Vijay Mudaliar’s first venue, Native, was the second-ever winner of the Sustainable Bar Award at The Word’s 50 Best Bars 2019 – and now the bartender does it again. His new place, Analogue Initiative, emerges on top from the audit performed by the Sustainable Restaurant Association that determines the winner of the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award 2023.
Rather than taking an existing bar and forcing a sustainable ethos on it, Mudaliar created each aspect of his latest Singapore concept based on sustainability. Take, for instance, the 3D-printed bar, which took five months to be crafted from 1,600kg of recycled plastic bottles. Or even the tabletops, which are grown – yes, grown – from mycelium spores, a type of fungus.
When Mudaliar embraces an idea, he does it wholeheartedly, as both the cocktail and food menus at Analogue Initiative prove. The team eschews over-farmed products like beef, milk and eggs in favour of ‘analogous ingredients’, primarily those local to the area around Singapore, seeking to put biodiversity first.
Here, carob replaces chocolate, tonka bean takes the place of vanilla, and coffee loses out to chicory. The menus aren’t only entirely vegan, but also cater to a variety of allergies and intolerances; what’s more, all cocktails can be enjoyed either with or without alcohol, ensuring that no one at Analogue Initiative needs to compromise.
For cocktail inspiration, the team looks to the future. The bar’s signature serve pays homage to the cactus, based on the idea that heat-resistant plants from the cacti and succulent family will become more widespread in the wake of global warming. The purple-hued cocktail takes its aromas from prickly pear, pink dragon fruit and aloe vera, combined with mezcal. On the food menu, recipes such as pumpkin dumplings topped with chilli oil, spring onion and garlic crisps are rapidly becoming classics.
Analogue Initiative aims to be a fully inclusive venue and it’s for this reason that the bar slopes down at one corner, ensuring that those with wheelchairs and personal mobility devices can be accommodated. It also strives to prioritise its workforce, offering the team opportunities for professional development, sustainability masterclasses, diversity and inclusion training, and much more. Analogue Initiative is proving that it is possible to craft creative, delicious drinks without compromising on sustainability – the true mission of any Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award winner.
The Sustainable Bar Award is given to the venue that achieves the highest environmental and social responsibility rating as determined by 50 Best’s audit partner, the Sustainable Restaurant Association. All establishments on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 1-100 list were invited to enter the award via self-nomination and each entry was assessed across three main pillars: sourcing, society and environment.