Homemade: Capirinha

Earlier this year we made the Caprioska which was a simple but delectable drink using vodka, lime and sugar. This time round, we got our hands onto some Cahacha, and decided to try making the true blue brazilian drink – the Capirinha.

Even though we didn’t enjoy the SG cocktail festival as much as we had hoped, our biggest takeaway from the festival was our loot from the artisanal spirits room. In there, we tried our hands on some small batch gins, our Black Cow vodka (which we’ve yet to uncork) and our very first Cahacha!


We picked up Maracatu Cahacha, which is a premium artisan Cahacha that has been exclusively launched in Asia. We tried it neat and was taken aback by how pure it tasted. It’s definitely a strong drink at 38% ABV but has a distinctively fresh and smooth finish reminding you of the sugar cane that it is made from. It’s just so different from any other spirit we’ve ever had!

Since we’ve limited experience with this drink we decided to make the classic and simple Capirinha to see how it holds up in a cocktail.

Ingredients:

  1. Half a lime, cut into quarters
  2. 1 tsp sugar – or 0.5Oz simple syrup
  3. 2 Oz cahacha

Steps: Simply muddle the lime and sugar/syrup in the glass you’re going to serve your drink in and top off with the cahacha. Add ice, stir and enjoy!

Final product:


Verdict:

We are now big fans of cahacha and are excited to experiment with it in the near future! The capirinha is a simple fuss free recipe that elevates the natural sugarcane flavour in the spirit. You have the freshness of the sugar cane, and the lime balances out the sweet flavours and makes this a very smooth drink. We’re hoping to bring it one step further by experimenting with a drink that incorporates pineapple juice – stay tuned for the tropical update!

Places to go: Ah Sam cold drinks stall

Hello thirsty friends!

We’re delighted to be back sharing another great find. Last week, we finally visited Ah Sam cold drinks stall. Just based on its name alone we anticipated that it would feature some classic old Singapore charm – and it sure did not disappoint. However, its bespoke cocktails were far from traditional and instead full of new-age surprises.  It does have 4.3 stars on google reviews so we can’t say we’re surprised at the quality of their cocktails!

Ah sam’s is located in bustling Boat Quay in Singapore overlooking the Singapore river. It’s situated on the same row of shophouses that Spiffy Dapper used to be located at.

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Bustling crowd at boat quay!

You enter through a small unassuming door at the ground level which leads to a short flight of stairs. Ah Sam’s is immediately to your left on the second floor.

File_009If you find yourself in a shady massage parlour, you might have gone too far!

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The interior was a little dark but cosy and the service was really quick. We visited on a busy friday night but quickly got a seat. The bar’s open shelves immediately whet our appetite for some craft cocktails.

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The design was simple, with some long tables and decor featuring some old school posters featuring Singapore’s version of a 1970s “pin-up girl” and some hawker drinkstore decor.

They also offer some local delights such as shrimp paste chicken, you tiao (fried dough fritters) and hokkien mee, but we were going somewhere else for dinner so we did not try any. If their Ngoh Hiang Platter was any cheaper we might have gone for it!

Osmanthus sour: $24


This was our first drink. We asked for something Gin based and interesting but NOT too sweet. They presented their Osmanthus Sour which was golden yellow with a mouthwatering frothy head and a sprinkle of dried osmanthus petals. A mix of floral and herbal to the nose, it reminded us of a mix between chrysanthemum and a lemonlime flavoured fruit pastille but still managed to pack more of a light herbal aftertaste rather than a sweet or sour punch which we both enjoyed. It was definitely different than our usual gin-based cocktails which we appreciated! We forgot to ask what type of gin they used but the alcoholic kick was definitely appreciated. We have seen this drink in a few of their pictures on instagram so it’s probably a favourite that they whip up every so often – but a well deserved favourite in our opinion. A good start to our night!

Whisky Sour – Buffalo Trace $25

This drink was delightful and disappointing at the same time. What we asked for was something whisky based with a citrus profile but NOT the usual whisky sour, but our server misheard us so they still gave us a whisky sour 😦 They used Buffalo Trace bourbon in this which is a Kentucky straight bourbon whisky we’ve not tried before. Despite the miscommunication – this was a well balanced and delightful whisky sour. Slightly sweet, tastefully tart and extremely smooth, this was almost too easy to drink. Almost, because there was still a clear reminder of the bourbon present in this drink. Well played Ah Sam’s, well played.

