The first concept shines the spotlight on agave

Singapore has pretty much become the region's undisputed cocktail capital, especially with Manhattan sitting on the top of this year's Asia's 50 Best Bars list, alongside 12 other bars that also made the list; most of which you can already guess, accompanied by some newcomers in the past year. Here’s a new one that’s just opened, and we’re keeping our eyes on them.

The same team behind 28 HongKong Street, Proof & Company and Crackerjack has recently unveiled their latest brainchild, Junior, that’s meant to showcase The Proof Company’s creative flair and personality. This intimate pocket bar can seat only 10 people at any one time and is housed within Crackerjack. You’ll be able to access it by the back alley (you won’t miss it because there’s a signage hanging above the entrance). However, if the bar is already full, you’re welcome to wait at Crackerjack and the host will let you know when they’re ready for you.

Much like art galleries with their ever-changing exhibitions, Junior plans to rotate and present two original concepts with one core topic as its focus every six months. This gives the collective a chance to, as Zdenek Kastanek, General Manager of Junior (and 28HKS and Crackerjack) puts it, “explore crazy, creative ideas”, “experiment in areas of interest and to celebrate concepts in a way that some of the world’s largest and most mature cocktail cities have not been able to do”.

With such an intimate setting, you’ll be able to have a super personalized experience where you can explore spirits you’ve probably never heard of before, drink specialty cocktails and eat food that are in line with the on-going concept; all while interacting with the team at the same time.

While the bar is all decked out with leather high chairs, wooden panels and blue detailing on the walls for a touch of color, everything from the décor to music, and right down to the uniforms, will be changed to reflect the concept for the season. For the first concept, titled Norma (short for Norma Oficial Mexicana), the team has laid out handmade luminaries and traditional black clay candle holders to light the tables, along with a personal collection of black and white photos of street scenes in Oaxaca Jalisco by tequila legend and global mescal ambassador, Phil Bayly; personal ones from his own travels in Mexico and a couple from the 1910s processed from a roll of film he got off a Mexican photographer.

This concept celebrates the standards of Mexican spirits like tequila, as well as the craft and tradition of agave spirits with a selection of over 100 different bottles of fine tequila, mescal and other lesser known Mexican spirits, most of which have been hand-carried from the motherland back to Singapore. This new cocktail menu will bring you on a whole new world of agave spirits, especially if you’re new to them.

You can either go for curated tasting flights consisting of three 30ml tasting portions ($46-55) which are rotated weekly and are served with small plates like chili bak kwa with parmesan or slices of orange with sel de gusano to help refresh your palate, or try out their small list of house cocktails like the Raicilla When I See Ya ($22), a smoky and dry concoction of La Venenosa Raicilla Costa de Jalisco with passionfruit shrub, fino sherry and mint served in a black ceramic skull. But if you prefer sticking to your guns, you can opt for classic cocktails like the after-dinner drink Grasshopper ($24), remixed with Don Fulano Fuerte Tequila and Tempus Fugit creme de menthe and cacao.

If you’ve got the munchies, they also have street style tacos (1 for $7, 3 for $20) or chips with homemade salsa or guacamole ($7, or $12 for both dips) to go along with your drinks.

Junior is located at 43 Tanjong Pagar Rd. (entrance via alleyway behind Crackerjack) and operates on Wed-Sat from 7pm-midnight.