Homemade: A Sloe Fizz

Wow. We’ve had a few busy weeks but managed to unwind recently with a new find. B’s mum came back from UK with a couple of surprises and we’ve been experimenting ever since!

Monkey 47 hails from the depths of the Black Forest in South Germany, an area known for it’s fruit liquers. In fact, their distiller, Christoph Keller was also previously known for his fruit brandies. It’s no surprise then, that its 47 different botanicals come through as a unique blend of citrus and woody notes. Given that in 2011, Monkey 47 was named best gin in the world at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, we were more than a little bit excited to give it a try.

Out of the classic dry gin and the Sloe gin, the Sloe piqued our interest the most and so it was the first one we tried!


At first glance, the packaging is beautiful. With its medicine bottle shape and a metal ring around the cork, it’s unlike many of the other more modern style gins we’ve had. Perhaps we’re more a fan of the retro style, as we were equally enthralled by the Hendricks’ packaging way back then. The classic bottling is perfect even for a gin as young as the Monkey 47, surprisingly created only in 2008 especially since it was produced as a nod to its inspiration – the Schwarzwald Dry Gin and Max the Monkey, an animal dear to the creator of the Original, Montgomery Collins.
The Sloe Gin.

It’s a dark plum purple colour, and when brought up to the light you can see the unfiltered sloe dancing around in the bottle. Tried neat, it starts off with a strong fruity nose heavy on forest berries and plum, with an almost floral choya quality, followed by the peppery junipers. When tasted, you immediately get the sweet berries, peppers and finish with minty herbal oils coating the tongue, leaving a warm full presence. Tasting it, it immediately brings to mind thoughts of being in a juniper forest in the middle of winter. Very enjoyable on its own!

Sloe and Tonic

In a gin and tonic our fever tree tonic water brought the berries out to the fore but equally impressive was how the peppery herbal qualities were heightened as well. Slightly citrus, it was enjoyable but given that it has a very sweet almost apertif like quality we were hoping for something else to cut through that.

To test it in a cocktail we decided to try it in a Gin Fizz.

Ingredients:

  1. 1.5 Oz Monkey 47 Sloe gin
  2. 0.75 Oz Lemon juice
  3. 0.5Oz simple syrup (we used less because the sloe was already quite sweet)
  4. 1 egg white
  5. Top with tonic water

Combine the ingredients, dry shake and then with ice, and you’ll have a beautiful fizz on table.

Verdict:

We love the vibrant hue that this drink has and it tasted really festive. The lemon juice adds more tartness to the sweet sloe gin and the fizz helps to elongate those herbal notes. We might try to add some elderflower liquor to this next to bring out the more floral elements of this drink.

We like to save the best for later so stay tuned for our next drink when we try the Monkey 47 Dry Gin! We know we’re looking forward to it!

 

Love,

S&B

Places to go: Jigger and Pony

Last week we visited a cool bar located in the Tanjong Pagar area on Amoy Street. Named after the measuring instrument that all great and wonderfully balanced cocktails are made with i.e the “Jigger” – 1.5 Ounces and “Pony” 3/4 ounces, this was a delightful find in the heart of the bustling Amoy Street area on a Friday night.

Jigger and Pony was recommended to us by our partners in crime for the night, said to be a upscale romantic spot that has become a fast favourite amongst those working in the area. Along Amoy street, we walked past many Korean BBQ joints and other bars and restaurants before arriving at its grand oversized glass door. Looking in, we first noticed the packed communal tables near the entrance, and then as our eyes adjusted to take in its high ceilings, noticed the beautiful open shelves stocked full behind the long bar counter.


The decor is a mix of old school classic charm with its dark wood tables and lush oversized sofa seats flanking the right, and modern minimalist with the large communal table, high chairs and colourful liquor brand adverts flanking the left. You get a sense that this place means business the moment you step in as a smartly dressed waiter approaches you to show you to your seat. Thankfully, K, one of our drinking kakis for the night had the bright idea to make a reservation (which he did through their website – easy peasy we’re told) and we had a wonderful cubicle to enjoy our drinks and our night in.