Spicy Mezcal – Alipus San Luis $24


This was our third drink but our favourite for the night. We asked for something tequila based, but SPICY and boy did they deliver! Instead of tequila they used Alipus San Luis mezcal infused with spicy flavoured Doritos. To that they added lime juice and mango-pineapple syrup, and served it in a cocktail glass with a salt/pepper/?cayenne pepper rim. We were overjoyed because we’ve always wanted to try mezcal and this cocktail with its peppery and smoky goodness really elevated and celebrated this amazing spirit! The spicy rub on the rim hits you first and then the lime juice in this soothes your tongue and balances out the sweet and BBQ smoky profiles in this drink. It’s going to be something we’ll definitely order again when we go back! We are salivating just typing this. BEWARE however, if you have a low spice threshold, this drink is SPICY!

TOTAL DAMAGE:

At $73 before tax for 3 cocktails, this is an expensive joint for a night out. But if you’re serious about your drink (or your date), it’s well worth it.

Verdict:

Ah Sam’s serves great cocktails at a premium pricepoint for those that are tired of those syrupy, grenadine fueled gimmicks. While a little far out with their creations using Osmanthus flowers and even Doritos, we do think that these outlandish flavours do somehow elevate rather than drown out the base spirit in their drinks. That being said, we’ve still not tried their Milo-infused old fashioned and laska flavoured drinks so the final verdict might not yet be out on that note.

THIRSTY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Their spicy mezcal creation wins our vote for being the most “BANG” for the buck!

LOCATION AND DETAILS:

Address: 60 Boat Quay, Singapore 049848
Hours: 6pm-2am Monday to Saturday, Closed on Sundays 
Contact: 6535 0838

 

Homemade: Jackfruit Whisky Sour

A tropical spin on a classic favourite. 

Jackfruit is one of our favourite things to eat. Something about that fleshy succulent texture, pineapple-like sweetness, strong musky aftertaste and an almost alcoholic end-note makes our mouths water. It is precisely this alcoholic note, and the fact that its musky scent seems to linger long after the fruit is enjoyed that inspired us to try it in cocktail. Almost in unison, we exclaimed that it would be perfect in a whisky sour.

We’ve previously talked about whisky sour here in our New York Sour recipe. The ingredients are almost the same as in a classic whisky sour, except that you need half as much simple syrup because jackfruit is already naturally sweet.

Ingredients:

  1. Flesh of 1 ripe jackfruit seed (if slightly unripe, use more!)
  2. Scotch whisky 2 Oz – we used Ballantine’s but you could also use bourbon whisky.
  3. Lemon juice 1 Oz
  4. Simple Syrup 1/2 Oz
  5. 1 egg white

Steps:

  1. Into your shaker, muddle the flesh of one jackfruit seed
  2. Add your egg white, scotch, simple syrup and lemon juice
  3. Dry shake
  4. Add ice, shake and serve
  5. Garnish with a lemon peel and a sliver of jackfruit flesh

Final Product:


Tips:

  • It takes a fair bit of effort to muddle the jackfruit flesh because it is so fibrous but absolutely worth it at the end.
  • We suggest serving it with at least a small sliver of jackfruit flesh so that the sweet musk of the jackfruit hits  your nose as you bring it to your mouth.

Verdict:

This is hands down one of the best recipes we’ve tried with local tropical fruits. It complements what we like best about a good whisky sour. The initial freshness of the lemon still hits the tip of our tongues, followed by the alcoholic wood-smoke kick in the scotch. The musk and sweetness of the jackfruit is the final kicker with a long-lasting aftertaste, giving you the same satisfaction as biting into a sweet juicy jackfruit. We’re excited to try to incorporate more tropical fruits into our repertoire of drinks. Stay tuned for our future experiments!

Love,

S&B

Homemade: Gin mule (moo)

An ice cold Moscow Mule is a classic thirst quencher. When done right, it is a delicate balance of candied ginger, tart with an ice cold alcoholic kick. When done wrong however, it can very easily turn into dilute ginger beer. The gin mule is a twist on this classic recipe.

