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Drink like Joseon Royalty: Inside Junior The Pocket Bar's New Cocktail Concept "Palace"

Drawing inspiration from the daily meals of a Joseon royal family, Junior the Pocket Bar's new cocktail concept ‘Palace’ takes you on a culinary journey fit for royalty, with a focus on key Korean spirits such as Soju, Makgeolli and fruit wines.

Journey back to the Joseon era and feast like royalty at Singapore's own Junior The Pocket Bar (#82, Asia’s 50 Best Bar, 2021), which has just launched their latest menu concept, Volume 10: Palace.

Led by Hazel Long and General Manager Eduardo Zamora, the new cocktail menu is inspired by the meals and a day in the life of the royal Joseon dynasty, which lasted for 500 years. 

Commenting on the new menu, Hazel explains: “Since the inception of Junior The Pocket Bar, we have always strived to break barriers and embrace diverse cultures throughout the fabric of time. Volume 10: Palace explores a deeper homage to a stunning accumulation of food, drink and culture, and we are excited to share this with our community." 

Drawing inspiration from the daily meals of a Joseon royal family, which was heavily based on neo-Confucianism, ‘Palace’ takes you on a culinary journey fit for royalty and will focus on key Korean spirits such as Soju, Makgeolli and fruit wines, as well as integral flavours of the Korean culture.

The cocktail menu is organised according to five key meals taken by the emperor each day...

The first royal meal of the day, known as ‘mieusang’, consisted of soft porridge and simple side dishes and was served at sunrise to aid digestion. Inspired by this tradition, Junior the Pocket Bar's curated cocktails include Maekgeolli’ - a premium Makegolli mixed with homemade effervescent fermented fruits and a choice of vodka, gin, tequila, or white rum and Aloe Veracocktail, featuring Bols Genever, lemon aloe vera, and lychee cordial. 

88B's Take: The Plum cocktail was perfect for those whisky sour lovers! The team swapped out whisky for plum-infused Tokki Black soju, which added a touch of sweet aromatic jasmine rice notes to the sweet and tangy profile of this cocktail.

Introducing the royal’s second breakfast, known as the ‘surasung,’ consisting of a traditional spread of 34 mains and side dishes. This inventive cocktail collection features a refreshing Kimchiblend of roku gin, kimchi tomato cordial, mezcal, and sherry. Indulge in the Seaweedconcoction, crafted with seaweed-infused Grey Goose vodka, Hendricks gin, fortified wine, Mancino secco, vermouth, and perilla oil, a Plumcocktail, boasting a blend of plum-infused Tokki Black soju, bourbon, honey, lemon, and a bokbunjaju float

88B's Take: The Melon cocktail is the team's take on a Classic Ramos Gin Fizz, and it was absolutely delicious. So much about their choice of spirits and ingredients here makes sense. Hazel and her team combined carbonated makgeolli with melon to recreate that classic Melona ice cream bar in liquid form. The result was creamy, effervescent and tangy - just like a Ramos Fizz should be! 

For the royal’s dinner, a cocktail that is inspired by a widely known traditional fermentation process, Gochujang combines the rich flavours of Bacardi Anejo Cuatro, gochujang syrup, grapefruit wine, and maraschino and ‘Melon’, a twist on a Ramos Gin Fizz, Tokki Black Soju, melon, cream, and sparkling makgeolli.

88B's Take: We thought the Dalgona cocktail was a fun way to pay homage to the breakout Netflix series Squid Game. This cocktail is like a perfect blend of Irish coffee and an espresso martini. The addition of a salted caramel foam topping reminded us a lot of the creamy, caramalized Vietnamese egg coffee, and helped add body to the blend of Cognac, Disaronno Amaretto espresso and orange.

We come to the end of the evening meal, where the royals indulge in delectable and digestion-enhancing treats. Introducing ‘Dalgona, a unique take on a traditional espresso martini, this cocktail is a blend of Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Disaronno Amaretto espresso, orange, clove, and salted caramel foam. Or delight in the refreshing ‘Watermelon’ cocktail, crafted with tequila, Bols Yogurt liqueur, fermented watermelon, and a touch of lemon and cucumber cordial. 

All cocktails are priced at SGD 26++

Guests can also experience a rare ‘Palatial Flight’ (SGD 33++), which features 3x 20ml spirit samples curated from a rotating selection of unique spirits sourced from different provinces of South Korea, served with pickles. 

Not only do guests drink like royalty, they'll be feasting like one too! 

The new food menu, curated by Head Chef, Shuaidik Sidek to match the Palace concept, has been crafted to focus on Korean ingredients and traditional dishes.

Start your meal with a Snack ($15) featuring battered spam & cheese on a stick. This playful take on the popular Korean corn dog combines classic spam with mozzarella and gochujang batter for an umami-packed bite. Try the Naengmyeon ($26) – cold sweet potato glass noodles in seafood broth served with tiger prawns and scallops for something more traditional.

88B's Take: The Tteok-Guk is a must-order in our opinion. The rice cakes were chewy, cheesy and had a great mouthfeel, especially when slurped down with the delicious umami bone broth.

Revel in one of the mains, Tteok-Guk ($28), featuring flat and cheesy rice cakes along with braised wagyu shank slices in a 36-hour slow-cooked bone broth. Finally, end your meal with Husik ($12), a house-made mandarin orange ice cream and yuzu jam served on a Belgian waffle.   

Volume 10: Palace is now open until January 2024. Visit Junior the Pocket Bar at 6 Ann Siang Hill, walk-ins only! 


Happy sipping!