Bar Stories: From the Horse’s Mouth
Many moons ago, I attended a birthday celebration at The Horse’s Mouth Bar. It was my first visit and in my inebriated state, confusion with the name of the place inevitably occurred.
The Horse’s Mouth is a secluded bar tucked away beneath a ramen shop at Forum along the mouth of Singapore’s Orchard Road. (Image Source: Punch)
“Is this the crazy horse?”
“No miss, that is in Paris.”
Stubbornly insistent I kept emphasizing that I was at the correct place.
“They told me to be at this place with the horse!”
“Oh yes miss, this is the Horse’s Mouth…”
I remain very embarrassed at this hazy exchange which is now immortalised as a funny anecdote.
The Horse’s Mouth Bar today, years later, still stands, tucked away in a nondescript corner at the Forum Shopping Mall. It has a dark moody exterior, but the bar is brightly lit which commands the centre of the room.
How do you know you're in the hands of a good bartender? When the bespoke drink she's just whipped up just nails the spot. One shot, one goal, that's how they do it as the Horse's Mouth.
We chose to sit at the bar to watch the bartenders do their magic. It was a quiet Thursday night and the experience felt so private, just as though you were visiting a friend’s home, except that this had gorgeous colourful origami installations on the side panels greeting you as you enter the cavernous dining area.
“This place is so quiet. I can hear you so well.”
“No need to shout to hear yourself speak.”
Not quite knowing if the cocktails would be strong, with some trepidation and a belly full of green-curry, fruity cocktails were chosen for the night.
This evening I tried something different and did not have gin (yet) although the bramble is typically gin-based. The Bramble No. 2 was a creamy cheeky smoothie. I could fool myself into believing it was a healthy source of nutrition. Though I cannot quite remember its composition, I had believed it was rum-based with strawberry. I am usually not a fan of the strawberry, but this was just the ideal balance of sour, citrussy and sweet.
This might just be my new favourite drink.
The Bramble No. 2 made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Strawberry, Soda, Lime Foam, makes us wonder what the Bramble No. 1 was.
My friend, the adventurous one, had opt for a bespoke drink. Her instructions to Vanessa, the lovely mixologist for the evening, were “spirit forward and citrussy” and she was most pleased with the concoction presented. A play on the old fashioned (she calls it the old fashioned but not old fashioned) comprises dark rum, green chartreuse and citrus.
“The sweetness of the rum balances the herbal flavour of the green chartreuse.”
She, a gin head like myself, ended the night with a gin-based drink too. The bartender whipped up The Last Word cocktail for her and I received the Eastern Remedy.
The Last Word; perhaps all too apt for this encounter.
The Last Word was very appropriate to close the night – this would be the farewell drink before she embarks on her expatriate journey. Either the bartender was exceedingly perceptive, being privy to our caustic conversations on our career moves, or it was simply poetic. The light green prohibition-era cocktail contained both gin and chartreuse; the citrus being a lime.
Similarly, I too, had a citrus-based gin drink - the Eastern Remedy. It reminds me of the calamansi juice that you can get at the hawker centre, except that it wasn’t sharp and sour. The Eastern Remedy was a tangy, fun, joy juice that has gin, yuzu sake, lime and passionfruit. Perhaps it could be Asia’s brunch option to rival the Mimosa.
Still a gin lover at heart, the night had to end with something gin-based. The Eastern Remedy - light, citrusy, tangy, the formula for joy juice.
This evening at The Horse’s Mouth Bar was an unintended ode to the citrus cocktail – a revitalizing kick you need to tide you through to the end of the week. A cosy bar with the tastiest cocktails I have had in a long while - Vanessa of The Horse’s Mouth ought to receive the credit for the joyful farewell. It’s great to know that The Horse’s Mouth hasn’t lost its shine.
Horse's Mouth Bar (Singapore)
583 Orchard Road
Forum The Shopping Mall #B1-39
(Enter through Yoshi Restaurant, on the left of Watson's)
Monday – Sunday, 5.00PM – 10.00PM
For bookings, please call +65-8188-0900 or email email@example.com
IG: @horsesmouth | FB: Horse’s Mouth
The Horse's Mouth draws inspiration from the izakayas of Japan, where a light atmosphere paired with tasty snacks and drinks provide the perfect location for friends and colleagues to get together.
Our menu is backed by a strong selection of unique sakes, Burgundian wines and cocktails prepared on the spot by our mixologists using only fresh ingredients. In addition to our beverages, a selection of Japanese inspired snacks and sharing plates complete the Horse's Mouth experience and promise to tickle your tastebuds with every bite.