The name Moscow Mule is a bit of a misnomer. There is definitely no mule in this drink, and you’d be wrong to think that this drink was created anywhere near Russia. The Moscow Mule was in fact created in 1941, by three American men in a Los Angeles bar. The invention of this drink was even less glamourous. The three men, one a spirit distributor, one a ginger beer distributor and the last a bartender in a Los Angeles restaurant came up with this drink to clear out excess stock in the restaurants cellar. The name likely came about due to the association of Vodka with Russia. Imagine that! Apparently this drink became a viral hit in the 1940s shortly after that. The classic copper mug it is served in was also part of a marketing tactic for Smirnhoff when John G Martin (said spirit distributor of the Moscow Mule legend) went all over the country snapping photos of bartenders with a copper mug and a Smirnhoff to drum up popularity for the brand.


Despite the Moscow Mule’s capitalistic beginnings, it is still a tasty and simple recipe for aspiring home mixologists out there. 3 ingredients and 3 steps, it’s a no brainer.

We ran out of the classic Smirnhoff used in this recipe so we tried it first with Absolut – which tasted vile. The vodka didnt come through and there was no freshness to the drink. So very much in the same vein as the humble beginnings of the Moscow Mule, we looked at what spirits we had in our cellar, and chose a citrus centred ginThe Beefeater 24 turning this into a gin mule. We rather call it our Gin Moo!


Our Gin Moo:

Ingredients:

  1. 4 Oz Ginger Beer (we used Bundaberg – our favourite)
  2. 2 Oz Beefeater 24 Gin
  3. 0.5 Oz freshly squeezed lime juice

Steps:

  1. Add lime juice, ice and Gin into a mixing glass
  2. Top off with ginger beer and stir
  3. Serve in a copper mug (if you can!)

Tips:

To crush or not to crush (ice): Pictures of this drink seems to always serve it over crushed ice. That’s traditional, but for our Gin Moo we actually prefer to serve it over large ice cubes so dilution is not such a massive factor. It already has twice the amount of ginger beer to gin, and in the Singaporean climate the ice melts too fast to enjoy this drink through to the end.

Verdict:

A simple to make drink, but it takes a bit of finesse to master. You know you’ll have done a good job when you can taste the candied ginger balanced against a sweet and tart alcoholic finish. Perfect to make in batches for parties as well because it’s so easy to drink. Be careful though, it’s 2oz of spirit a pop. 

Singapore Cocktail Festival Village (SGCF) 2017 – Great ambience, possibly overrated drinks.

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Despite being on call on friday AND sunday of the SGCF weekend, we managed to trudge down to 99 beach road for the 2017 edition of the Singapore Cocktail Festival. The publicity for the event was quite good seeing that we were inundated with loads of ads the weeks leading up to it. Although it could also be that our constant googling for booze related terms somehow tipped off the google and facebook algorithms… Haha!

Retrospective sidenote: How fit is this lady ahead of us in the queue?! 
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We were excited about the 9 different themed cocktail rooms, with a few well known bars in SG showcasing their festival specific creations. Ranging from 28 HKS (which we are still dying to try), Nutmeg and Clove (which we enjoyed here), and Mitzo and crackerjack.With free entry and at $12 a cocktail, it was not hard to convince us to spend our Saturday date night at SGCF instead!

Due to the our packed schedule, we did miss many of the events leading up to the SGCF. There seemed to be a buzz surrounding many local bars with promotions and specials in view of it… but our full time jobs would have none of it!

99 beach road was an interesting location. If we’re not mistaken, it was the site of the old beach road police station with its old conservation buildings. There was an Old-Singapore charm mixed with equal elements of old army camp and all the makings of the perfect ghost story. But with the crowd and the efforts of the organising commitee to dress up the place, its old colonial charm did shine through. The crowd was moderate, which we appreciated.

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The ambience was great with the in house DJ. There was also a dedicated food street selling snacks like truffle fries and other knick knacks, to food ranging from poke bowls to tacos. The food was a little price for the portion size, but pretty decent.

