Barfly

Chilling out at Low Tide

Janice Heng
Published Sat, Jun 18, 2022 · 05:50 AM

AMID rattan chairs and palm leaf motifs, a visitor to shophouse bar Low Tide might imagine being somewhere else other than a corner of Club Street.

“There’s a lot of escapism in Singapore,” says general manager Joseph Haywood, noting the pre-Covid ubiquity of beach getaways to Phuket or Bali. “We kind of want to build that escapism here on Club Street.”

The bar’s open-front ground floor, dubbed Topside, is an al fresco concept with classic tropical drinks – daiquiris, mojitos, frozen cocktails – and lighter, fresher dishes such as red grouper ceviche and Blackmore wagyu tartare.

If a high tide is associated with intensity, then low tide is "when you're relaxing, sipping a cocktail without a worry in the world", says Haywood.

That philosophy is captured in the bar's namesake cocktail, Low Tide: a "juicy" rum-based drink featuring homemade allspice pimento dram liqueur.

Rum, in fact, is a focus of the bar. For instance, their range of daiquiris helps to showcase the characteristics and varieties of white rum, says Haywood.

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“Some people presume (the daiquiri) to be an overly sweet cocktail,” he adds. Low Tide’s rendition is a dry, spirit-forward concoction: four rums, lime, sugar, and saline.

But there are also more playful variations, from passionfruit to the grapefruit-featuring Hemingway to a frozen ube daiquiri. Besides daiquiris, the Topside cocktail programme includes other refreshing tipples, from a clarified pina colada to the banana-and-coconut Budgy Smuggler.

There is also more to Low Tide than its breezy front. Behind a door crafted from shophouse window shutters, a woven bower frames a staircase leading to The Cave.

“We like the idea of a bar on both floors,” says Haywood. “It also allows us to offer different things.”

Filling most of this cosy downstairs space is a bar top crafted from a single piece of lumber. Here the menu takes more of a deep dive into exotic cocktails such as the Mai Tai and Jungle Bird, with Low Tide putting its own spin on these classics.

With the Mai Tai, for instance, Low Tide aimed to capture the flavour of the historical classic by ageing Jamaican rum in-house. Another homemade rum blend features in the Jungle Bird, which was originally created circa 1973 featuring a rum that is no longer available.

The Cave also has its own food menu, with offerings such as crab rangoon tarts and quail lollipops.

In April, yet another concept was launched: Punch & Consequence, an intimate upstairs space offering a rotating degustation menu with punch pairings.

Haywood quips that with the usual punch bowls, there can be “commitment issues”; the single-serve pairings in the Punch & Consequence programme allow for easier exploration. Low Tide, after all, is built around the “idea of escapism and worlds unknown”, as its menu informs customers.

Low Tide

  • 30ml Flor de Cana 7 Year Gran Reserva dark rum
  • 15ml Aperol
  • 15ml Falernum
  • 10ml homemade all-spice pimento dram
  • 25ml lime juice
  • 25ml orange juice
  • 10ml simple syrup
  • 2 dashes of saline
  • 2 dashes of absinthe

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