Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

DOES KNOWING WHERE YOUR COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS COME FROM MATTER?



Contributed by 

I’m at Native, a hot new cocktail bar in downtown Singapore, and there’s a bug in my drink. A lot of bugs actually, but I suppose I should have been prepared for that when I ordered the Antz cocktail—a mix of Thai rum, coconut yogurt, salt-baked tapioca and locally foraged weaver ants. The garnish, a liquid-nitro-zapped basil leaf, cradles a tiny mound of more dried ants, only these guys are bigger, crunchier and more prone to getting stuck in your teeth. And did I mention they’re local?
The brainchild of owner-bartender Vijay Mudaliar, Native opened last year with a promise of sourcing its ingredients from within an invisible line that stretches across Singapore and its neighboring southeast Asian countries. While many of today’s new high-concept bars take their cues from New York and New Orleans, Native is a wholly original conceit: a bar of and for the region it serves.
Native
“I was inspired by the restaurant D.O.M. in São Paulo, which uses ingredients available only from the Amazonian region,” says Mudaliar. “We have a very similar climate, and the more I looked, the more I found that we could take advantage of all the amazing things growing and being made right here at our doorstep.”
Mudaliar isn’t the first barman to bang the locavore drum, but he’s certainly taking the game to new heights. “The idea grows like a ripple effect,” he says. “I started to think, Maybe I can extend this ideal to the spirits I use. Then before I knew it, our cups were being made by a local potter, our aprons and furniture were done by local craftsmen, and the bar’s playlist features a mix of local and regional musicians.” Even our coasters at Native are made from dried lotus leaves, cut by hand, and ground into compost when they’ve passed their use.”
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