There’s a new secret bar in town… well, maybe not so secret; Junior is already making big waves within the Singapore tippling set. Brought to us by the same folks behind 28 HongKong Street, Proof & Company, and Crackerjack this intimate drinking den at the back of the latter seats just 10 and plans to feature a different theme every six months. The current theme is NORMA, which stands for Norma Oficial Mexicana, so expect plenty of tequila, mezcal, Mexican themed decor, and food. We like.
Why you should come here:
The small size of the space encourages conversations with the bartenders and other patrons, which is a good thing because the whole idea at Junior is to delve deep into the theme of the moment. For example, head bartenders Peter Chua and Zachary de Git actually travelled through Mexico visiting distilleries and handpicking bottles to bring back with them, so you’ll definitely want to pick their brains about the various artisan tequilas and rare mezcals on offer.
To get a good sense of the character of the spirits, try one of their tasting flights with three different straight-up offerings that change weekly. The cocktails are where they really get creative with innovative sips like the Vampiro, a riff on the Bloody Mary but using tequila, beetroot, carrot, and citrus juice, dashes of ginger, and habanero firewater. For the full experience, be sure to try some of their Mexican small plates designed to complement the drinks.
What we love:
Junior goes all out creating an entire experience; from the black and white photos of Oaxaca on the walls and Mexican music lilting in the background, to street-style tacos and, of course, tequilas. Unlike other bars where you may get lost in a menu featuring a multitude of beers, wines, sakes, bubbles, and martinis from all origins, you can really focus on one thing here and walk out feeling like you got an education in agave-based drinks.
For example... we’d never heard of raicilla before, but apparently this spirit from the state Jalisco, which was once classified as illegal moonshine, is now bursting onto the scene as a boutique tipple. Here you can try it on it’s own or in the Raicilla When I See Ya, which features herbaceous La Venenosa Costa de Jalisco raicilla, sherry, mint, and passionfruit shrub served in a black skull. It's great: order it.
We visited with a friend who didn’t drink tequila, so they offered her a Mexican Coca-Cola. It’s really all about the spirits here; no ifs, ands, or buts. Be sure to call ahead and reserve your seats, with only 10 up for grabs it's best to plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
Tasting flights cost $46 - $55 and cocktails fall in the $20 to $25 range.
Junior, 43 Tanjong Pagar Road, 088464 (look for the sign in the alleyway behind Crackerjack), t. 8121 1462. Open Mon - Sat: 7pm - 12am
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