Hot! beGIN – A new Gin haven with Indian and British influences nestled at Boat Quay


CONTENT:Yiew Kai Jie

Situated on the second floor at Singapore’s oldest traditional english pub at Boat Quay, The Penny Black, beGIN is an illusive industrial gin nirvana which boasts a wide variety of over 50 gins from various countries. The possibilities are endless with this classic spirit, either sip it neat, drown it with tonic, or have it in a cocktail!

A short walk up an industrial-esque staircase will lead you to the moodily-lit speakeasy bar. Composed of exposed brickwork and raw concrete walls, the rustic interior eludes to the time period during Britain’s Industrial Revolution and the Gin Craze from the late 1760s to 1850s. It’s simply impossible to miss the flashing, hot pink neon sign “beGIN” that lies behind a well-stocked bar which dominates the bar space.

Once you’ve chosen your cosy spot in the bar, you will be promptly served with complimentary Papadam with Onion Raita dip that are perfect to pair with the evening’s drinks and are incredibly light on the palate.

Gin Flight

For all the gin aficionados out there, there is simply no better way to study the history of gin than by tasting it! Get the night started with the Gin Flight (S$28) – tasting drams of four different types of gin, each of them representing the crowning glory of its era. Commence the lesson with The Foundation of Gin (35% alc), the oldest gin in the series that reflects the original method of distilling gin in the 13th century by the addition of medicinal juniper berries were added to soften and mellow the harsh malt spirits.

Next up in the flight, Hayman’s Old Tom Gin (40% alc,) forms a bridge between the traditional and London Dry gins. Born in the 16th century during the Gin Craze, the British distilleries made and improved their own rendition of gin based on the original recipe given to them by the Dutch. Finally, conclude the lesson by experiencing the First Gin Renaissance and modern day gins with the familiar Tanqueray London Dry Gin (47.3% alc) and Hendrick’s Gin (41.4% alc).


If you prefer your gin to be served via a cocktail concoction, beGIN has a wide range of tipples that are sure to leave you with a warm and fuzzy buzz at the end of your night. The unassuming looking signature Jagmohan (S$25) cocktail packs a serious punch of flavour due to its influence from Northern India in the spice trade during the 18th century. Intended to bring about an all-rounded sensory experience, the spices in the drink are extremely robust and strong which might be off-putting if you are not used to a very strong cocktail, but there are chips on the side with tomato, chili and ginger chutney to balance out the taste.

If you prefer a more flowerly/herbal remedy, the Lavender (S$25) cocktail balances mystery with a great all-rounder taste that will appeal to most tipple drinkers at the bar. Drawing inspiration from HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s ravishing lavender garden, the smoke that comes out of the glass tube has an aroma of dried lavender and gives off a sense of illusion. Once the glass tube is lifted and the smoke slowly dissipates, get your cameras ready for the grandeur showcase as the invisible cocktail unveils itself behind the veil of smoke!


Apart from the signature range, The matcha-infused Yukie (S$22) was the best cocktail of the night, due to the harmonious balance of matcha infusion with the egg white foam for a tangy citrus-green tea finish. However the matcha powder laced onto the rim of the glass was the devil of the cocktail- due to its gritty texture that did not compliment an otherwise smooth drink.


The Koko (S$22) cocktail was beGIN’s rendition of an Old Fashioned cocktail. Swapping out the whisky for cocoa-infused rum, this will be a definite favourite if you’ve still got your sweet tooth! Garnished with a dehydrated orange cup that ignites when the absinthe on it is lighted up, this fiery concoction will leave you coming back for more!

Nacho del Goa

If you’re feeling a little peckish or looking to pair your drinks with some sustenance, there are a wide range of bar snacks that are inspired by the colonial period in India with just a tinge of British fusion in them. Regardless if it’s something traditional like their Crab bomb-a (S$13 for 5 pcs) snacks which is beGin’s take on the classic Indian street food or a timeless classic like the Nacho del goa (S$15 for 5 pcs) which involves lightly grilled prawns coated with a buttery northern Indian sauce with a side of tomatoes and onion yoghurt, there will be something for everyone to ensure that you don’t pass out too early from the gintastic time you’ll be having with your friends at beGin!

BeGin is located at 27a Boat Quay, The Penny Black 2nd floor, Singapore 049817. Open daily: Mondays to Thursday 5pm -1am, Friday & Saturday 5pm – 2am

For reservations, please call: +65 6538 0584, or email:

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