We managed to explore:

  1. Specially made drinks from the congregation of local bars – these drinks reflect Singapore’s urban landscape and cultural diversity. There were drinks such as Lion city sour (sesame oil and chicken rice chilli), Shiok collins (chilli padi infused gin). We dont really like gimmicky drinks so we tried the following:

Mexican Dreams in the foreground and Sippy Cup in the background 

    • Mexican Dreams (Mitzo): This was an interesting drink with the base spirit being a capsicum infused tequila. There were also supposedly other things like lemon juice, lapsang souchong syrup in this drink but it was unfortunately a pretty flat drink with a mild spicy capsicum kick, a sweet body (likely the syrup but no tea) very little else and almost no aftertaste. We did enjoy the frothy head from the egg white though!
    • Sippy Cup: Sipsmith London gin, earl grey tea, green apple, lemon seltzer. This was a very herbaceous drink likely because of the generous sprig of mint, quite refreshing with a little green apple but we did not taste the earl grey which was slightly disappointing.

 

2.         The Artisanal spirits room**

We loved this room! For 19 bucks we had 4 tickets to try different spirits in the room. We went with friends so with 8 tickets between us we had a jolly good time. Typically you get to taste a small sample of the spirit in your tasting cup, then possibly a small amount of cocktail in said cup. I cant say enough good things about this room. Some of our favourites include:

  • Black Cow pure milk vodka – vodka made from the whey byproduct in the production of cheese. These was a very clean tasting vodka. S said that there was a very distinct milky flavour in the vodka – it blew her mind. B was too busy eating the cheese. The Black Cow deluxe cheddar (the same cheese that produces the whey) was oh-so-creamy and went perfectly with the vodka. We bought this vodka in the end. $100 is pretty steep but we can already forsee enjoying this with friends over a cheese platter.


  • Maracatu Cahacha – we’ve never had cahacha neat, but wow the sugarcane aftertaste was so clean and refreshing we could not help but love this. Maybe all Cahacha is like this, we’ll have to try more to find out!

  • Caorunn Gin – B liked this gin. It had a very peppery spicy aftertaste as opposed to the citrus flavours we’re so accustomed to in the Beefeater 24 and Tanqueray.
  • Phraya Rum: This was a delicious aged rum from Thailand. It was dangerously smooth and reminded us of whisky. We’re gonna hunt this down during our next trip to thailand!

3.         Bols and Snow Leopard Room

  • Himalayan Sour: Snow leopard vodka, berries, and definitely fanta grape. Free-pouring looks cool but the quality and colour of the drinks run the gamut. The bartenders were well dressed and charming but it was an uninspiring cocktail soft drink. All we tasted was Fanta grape!

4.       Room of illusions.

This was a cool room with an almost Alice in wonderland theme. There was a pretty cool art-work that changed colours under the UV lights.We had a Paloma here that tasted really sweet and syrupy. Completely missing the freshness and tart that makes the Paloma refreshing and great.

We did miss out on other exciting things such as the Asia bar battle and the workshops partially because we did very little research beforehand and also because there were close to no signs in the festival village telling us what activities were taking place. Also B was working the next day so we had to leave early.

Verdict:

Our favourite was definitely the artisanal spirits room! Small batch spirits made with care, highlighting the quality of its ingredients. We walked away with a couple of winners that we’re excited to try next in our cocktails. The actual cocktails in the cocktail rooms really disappointed us but there’s always next year. These festivals tend to focus more on profit than quality of drink so in the meantime we’ll enjoy some well made and balanced cocktails in reputable local bars instead. We see a few raving reviews on instagram – not sure if we just had the wrong drinks or if its all #instafilter

Homemade: Lavender Sour with just 3 ingredients


 Hello thirsty people!

We’re here with another zinger of a 3 ingredient recipe. This one chronicles our foray into the realm of discovering floral infusions. We’ve never worked with floral flavours before so we made a few interesting discoveries in our trial and error.  Most importantly, we realized how easy it is to infuse powerfully balanced flavours into our drinks.

In this 3 step recipe, we’re harnessing the ease and balance of a classic sour. A basic sour formula incorporates:

  1. 3/4 oz sour
  2. 3/4 oz sweet
  3. 2 oz spirit

Because we’re in Singapore and fresh flowers are not easy to get, we’re working with dried lavender buds for this recipe. The inspiration behind this floral flavour actually came after B’s mom brought home some dried lavender buds meant to make floral tea. The lavender flavour was so subtle on the palate but so refreshing on the nose that we thought we had to try to incorporate it into a cocktail recipe!

