The dragonfly symbolises love, growth, new development, and adaptability. In other words, a transformation. It is with that precise thought in mind that Bar Terumi has concocted its Chapter 3 menu, focusing on the transformation of classic cocktails—with tenderness, Terumi style.
In our recent exploration of Bar Terumi’s new menu, we found that the cocktails are spread across five categories: Highball/Fizz, Daisy, Foamy, Stirred, and Director’s Edition. As the categories progress, you’ll find that the drinks are increasingly more spirit-forward and higher in alcohol strength. Within the categories itself, the flavours of the drinks progress from lighter to heavier as you go down the menu. The Director’s Edition, on the other hand, is owner-head bartender Shirmy Chan‘s signature drinks from past years that don’t necessarily fit into any of the first four categories—and those who have been following Chan’s career for the past decade will know what her signatures are.
Any seasoned imbiber (like myself) will tell you the best way to start the night at a bar is with an easy, refreshing drink. It preps you for the coming cocktails that you will have throughout your time there, ensuring you don’t tap out too quickly. Try Yuhi, which is their twist on the Paloma cocktail. Inspired by the evening sun, it exudes a nice smoky flavour thanks to the mezcal, while the chilli liqueur gives this light and easy drink a nice little kick. If spicy cocktails aren’t up your alley, try the Shinrin-yoku. An eastern version of the Americano cocktail, it’s an easy drink but with an additional layer of flavour thanks to the rooibos tea infusion.
Do you like your cocktails with a tangy twist? Then you should pick a cocktail from the Daisy category, which features a prominent citrus flavour profile with no ice. For a Japanese rendition of the Margarita, try the Hoja. Chan reintroduces this classic with more layers, depth, and complexity. It’s powered by hojicha, which packs in a pronounced green, powdery flavour balanced out by hints of strawberry. Want a combination of the Bee’s Knees and the Sidecar cocktails but with a tea-like quality to it? Then order the Kiku, which translates to “Chrysanthemum” in Japanese. To make it more interesting, Chan and her team has added some exciting flavours for complexity, and also a garnish of chrysanthemum water jelly for extra fun and texture.
Speaking of fun, there is a cocktail in the Daisy section that deserves a shout for something that is equal parts tasty and great for the ‘Gram. Introducing East Pier, a dessert cocktail with three components: the cocktail, the sorbet, and the dill “caviar”. Take a sip of the drink, a gin-based Gimlet-like concoction and then scoop up some of the caviar alongside the yuzu sorbet.
Soft, smooth, with a fun foam on top—these make up the cocktails in the Foamy section of the new menu at Bar Terumi. It’s when you’ve settled in and want a drink that One easy way to annoy your bartender is to ask for a Ramos Gin Fizz cocktail—yet Bar Terumi has created a cocktail inspired by it. Like its inspiration, the Murasaki also requires plenty of shaking to create that signature, mountain-high foamy top. This version is powered by vodka and baijiu, with a concoction of purple sweet potato, milk, cream, lemon, and soda water for a creamy flavour.
Within the Foamy section you’ll also find a classic favourite with a local flavour: Mr Fukuro. It’s a twist on the Espresso Martini but powered with fernet and sea salt. Deliciously sweet and strong with espresso, it tastes just like a Kopiko sweet would, but with a boozy kick.
Finally, we come to the Stirred section of the menu, where cocktails are spirit-forward and boozy—certainly not for the faint of heart. Start sweet with the Ganbaru, a twist on the Old Fashioned with a Pedro Ximenez (PX) Sherry base and a smooth, rich mouthfeel thanks to the brown butter-washed whisky. If you’re feeling adventurous, try something savoury, like the Truffle Dog. It is Bar Terumi’s version of a martini, made with truffle oil-infused vodka and parmesan cheese. End your night with a pretty and powerful drink: the Himitsu, a startlingly aesthetic blue-hued drink based on the Aviation cocktail. Instead of cherry liqueur, Chan and her team have swapped it with violet liqueur and lychee, with a base of mezcal. It’s sweet but with a smoky mouthfeel thanks to the mezcal, resulting in a punchy drink that looks as good as it tastes.