CÉ LA V Presents: The Evolution of Cocktails and Bar Mixology
The art of mixology is a venerable craft, woven into the very fabric of nightlife, encapsulating the science, skill, and creativity necessary to prepare exceptional cocktails. Once confined to the secret nooks of speakeasies or the hallowed interiors of drinking places, mixology has emerged as an integral part of modern culture. In cosmopolitan hubs like Singapore, cocktail bars like CÉ LA VI elevate the craft of mixology, contributing to a vibrant and diverse cocktail landscape.
The History of Cocktails
From Prohibition-era classics to modern Asian-inspired concoctions, the journey of the cocktail is one that mirrors the richness and diversity of human history. Whether it's aperitivos from Italy or the tiki extravagances of mid-century America, each era and locale has made a unique contribution to this ever-evolving art form.
The Origins: Pre-19th Century
Long before cocktails graced the menus or became the focal point of a romantic dinner date, their earliest iterations were rudimentary. A mixture of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters served medicinal and recreational purposes. These were humble beginnings indeed, far removed from the refined concoctions that we associate with modern cocktail bars.
The Golden Age: Late 19th to Early 20th Century
The late 19th and early 20th centuries ushered in what many consider the Golden Age of cocktails. Bartenders began to experiment, leading to the creation of enduring classics like the Martini and the Manhattan. The Prohibition era in the United States paradoxically became a crucible for creativity, as bartenders were forced to concoct clever drinks to mask the taste of inferior alcohol.
Post-War Exuberance: Mid-20th Century
In the aftermath of World War II, the cocktail scene witnessed a renaissance. Tiki culture took centre stage, with extravagant beverages that fused rum with tropical juices, embodying the exuberance of post-war America. In Europe, the aperitivo culture in Italy was refined, giving birth to iconic cocktails like the Negroni and the Aperol Spritz.
Modern Evolution: Late 20th to 21st Century
In recent decades, the globalisation and fusion of cultures have profoundly influenced the world of cocktails. Cities such as Singapore have evolved into melting pots, harmonising an array of culinary and mixological traditions from around the globe. This evolution has paved the way for innovative trends, including the use of exotic ingredients and cutting-edge gastronomic techniques like molecular mixology, signifying a marked departure from the cocktails' humble roots.
From Past to Present: Iconic Cocktails That Have Stood the Test of Time
While today's cocktail scene dazzles with ingenuity and modern-day techniques, there are certain iconic beverages that have stood the test of time. These classics, each with their unique origin stories and flavour profiles, are the pillars upon which modern mixology is built.
1. The Martini: Elegance in a Glass
Originating in 19th-century United States, the Martini epitomises refinement. This cocktail, often made with gin and dry vermouth, has become a symbol of American sophistication. Variations abound, but the classic Martini remains a staple in cocktail bars worldwide, from New York to Singapore.
2. The Margarita: A Mexican Fiesta
The Margarita is a zesty concoction that embodies the spirit of Mexico. Comprising tequila, triple sec, and lime juice, this cocktail first burst onto the scene in the 20th century. Whether served on the rocks or blended into a frozen delight, the Margarita is synonymous with celebration.
3. The Old Fashioned: A Timeless Classic
Dating back to the early 19th century, the Old Fashioned is a testament to cocktail purity. Built with bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, bitters, and water, this iconic drink has remained largely unchanged over the years. Its appeal lies in its simplicity, making it a favoured choice for purists who appreciate a more traditional drinking experience.
4. The Mojito: A Cuban Delight
A Cuban classic, the Mojito encapsulates the essence of summer in a glass. Made with white rum, mint, lime, sugar, and soda water, this refreshing cocktail dates back to the 16th century. Its invigorating taste profile has made it a beloved staple in tropical-themed bars worldwide.
5. The Singapore Sling: A Local Icon
Standing tall among these international titans is Singapore's very own Singapore Sling. Created in the early 20th century, this cocktail captures the essence of the city-state. A harmonious blend of gin, cherry brandy, and fresh pineapple juice results in a kaleidoscopic medley of sweet, sour, and fruity notes. The Singapore Sling has become a symbol of Singapore's nightlife, often enjoyed at famous clubs and cocktail bars.
Elevating Mixology: CÉ LA VI's Masterful Blend of Tradition and Innovation
As pinnacles of nightlife in Singapore, CÉ LA VI’s Restaurant, SkyBar, and Club Lounge elevate the art of mixology to new, unparalleled heights. Our renowned rooftop cocktail bar offers breathtaking city views, masterfully blending tradition and innovation within its exceptional cocktail repertoire. Take, for example, the Trip to Japan — a mesmerising creation that whisks you away to the Land of the Rising Sun with its vibrant amalgamation of yuzu fruit, honey, and rose.
Honouring Singapore's iconic contribution to the global cocktail scene, the Singapore Sling is not only revered but also reimagined here, with a unique CÉ LA VI flair. For those with a penchant for quintessential Asian flavours, the Pha Sing Fly presents a captivating mixture of calamansi, plum, and lemongrass. At CÉ LA VI’s rooftop SkyBar, cocktails transcend mere beverages; they are thoughtfully curated experiences, intricately crafted to tantalise your palate and ignite your senses. Want to explore more of our signature creations? Read more about our exceptional mixed drinks.
Sip Through Time at CÉ LA VI Skybar
Embark on a captivating journey through the rich history of mixology at CÉ LA VI's Restaurant, SkyBar or Club Lounge. Indulge in curated drink promotions and pair your favourite creations with an array of delightful finger food for an elevated cocktail experience. Perfect for a ladies' night out or a romantic dinner date, our cocktail bar serves as a place of refined luxury, providing a haven for both aficionados and newcomers.