SINGAPORE, 28 JUNE – Step into 28 HongKong Street, where our favourite team is stirring up more than just world-class cocktails. This season, they unveil their latest masterpiece: the DR-INK! cocktail menu, an homage to the art form that adorns the skin of 99% of their beloved team members – tattoos.

The essence of DR-INK! lies in its clever wordplay that intertwines DRINK, their renowned cocktail craftsmanship, with INK, a symbol of the team’s canvases of self-expression. Local tattoo artists have left their mark on the menu, creating a spectacular fusion of art and mixology. We sat down with Lukas Kaufmann, General Manager of 28 HongKong Street, and Tamaryn Cooper, Head Bartender, to delve into this groundbreaking collaboration.

Lukas Kaufmann, General Manager

Tamaryn Cooper, Head Bartender

We’re excited! Will you spill the beans on what got the party started for this menu shake-up?

Kaufmann: It all started with wanting our menu to reflect the evolution of 28 HongKong Street. We’ve got this young, energetic crew, all about pushing boundaries and exploring what’s next. We were brainstorming new concepts, throwing around wild ideas, when Tamaryn hit us with ‘tattoos’. With almost the whole team inked up, it felt right; it’s a big part of who we are.

Cooper: We also wanted to bring a piece of Singapore’s vibrant art scene to our customers’ glasses. So, we reached out to talented tattoo artists and said, “Let’s make art you can drink.” And, wow, did they deliver! Their artwork didn’t just inspire our cocktail creations; it became an intrinsic part of our menu’s DNA, a celebration of our community, and our love for spirited craftsmanship.

How did the collaboration with local artists influence the final lineup of drinks? Can you give us a taste of how it all came together?

Cooper: Our goal was clear. We wanted to infuse the menu with a taste of Singapore, echoing its architectural marvels, rich cuisine, and dynamic streets, all while tipping our hats to our American roots. The intention was for the drink designs to capture the spirit of tattoo artistry, characterised by its bold strokes, detailed motifs, and the kind of appeal that draws you in.

Take our “Sip & Slide” cocktail, for example. Honest Bob Tattoo spotlighted the iconic Toa Payoh Dragon Playground. This drink, made with Mancino Bianco Vermouth and Scrappy’s Orange bitters, offers a taste of the community spirit of Singapore’s transformation during the 70s and 80s.

Kaufmann: Oh, and the “River City Paloma” by Ocean Tattoo – it’s a real gem. Their design celebrates our local icons, the otters, by embracing their lively escapades into urban spaces. To complement this, we selected Los Siete Misterios Doba-Yej Mezcal for the cocktail, reflecting a spirited, refreshing, and whimsical approach that mirrors Singapore’s dynamic city life blended seamlessly with its serene waterways.

Midnight Mirage, created with Mitcher's US*1 Single Barrel Straight Rye and Mitchter’s Small Batch Bourbon

Burung Bathikan, made with Mancino Vermouth Sakura

There’s a buzz that the menu captures the essence of 28 while adding a twist of modernity and sophistication. How did you strike that balance?

Kaufmann: That was the challenge! 28 has always had a unique vibe – casual yet refined, playful yet polished. In changing the menu, we were committed to preserving that distinctive ’28 essence’ that our guests have come to love, all the while venturing a bit further to add another layer of creativity and enjoyment. When we decided to update the menu, our goal was to keep that ’28 essence’ our guests love while adding fresh layers of creativity and enjoyment.

And guess what? We’ve even added a salad to the mix! Now you can enjoy Large Sashimi-Grade Oysters with our 28 HKS Cocktail Sauce or a Burrata and Avocado Salad with a killer Matcha Miso Dressing. We’re catering to what our customers want – health-conscious light bites. Don’t worry, favourites like Mac & Cheese Balls and Brussels & Bacon are here to stay. And for those with a sweet tooth, our Doughnut accompanied by Toffee Cream, Brownie Crumbs, and Handcrafted Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream will be your new obsession.

Cooper: Exactly. People are always looking for something new and something interesting but at the end of the day, we always go back to what we know and what we are comfortable with. We’ve preserved a selection of the ’28 Classics’ – those timeless favourites that have cemented their place in the hearts of our regulars. This strategic mix caters to both the thrill of discovery and the warmth of nostalgia, embodying what 28 truly represents – unparalleled experiences complemented by extraordinary cocktails, a cool team and great vibes & bites.

Before we wrap up, what’s your personal favourite cocktail on the menu, and why? And any funny tattoo tales?

Cooper: We all have this ongoing love affair with Monster Energy drink—it’s pretty much our team’s fuel. So, we thought, why not bring that vibe into our cocktail menu? We mix it up with Tried & True Vodka and Monster Energy Ultra Paradise Air. It’s vibrant, it’s punchy, and honestly, it’s like an insider joke turned into a menu favourite.

Now when it comes to tattoos, our team is pretty inked up. It’s almost like a badge of honour around here. Except for Sarang—she’s still on the fence about getting her first one. But give it time, I’m sure she’ll join the club.

Kaufmann: Tamaryn is our tattoo queen, with Yvonne and I not far behind. A few of us, including Dan, Tamaryn, Lukas, and Chef Mel, even sport those bold ‘job stoppers’, basically any visible tattoo that can’t be hidden with a formal suit. And Shaina is quickly catching up with her first two pieces in just a few months.

But here’s a fun one: Tamaryn has this tattoo that reads “no more shots”, which, ironically, only fuels our insistence on offering her just one more shot. Then there’s Lin, who took her love for the team to the next level with a tiny ‘28’ logo tattoo on her ankle. You can definitely spot a 28 alumni from their 28 tattoos. It’s little moments and stories like these that really make our team feel more like a family.

28 HongKong Street's New Food Items

Featuring an impressive lineup of 32 cocktails, each meticulously crafted and adorned with captivating tattoo designs, this menu promises an exhilarating exploration of taste and art. Mark your calendars for DR-INK! and be part of the exclusive launch of this vibrant cocktail experience at 28 HongKong Street.

Welcome to DR-INK!, where each sip tells a story.