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Up The Stairs and Into the Gibson Bar: Classy Meets Comfort at this Cozy Shophouse Bar

Nestled on the second story of a heritage shophouse in Bukit Pasoh, Gibson is a cozy bar inspired by the classic Gibson cocktail - a mixed drink of gin and dry vermouth that's often regarded as the cousin of the Martini. 

Once you've journeyed up an unassuming staircase inside the shophouse, you're greeted by a cozy, dimly-lit space, illuminated mainly by a green and yellow stain-glassed back bar. The vibe reminds me of those 1900s-era retro taverns, except with a touch of added elegance and much-needed air conditioning in this Singapore heat. 

Gibson launches a new cocktail menu each year, and during my visit, their current cocktail menu features a series of drinks inspired by the supermarket. The bartender tells me it's an ode to the experience of grocery shopping, without any of the pushy salespersons, harsh lighting and long queues. 

Watermelon Spritz ($28++), a reimagination of the classic Aperol Spitz that uses watermelon and feta cheese - no doubt inspired by the Mediterranean watermelon and feta salad! 

One of my favourite drinks of the night is the Watermelon Spritz, a refreshing Mediterranean-inspired take on the Aperol Spritz. This drink uniquely combines Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Aperol and moscato with a homemade watermelon cordial that's made from crumbled feta and slow juiced watermelon! Don't be fooled by the use of feta cheese, as the resultant tipple is neither cheesy or pungent. Instead, it's bright, fruity and lush with a balanced, rounded mouthfeel. Special mention should also go to the meringue garnish, made with watermelon scraps and feta cheese as well - so delicious on its own! 

Mussel toast with nduja butter ($16++): Not my favorite bar snack of the night as I felt the bread toast was a little too soft but the nduja butter was really tasty! 

I'm noticing a pattern here with Gibson Bar's drinks - the bar team here seems to enjoy taking mainstream, classic cocktails and elevating them through the use of new techniques or novel ingredients!

Very Blue Bananas ($28++), a Tiki classic recreated with spirulina and homemade banana wine. I also really loved the decadent coconut-vanilla cream foam! 

A case in point is the Very Blue Bananas, a recreation on the Tiki classic Blue Hawaii. Yet, while the original Blue Hawaii uses a combination of blue colouring and artificial syrups, Gibson's Very Blue Bananas uses spirulina to achieve its striking blue appearance. Layered with a warm, creamy cococonut-vanilla foam for added body and subtle tropical sweetness, the base cocktail itself is made from Gibson's own banana wine and banana-infused Codigo blanco tequila. 

Born to Be Corn ($28++), a delightful combination of corn silk tea and popcorn infused bourbon!

Highball lovers might also enjoy the Born to Be Corn cocktail - it's lightly carbonated and aromatic with sweet butterscotch, corn and vanilla notes. To make this, the team infuses Maker's Mark Bourbon with roasted sweet corn kernels and pop corn, before mixing it up with cold brew carbonated corn silk tea. 

A cute lil mint and strawberry garnish on their Swanky Panky ($28++) cocktail, made with basil-infused gin and freeze dried strawberries.

The drinks here are well-executed and obviously made with a lot of care, yet its clear that despite the drink programme's sophistication, you're not likely to encounter any pretension here. The bartenders were all equal parts playful and professional - literally, they were all sporting a pair of shorts with their blazers! - and really took the time to explain the different options while helping patrons to choose a drink that would best suit their tastes. 

Overall, this place boasts great drinks, friendly service and cozy vibes! It also doesn't hurt that Gibson is also quite conveniently located near the CBD, making it quite the ideal spot to relax and unwind after a day's work. 

 

Visit Gibson Bar

2nd Floor, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089834, (Outram MRT Exit 4)

Sun - Mon: 6pm to 12am; Wed-Thur: 6pm to 1am; Fri-Sat: 6pm to 2am; Closed on Tuesdays; Happy Hour: opening to 8pm

 

@lotusroot518