies and other spirits, and bitters and single-cask cocktails in American oak barrels.

Cocktails will be inspired by the Big Apple's iconic neighbourhoods such as Wall Street, Spanish Harlem and Broadway.

Mr Martin Dell, 37, Regent Singapore's director of food and beverage, says it took 15 months of planning for this "multi-million-dollar" project, which aims to be "not just a regular free-standing hotel bar". Previously, he says, the hotel bar was a "traditional hotel bar with no strong concept".

"It was lovely for the past 30 years, but living in Singapore where the cocktail bar scene has exploded, we had to do something different," he says.

The bar concept was developed with Proof & Company, a local company set up in 2012 which curates and sells independent and artisanal spirits.

American bartender Ricky Paiva will head the bar, which has three private rooms for patrons.

Paiva, 32, who has more than a decade of experience in bartending, has worked at famed bars such as San Francisco's Rickhouse and Local Edition, the latter known for its house-made syrups and drinks served in a space inspired by the newspaper business in the 1950s and 1960s.

At Manhattan, he will manage the Rickhouse, which will feature 105 American oak barrels imported from Minnesota. The Rickhouse will use the solera ageing method, developed by the Spanish and Portuguese to ensure a constant average age for sherry and port. The cocktails are stored in barrels, and fractions of the contents of the oldest barrels are mixed with contents from the newer barrels to create house blends.

Solera-aged negroni cocktail (gin, vermouth, bitters), and a port-finished rye whiskey, where American whiskey is aged in a barrel rinsed with port, will be among the items available at the Rickhouse, says Paiva. He says he is infusing Angostura bitters with piped tobacco and cherries, which he can incorporate in his bespoke cocktails when the bar opens.

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