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Art Deco Splendour

Explore ATLAS in Singapore, An Extraordinary World of Gin & Champagne

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Art Deco Splendour

Explore ATLAS in Singapore, An Extraordinary World of Gin & Champagne

April, 2024
Atlas, Singapore | Image: EK YAP

Listed under the World’s 50 Best Bars, ATLAS is awarded for good reason. Right from the approach, the bar is located in the ground floor lobby of the wonderful looming art deco-inspired Parkview Square building in central Singapore. The structure itself is a surprise to find in the city, as both from both the exterior and interior, ATLAS seems to have been taken straight out of a scene of The Great Gatsby.

As a modernised old world bar highlighting the wonderful world of gin and champagne, ATLAS is a one of a kind experience. With a voluminous and highly decorated interior that reflects the opulence and decadence of the 1920’s, the site was formerly host to the Divine Wine Bar designed by James Adams Design. In 2017, it was transformed into ATLAS — a gin and champagne-focussed bar with sophisticated dining. Owner Vicky Hwang (the granddaughter of the building’s founder, CS Huang) and her husband Vincent Pieron worked alongside Matthew Shang and Paul Semple formerly from design firm Hassell to conceive the renewed interior — accommodating new seating for 135, reinvigorating the interior symmetry and creating a signature focus on the bar’s historical three-story liquor cabinet.

Atlas, Singapore | Image: EK YAP

From the grand entrance, guests are welcomed to either a table or bar counter seating and presented with a soft cover hand-bound cocktail menu. Inside, discover the detailed history of the bar and The Culture of Drinking, to ATLAS’ Gin Collection listing and their unique Taxonomy of Taste — an in-house encyclopedia to identifying flavor profiles in gin created by Founding Curator of the Gin Collections and Master of Gin, Jason Williams. Here, guests can delve into the world of London Dry, Modern, Overproof and Navy Strength, Barrel-rested, Old Tom, Sloe Gin or Genever. Not only gin, the bar holds one of the world’s most impressive champagne cellars — even in possession of three bottles of the infamous 1907 Heidsieck & Co Monopole ‘Gout Americain’ aka Shipwreck Champagne that was salvaged twice (the second, being during the notorious sinking of the Titanic) from The Baltic Sea with corks intact and no leakage. 

ATLAS is a perfect world-class bar for guests to discover global gins and their unique varieties of botanicals to each region. As Mastor of Gin Jason Williams noted, ‘Gin is provenance; it looks to the natural world for flavor, aroma and sensation.’

Silver Bullet, Preservation of Fire, Atlas | Image: Benjamin Sim, ATLAS

Constantly evolving as a globally-awarded cocktail bar, the bar holds an annual tradition where their team of bartenders (led by head bartender Yana Keller) develop a yearly themed menu that guides their inventive beverages on a journey through time and technique. This year, the team has developed a special menu around the Preservation to Fire.

Our bartenders for the evening Erin and Ja’afar, enthusiastic and passionate, keenly shared the intricacies behind the development of each of cocktail. The first, titled Age of Discovery (raspberry-infused n/a aperitif, vanilla passion fruit, citrus) — was a refreshing fruity non-alcoholic cocktail with a sublime froth. To create this, the bar has eliminated the classic ingredient of egg whites and instead opt to use a new Singapore-made aquafaba product Aér — gluten free, vegan, fragrance-free and can reproduce the same frothy foam texture for fizzes to sours. Another non-alcoholic offering included the Prohibition Plot (clarified avocado milk, mango, agave and lime), a concoction inspired by the Preservation era (a time before refrigeration existed and the use of milk protein aided in preservation) that balances both subtle creaminess, sourness and a touch of sweetness.

Atlas, Singapore | Image: EK YAP

Cocktails found on the new Preservation to Fire menu, include Jubilee Royale (champagne, Four Pillars Australian Shiraz gin, Bajan rum, raspberry, black lemon) offered a rich mouthfeel from an ‘Infusion’ technique (rooted in cultures in China and Egypt, created by steeping ingredients in a liquid). Another, 218 West (English gin, melon vodka, red currant infused dry vermouth, cardamom) presented in a sophisticated, slender glass was a visual wonder — a strip of vibrant sunset fire red liquid was juxtaposed against the pure clarity of a Bombay Sapphire base.

Lombardi, Preservation of Fire, Atlas | Image: Benjamin Sim
Jubilee Royale, Preservation of Fire, Atlas | Image: Benjamin Sim

Throughout the evening, a highlight was discussing bar trends with ATLAS’ knowledgeable bartenders — once where Old Tom was a preferred favourite, the classic martini has taken its place. The bar’s signature ATLAS Martini utilises their in-house gin (utilising ATLAS London Dry Gin conceived in-house and developed to the ATLAS team’s specifications, pairs nuances of floral notes with a timeless allure) crafted with vermouth, orange bitters, champagne vinegar.

218 West, Preservation of Fire, Atlas | Image: Benjamin Sim, ATLAS
Electric Club, Preservation of Fire, Atlas | Image: Benjamin Sim, ATLAS

Ranked within The World’s 50 Best Bars, ATLAS is truly one of a kind. Global gin lovers can also join ATLAS’ Juniper Society, being informed when new or rare gins arrive to the premise and join exclusive tastings. A perfect reason to return to the monumental art deco gem.

Pork Collar, Atlas, Singapore | Image: Benjamin Sim, ATLAS

Ground floor, 600 North Bridge Rd,
Parkview Square, Singapore 188778

For more global cocktail bar destinations, click here.

Text: Joanna Kawecki
Images: courtesy Atlas, Accela Communications

Parkview Square Exterior, Singapore | Image: Michael Perini
April, 2024