Ingredients:

  1. Lavender infused simple syrup 0.5 Oz
  2. Lemon Juice 0.75 Oz
  3. 2 Oz Gin (Tanqueray No. ten)

Steps:

  1. Make lavender simple syrup
    • In a saucepan, mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water until fully dissolved
    • Add in 1 tablespoon of dried lavender buds and simmer until ready over medium heat –  5minutes (you can try it on different heat settings and timings to your taste)
    • Make sure to keep stirring so that your syrup does not burn
    • Sieve into a glass bottle for future use
  2. Mix in a shaker 0.5 oz lavender syrup, 0.75 Oz lemon juice and 2 Oz gin
  3. Add ice, shake and serve

Final Drink:

Tips:

  • Depending on how long you simmer, your syrup will reduce producing different levels of sweetness for your syrup
    • Ours ended up packed with flavour but very sweet so we reduced our measure for our “sweet” ingredient from 0.75 oz to 0.5 oz for in this Sour recipe. Your mileage may vary.
  • Garnish: We chose to serve ours in a cocktail glass with a thin slice of lemon and some lavender buds for that extra lavender kick when you bring your nose to the drink.
  • Infusions: There are many ways to infuse flavours into drinks. You can infuse them into your simple syrup, or infuse them into your alcohol. But given the price of alcohol in Singapore, we’re not yet brave enough to try that in case we mess up! 😄 It’s much cheaper to experiment with simple syrup

Verdict:

This is a sweet and simple floral recipe that is sure to spice up any cocktail party. Very suited for those with a sweet tooth and like delicate flavours. The scent of lavender truly permeates in this drink so a cocktail that complements citrus flavours will stand up stronger against the sweet floral landscape of this drink. Choose wisely!

Coming Up!

For one of our next cocktail adventures – we’re gonna be working with TEA. Hopefully we can add the complexity and slight bitterness of tea to our drinks. Wish us luck!

Love,

S&B

 

Places to go: Ippudo @ Mohamed Sultan and Shaw Centre

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Japanese cuisine and drinks. We’ve already posted about Japanese craft beers and sake in the past, but true to the Singaporean in each of us, we’re even bigger fans of a good deal. So when we were invited by our friends at Yummychitchat to check out the new Choinomi Set Menu launching at Ippudo, we jumped at the chance.


Choinomi is a relatively new age “quick drink” culture in Japan, focused on light drinking at casual restaurants. It’s in contrast to the older heavy-drinking culture where hours will be spent at izakayas with colleagues after work. Focused on socialising with good friends over lighter drinks and good food at lower price points, we’re more than happy that Choinomi culture has now started in Singapore!


Ippudo has long been associated with ramen in Singapore, so we were pleasantly surprised that they will now be launching their new Choinomi Set Menu. For $9.90, you get a choice of an alcoholic drink AND Otsumami– which is a crazy good deal considering $10 can barely get you a beer in some places nowadays. What makes this deal even sweeter is that it runs ALL NIGHT, every day from 5.30pm to closing. No more rushing through dinner to make it before the ever elusive Happy Hour. Score.

Alcohol



We were quite impressed that you can choose from draft beer, bottled beer, highball and sake all for the same price. We tried their Suntory draft beer and the Yamazaki Highball. The drinks here are pretty standard, but a full pint of ice cold beer under 10 bucks is a good day, any day. Also considering that a highball from their existing menu already costs between $12-$16, ordering their Choinomi Set would already save you money and bag you a free snack to go with your drink.

Otsumami (snack)



There is a full range of otsumami on offer. At the Mohamed Sultan branch*, there are 9 choices including classics like Edameme, chicken karage, chicken Namban to Siobuta (grilled pork). We hear that their Shaw Centre branch** will have 11 options with the addition of crab frits and Nasu Miso. If you have a non-drinker amongst you or want more food, you can also separately order 3 otsumami dishes for $15. It’s definitely a steal seeing that the portion size makes it more like an appetiser than a snack.

Yakimono (grilled items)



The Mohamed Sultan branch is also offering Yakimono and we have to say we are officially in love with the Eihire (grilled stingray).


