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Bar Stories: Childhood memories, takeaway please!

Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, Singapore, specializes in Asia-inspired signature cocktails and endearing hawker style dishes – right down our alley. (Image Source: Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall)


Haji Lane is eerily quiet. The usual rambunctious crowds with people spilled onto the narrow street, drink or even cigarette in hand is replaced with an empty space, with a smattering of people, takeaway bags in tow.

At the time of writing, Singapore is still in the midst of Phase 2: Heightened Alert. Dining-in at restaurants, bars, etc. is disallowed during this period. Takeaway and delivery remain as the only options for these food and beverage establishments.


Like most F&B purveyors, Ah Sam has had to find innovative ways to keep the music playing. They’ve curated a Best of Ah Sam set that allows cocktail fans to choose any 2 cocktails of 4 options. (Image Source: Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall)


It is encouraging to see that the restaurants and bars do have delivery riders and some walk-in patrons flitting in and out, with takeaway bags in hand, but sympathies are still with these dining establishments.

In need of a refreshing cocktail, one young twenty-something found herself at Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall on a humid Wednesday evening. The “Ju Hua Cha” (English translation: Chrysanthemum Tea) was ordered for takeaway. An herbal and floral, lightly sweet take on the classic G&T, this drink comes with fond memories - childhood memories of fragrant chrysanthemum wafting in the air on balmy afternoons at grandma’s place spring to mind.


Undeterred, one would brave the infamous Singaporean heat waves in search of a childhood memory. On the left we have our between lockdowns reprieve and on the right we have childhood memory on takeaway à la lockdown v2.


Obviously, there is some bias if this is her favorite G&T (it is). This reinvention of the classic G&T combines grandmother’s herbal potion brewed for her as a child (she still does till this day, though not as often as when they lived together) with dry gin.


Other spins on local beverages includes Bangkok’s Soi-inspired Cha (Thai Black Tea-Infused Gin, Licor 43, Lemon Juice, Condensed Milk and Whole Milk) and midnight Prata supper and iced Rose cordial-inspired Bandung Collins (Stolen Roses Gin, Aperol, Honey, Citrus, Tonic).
(Image Source: Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall) 


This “Ju Hua Cha” could even boast to have some medicinal properties as it is brewed with ginseng  - a wonderful reason to justify the need for this tipple, if anyone needed one. Beautifully packaged in a vintage yellow print, the Ju Hua Cha dry gin is accompanied with two bottles of London Essence Tonic water, with specific instructions on how to get the proportions right.  


Cocktails include: 1. Tak Qiu (local lingo for a hot cup of Milo), a retrofitted combination of Milo and bourbon, 2. Silver Screen, sweet and salty popcorn old-fashioned, 3. Osmanthus, Negroni sans the bitterness with the help of some Osmanthus, 4. Oriental Elixir (not pictured), a Singaporean Negroni herbal-ised with Ginseng and Chrysanthemum. (Image Source: Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall)


If only this “Ju Hua Cha” was indeed the cure to end the pandemic, as is cheekily described by the friendly people at Ah Sam – one can dream. Till then, until Phase 2 lifts, the bar stories would have to wait. For now it would just be this dapao cocktail from the bar (story). Perhaps it would be a little while before Haji Lane springs back to life – raucous laughter, uproarious conversations and clumsy glass breaking from accidental spillage of drinks - the whole gamut. 





Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall – Singapore


12 Haji Lane, Singapore 189205

Opened All Days of The Week, 12 PM – 10:30 PM

For orders, please call +65 6391 9942


Probably the best word to describe Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall aside from “fun” or “solid”. 

Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall specializes in Asia-inspired signature cocktails and endearing hawker style dishes. Our latest move to Haji Lane during circuit breaker saw us take on a new wall of draft cocktail taps designed to serve creations that are better as bright & bubbly expressions.

The locale also puts us in a brilliant intersection between our imaginative Asia-inspired cocktails and quality local craft beers from our buddies at Good Luck Beerhouse. 

Thoughtfully paired with our signature Local Stir Fry (or burgers, or dim sum), we are your cozy but casual space to pamper your palate on the lane.