Dried octopus sours take on Singapore Slings as island state searches for identity.
When Elex Ng was developing the menu for his new cocktail bar, Nanyang Club, he sought inspiration in a nearby Chinese medicine store. His early experiments with dried mushrooms and herbs were underwhelming. “Then I saw this whole dried-out octopus. I was like: ‘Okay, why not?'” he said.
The result is the Fisherman’s Wife, a very local twist on the classic whisky sour that cuts the flavors of dried octopus and oysters with ginger and citrus. It is the kind of idiosyncratic drink that Ng, who fell into bartending after leaving the army, thinks may come to define the cocktail scene in Singapore, which remains heavily influenced by western and Japanese bar culture.