The Eihire reminded us of the freshly grilled squid we enjoyed in Japan but sweeter and less “smelly”. It’s also toasty warm with just the perfect chewiness, avoiding the rubber-like texture that pre-packaged dried squid has. No beer chill-out session will be complete without this now.

Verdict:

All in all, a great place with an unbeatable deal. We love our drinks here at thirsty fridays, but we love our friends more – and we are looking forward to chilling out here with our buddies over great Japanese Street snacks without having to dig too deep into our pockets at the end of the night. That Eihire though, that might do us in.

*Choinomi Set Menu available at Mohd Sultan Branch from 14th March 2017

**Choinomi Set Menu available at Shaw Centre Branch from 21st March 2017

 

Address:

Ippudo @ Mohamed Sultan: 207 River Valley Road, #01-55/56 (Along Mohamed Sultan Road at UE building).

Opening Hours

  • Mon -Thurs: 11.30-3pm; 5.30pm-12am (last order 11pm)
  • Friday: 11.30-3pm; 5.30pm-2am (last order 1am)
  • Saturday: 11.30-12am (last order 11pm)
  • Sunday: 11.30-11pm (last order 10pm)

Ippudo @Shaw Centre:  1 Scotts Road # 04-22/23, Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208

Opening Hours

  • Thurs-Sun: 11.30-10pm (last order for: Side Dish 9.10pm, Ramen 9.20pm)
  • Fri-Sat: 11.30-11pm (last order for: Side Dish 10.10pm, Ramen 10.20pm)

 

Homemade: Gin Fizz

Adding to our recent Gin craze is yet another gin recipe – the Gin Fizz. It’s a classic recipe or so we’ve been told, dating as far back as the 19th century. A fizz is essentially a drink made with lemons and carbonated water, and with that knowledge it is not hard to understand the many variations that have come by since. We’re loving using egg whites in our recent creations and so we’ve made a Silver Fizz = Gin Fizz+Egg White.

Other variations of this drink include:

  • Gin Fizz + Egg Yolk = Golden Fizz
  • Gin Fizz + whole egg = Royal Fizz
  • Gin Fizz + sparking wine instead of carbonated water = Diamond Fizz

The Ramos’ Gin Fizz includes a few other ingredients plus cream which is an interesting version we might try some time.

It’s also a recipe very similar to a Tom Collins with the key difference being that a Tom Collin’s is served with “Old Tom’s Gin”, a gin supposedly sweeter and stronger in botanicals. We’ll never know since it has been discontinued but we hear that there has since been a re-discovery of the recipe with a few distilleries recreating the “Old Tom” recipe.


Ingredients:

  1. 1.5 Oz Gin: We used Bombay Sapphire in this recipe
  2. 3/4 Oz Lemon Juice
  3. 3/4 Oz Simple Syrup
  4. 1 Egg white
  5. Soda water (aka the Fizz)

Steps:

This is actually a really easy recipe:

  1. Add in 1.5 Oz Gin, 3/4 Oz lemon juice and simple syrup
  2. Add in 1 egg white, dry shake
  3. Add ice, shake and serve into a glass
  4. Top with Soda water

Final Product:


Verdict:

This is one easy recipe to have in your repertoire, or impress a date. Since first trying this recipe we’ve been experimenting with different gins. It is really hard to go wrong if you choose a gin that pairs well with citrus fruits. Do try!

 

Love,

S&B

Places to go: Wildseeds Bar/Cafe

In late November last year, the Straits Times published a piece on the new developments in the Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP) including the likes of the already popular The Wheeler’s Estate. Since then, we’ve kept our eyes peeled on the development of this largely forsaken area in Singapore. We had a free weekend recently and went to check out this new spot. Given the size of the crowd, it seems like we’re not the only ones who were spoiling for an adventure this weekend!

Turning in from Seletar Aerospace drive onto Park lane, the first 2 eateries you’ll see is Young’s Bar and Restaurant, and Di Wei Teo Chew Restaurant. Next you’ll see the Summerhouse with its dedicated parking lot, and The Wheeler’s Estate somewhere in the distance. The first thing that got us celebrating was that PARKING IS FREE. YAY! We’re not sure for how much longer, but we are hoping the ulu-ness of this area keeps it as it is. Given how SAP is laid out, you really don’t feel like you’re in Singapore anymore. Each eatery is housed in its own colonial bungalow, and an expanse of greenery and mature trees separates one from another for an old-timey SG feel. We got really chill Saturday brunch vibes from this place. Loved it!

