Hello thirsty friends!
We’re delighted to be back sharing another great find. Last week, we finally visited Ah Sam cold drinks stall. Just based on its name alone we anticipated that it would feature some classic old Singapore charm – and it sure did not disappoint. However, its bespoke cocktails were far from traditional and instead full of new-age surprises. It does have 4.3 stars on google reviews so we can’t say we’re surprised at the quality of their cocktails!
Ah sam’s is located in bustling Boat Quay in Singapore overlooking the Singapore river. It’s situated on the same row of shophouses that Spiffy Dapper used to be located at.
Bustling crowd at boat quay!
You enter through a small unassuming door at the ground level which leads to a short flight of stairs. Ah Sam’s is immediately to your left on the second floor.
If you find yourself in a shady massage parlour, you might have gone too far!
The interior was a little dark but cosy and the service was really quick. We visited on a busy friday night but quickly got a seat. The bar’s open shelves immediately whet our appetite for some craft cocktails.
The design was simple, with some long tables and decor featuring some old school posters featuring Singapore’s version of a 1970s “pin-up girl” and some hawker drinkstore decor.
They also offer some local delights such as shrimp paste chicken, you tiao (fried dough fritters) and hokkien mee, but we were going somewhere else for dinner so we did not try any. If their Ngoh Hiang Platter was any cheaper we might have gone for it!
Osmanthus sour: $24
This was our first drink. We asked for something Gin based and interesting but NOT too sweet. They presented their Osmanthus Sour which was golden yellow with a mouthwatering frothy head and a sprinkle of dried osmanthus petals. A mix of floral and herbal to the nose, it reminded us of a mix between chrysanthemum and a lemonlime flavoured fruit pastille but still managed to pack more of a light herbal aftertaste rather than a sweet or sour punch which we both enjoyed. It was definitely different than our usual gin-based cocktails which we appreciated! We forgot to ask what type of gin they used but the alcoholic kick was definitely appreciated. We have seen this drink in a few of their pictures on instagram so it’s probably a favourite that they whip up every so often – but a well deserved favourite in our opinion. A good start to our night!
Whisky Sour – Buffalo Trace $25
This drink was delightful and disappointing at the same time. What we asked for was something whisky based with a citrus profile but NOT the usual whisky sour, but our server misheard us so they still gave us a whisky sour 😦 They used Buffalo Trace bourbon in this which is a Kentucky straight bourbon whisky we’ve not tried before. Despite the miscommunication – this was a well balanced and delightful whisky sour. Slightly sweet, tastefully tart and extremely smooth, this was almost too easy to drink. Almost, because there was still a clear reminder of the bourbon present in this drink. Well played Ah Sam’s, well played.
Spicy Mezcal – Alipus San Luis $24
This was our third drink but our favourite for the night. We asked for something tequila based, but SPICY and boy did they deliver! Instead of tequila they used Alipus San Luis mezcal infused with spicy flavoured Doritos. To that they added lime juice and mango-pineapple syrup, and served it in a cocktail glass with a salt/pepper/?cayenne pepper rim. We were overjoyed because we’ve always wanted to try mezcal and this cocktail with its peppery and smoky goodness really elevated and celebrated this amazing spirit! The spicy rub on the rim hits you first and then the lime juice in this soothes your tongue and balances out the sweet and BBQ smoky profiles in this drink. It’s going to be something we’ll definitely order again when we go back! We are salivating just typing this. BEWARE however, if you have a low spice threshold, this drink is SPICY!
At $73 before tax for 3 cocktails, this is an expensive joint for a night out. But if you’re serious about your drink (or your date), it’s well worth it.
Ah Sam’s serves great cocktails at a premium pricepoint for those that are tired of those syrupy, grenadine fueled gimmicks. While a little far out with their creations using Osmanthus flowers and even Doritos, we do think that these outlandish flavours do somehow elevate rather than drown out the base spirit in their drinks. That being said, we’ve still not tried their Milo-infused old fashioned and laska flavoured drinks so the final verdict might not yet be out on that note.
Their spicy mezcal creation wins our vote for being the most “BANG” for the buck!
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