We chose to go to the Wildseed Café/Bar in the Summerhouse since it was relatively new and its menu stood out. We also heard that it had a big selection of gin which was the main draw for us. The Wildseed Café/bar is on the 1st floor of the Summerhouse. The 2nd floor houses the Summerhouse restaurant – Its 3 course dinner menu will set us back about $150 per pax so we’re gonna save this for a special occasion. Their website states that 100% of the garnish they use comes from their in-house garden which is quite impressive in SG!

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Processed with VSCO with a4 presetA bustling crowd for a Sunday late afternoon!

Ambience:

They had a couple of live bands/solo singers for the time we were there and they were not bad! We liked the first guy crooning mostly Ed Sheeran songs – disappointed we didn’t catch his name though. But the music went well with the late noon chillout vibe and cancelled out the constant chatter of the large crowd.

We saw a fair mix in the crowd. Small groups of middle aged folks and younger folks chilling out to the food and music, and also couples out for late noon coffees. The summerhouse is also very family friendly and we saw no shortage of young families with their kids running around in the adjacent turfed court. A really warm and inviting atmosphere we loved.

Food:

We ordered the Currywurst special ($9), Krupuk/Papadam with mango pickle salsa ($8) and Bavette pasta ($16). We have to say that their prices are quite fair for the amount of food we got. Two juicy Currywursts and a slice of bacon with delicious gravy, and the pasta came with three poached eggs! Flavour wise we definitely tasted some Indian influences in the Currywurst and the salsa for the krupuk/papadum. The pasta was ok with the poached eggs being the best part of the dish.

Drinks-wise we went for their Masala Chai Sour ($18) and a G&T made with Lola & Vera gin ($17). We were disappointed that they were out of their “Dark and Stormy” cocktail, made with Auchentoshan three wood whisky, ginger beer and infused with Hickory Smoke. The Auchentoshan three wood has gotten loads of 5 star reviews online so we’ll likely to give it a go if we come back.

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Masala Chai Sour ($18):

This drink was alright. We definitely taste the masala chai and possibly the almond milk vanilla liquer in this but it was a tad sweet. We like that it was served as a warm drink which made it different but perhaps not the right choice for a late sunday afternoon.

Lola and Vera gin ($17):

A Spanish Gin creation made with botanicals that are macerated in apple mash before distillation, it was supposed to taste of citrus and candied ginger. But perhaps a little overdiluted when we had it, and too much cinnamon added into the drink made it hard to enjoy this one.

There were still 2 full pages of Gins from all over the world to select from so perhaps there are other beauties in their menu!

Gosnell’s Elderflower Mead ($15) – Exclusive to Wildseed! EBV 5.5%

We tried this Elderflower mead because it was exclusive to Wildseed. A tad expensive compared to the more generic offerings of corona/asahi dry ($12) but this was an interesting brew. A pale yellow colour with a  very thin head, it had an almost floral nose. Initial taste was strangely herbal (it reminded B of a cold Chinese herbal soup so he did not enjoy this one AT ALL) followed by a honey sweet/elderflower aftertaste that halts quite abruptly. Interesting, but we’ve had better. Sorry Gosnells! 2/5 rating

Verdict:

Nestled in the lush forests in the North of Singapore, its worth checking out for its great vibes. The surrounding gardens and nature makes this location quite unique and a good place for dates and even some family fun. Food and drinks were ok but $18 a cocktail is quite the deal and portions are fair. Fair potential for a regular chill-out spot if they improve their drinks. We’ll give it another chance in the next few months!

Ambience: 4/5

Family Friendly: 5/5

Food: 3.5/5

Drinks: 3/5

Value for money: 4/5

 

Places to go: World of Whisky (Sentosa, Le Meridien hotel)

This place was an accidental find for us. But boy are we glad to have stumbled upon it! There are quite a few Whisky Bars in Singapore but for some reason they tend to be quite under-advertised. Whisky is quite an acquired and understated taste, and perhaps enjoys less limelight that other bars or pubs. On the back of the increasing whisky-drinking culture in Singapore, S’s longtime love of whisky, and B’s love of Mad Men (haha), we’re more than a little excited to share this great place.

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On our recent staycation in Sentosa we chanced upon this lovely Whisky Bar. Located right next to the Merlion and within walking distance from Imbiah station, the Le Meridien hotel (Formerly Movenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa) has an amazing colonial-esque façade – within which lies a beautifully modern and tastefully curated interior design. 


Just its grand and classic foyer with its high ceilings and modern furnishings juxtaposed with wooden elements and its lush green accent wall was enough to make us go WOW, much less the actual World of Whiskey (WoW) bar situated within. We’re now very tempted to start planning our next staycation!

WoW itself was eye-catching with its refined dark wood interior. It reminded us of a cosy ski lodge in the Swiss Alps with its oversized solid teak table, unique kerosene lamp chandelier, large comfortable couches, and floor to ceiling dark wood barshelves stacked full. The only thing lacking in this place is a fireplace! For a more communal feel you can sit at the main table with other hotel guests/tourists, but for a cosy date like the one we had you can sit in the lounge area and admire the full shelves.

Entrance with its unique kerosene lamp chandelier and massive communal teak table

Cosy lounge with sofas and an impressive Whisky Library.

WoW is a collaboration with Hotel Waldhaus am See in St. Moritz, Switzerland which houses Devil’s Place, the whisky bar in the Guiness World Record books for the largest whisky collection. Boasting more than 250 whiskies from Scotland, WoW is a far cry from the 2500 in Devil’s Place, but impressive nonetheless. It has many premium cast strength bottling and single cask offerings, some of which are not even available in the market! It also serves a la carte tapas and other spirits and cocktails to satisfy other tastes, making it a good place to chill even with friends who are not whisky connoisseurs.

The massive menu made us spoilt for choice with whiskies ranging from under $20 to over $300 per dram. To put things into perspective we strongly prefer Japanese whiskies but this place challenged all of that! We managed to settle on 2 options for the night, the Benriach and Aberlour.

Benriach (Claret Wine Wood Barrel Finish) –16 Year – Original bottling at 46% Alc

$35 per dram/ $516 per bottle

 

This was an awakening for us. An alluring bright orange colour, it had spicy notes dancing on our tongues but mostly existing as sweet fruits in our noses. Rich with a very long finish flavouring each breath. We really enjoyed this one.

Aberlour A’bunadh (Oloroso Sherry Butt) – Original bottling at 60.3% Alc

$29 per dram

Darker in colour, this mahogany beauty reminded us immediately of The Macallan on the first whiff. Afterwards we realized that it was because A’bunadh is similarly exclusively matured in first-fill Oloroso sherry butts. It had hints of caramel and maple syrup on our noses. On the palate, caramel, dried raisins nutmeg and oak with a peppery aftertaste.

We’re not yet whisky connoisseurs, so we’ll leave the fanciful complex tasting notes to the pros out there. 

Whisky sour:

$18 per glass

To be honest, this was disappointing. There was something in the cocktail that tasted like artificial flavouring. We should have known since we did not see a dedicated bartender over at the bar mixing drinks. Next time we’ll skip the cocktails.

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Verdict:

This is a great place for whisky in its purest form! The only downside to this place is the location but we’ll definitely visit again if we’re ever in need for a drink in the South of Singapore. It’s a great place to chill with like minded friends or bring a date that you want to impress. Stick with their whiskies and you shouldn’t be disappointed! 

TOTAL DAMAGE:

Around $77 for 2 dram of whiskey and 1 glass of cocktail. We signed u for the free Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) membership and got 20 percent off our bill! 

THIRSTY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Any whiskey on the menu! We were so spoilt for choice that we searched online for recommendations. 

LOCATION AND DETAILS:

World of Whiskey (WoW) Bar (Sentosa, Le Meridien Hotel)

Address

23 Beach View, 098679

Opening Hours

Daily, 5pm – 11pm

Contact

+65 6818 3305

Website (for reservations as well)

http://www.lemeridiensingaporesentosa.com/the-wow