Our seat also afforded us a great view of the bar counter, with impeccably dressed bartenders looking incredibly serious mixing up our cocktails. The waiters and waitresses were extremely speedy with their service and in no time at all menus and free-flow tapioca chips appeared on our table.

Their menu is quite extensive and not for the faint-hearted. They have 2 full pages of cocktails, but also offer spirit flights and their famous Punch bowls (approx 15-20 servings). After consulting with the waiters we ordered our first round of cocktails:

Ramos Gin Fizz: 8.5/10

Ramos Gin Fizz in the background and Corpse Reviver in the foreground.

We’ve had a version of a Ramos Gin Fizz before at Nutmeg and Clove but this one from Jigger and Pony was truer to the New Orleans classic and a dangerously smooth cocktail to start off our night. Extremely well balanced, with the right amount of citrus lemon and lime and a delicious creamy foamy head, we all took turns sipping this beauty. Reminded us a little of a lemon-lime and vanilla popsicle. The gin was present but adequately subdued by the other elements in this drink. This was unanimously noted as one of the best of the night.

Corpse Reviver #101: 8/10

We’ve never had a corpse reviver before so we were taken aback by how refreshing this drink actually was despite its gloomy name. We could hardly believe that there was vodka in this drink as the lemon juice in this considerably brightened up the flavour profile. This was also a lovely demonstration of how good St Germain can taste in a well made cocktail as its distinct elderflower notes danced around on our palates. The Absinthe jelly was interesting being slightly sweet and herbal. It accompanied the drink well.

Manhattan: 7.5/10


A classic recipe, we picked out the Maker’s Mark in this drink immediately. A tad sweet for B’s tastebuds but it had just the right amount of bitters to incorporate some interest into this whiskey based drink. Not bad, just not something we’d usually enjoy anyway.

Knickerbocker: 6/10


B might or might not have chosen this drink because the name made him laugh. But there were no laughs to be had after we tasted this drink. Rum, cointreau, raspberry and lime sounded bright and fresh on paper, but this cocktail was a bit disappointing. Perhaps it was the cointreau that imparted a slightly artificial fruity taste to this drink, or perhaps the raspberry syrup was not quite as fresh. This drink tasted a bit too syrupy and fructose heavy.

Overall our first 4 drinks went over rather well. A solid 7.5/10 experience up to this point. We did think their cocktails were quite well balanced so we had enough faith to order another 4.


Espresso Gin Tonic: 9/10


This was the surprise favourite of the night. 8/10 in terms of flavour but a solid 9.5/10 in terms of originality and fun. Our favourite Hendricks gin  was mixed with fever tree tonic and a float of espresso. The presentation was beautiful, with the dark espresso float strongly contrasting with the clear G&T. It starts as an amazing and powerful whiff of fragrant coffee as you bring this drink to your mouth. As you drink this, you taste the coffee initially but the flavour breaks into your good ol gin and tonic with a citrus kick, and gin finish. Because of the coffee, the aftertaste is slightly bitter and aromatic which we enjoyed. B who does not drink coffee usually enjoyed this drink as well which speaks volumes as to how good it was. A wonderful drink that we will definitely try to recreate.

Dark and Stormy: 8.5/10


Despite its name this drink tasted neither dark nor stormy. Dark rum was mixed with lime, soda and homemade ginger syrup resulting in a drink that was surprisingly light, bright and tasty. We’ve never considered using ginger in a drink but it does add a fresh, aromatic and spicy profile to this cocktail. The lime balanced this out perfectly and the soda added a fizzy profile making this almost like a nice cold refreshing ginger beer/moscow mule. Solid cocktail.

Sakura Sakura: 8/10

Sakura sakura at the foreground and Epressso Gin Tonic at the background. 

This one was a headscratcher – and we mean this in a good way. In this cocktail they mixed Rum, Maissenex creme de peche, Sake, sakura syrup, lemon and egg white. We confess that we have never independently tasted most of the elements that make up this cocktail so we frankly did not know what to expect. After we’ve all tasted this we agreed that it tasted like something we have all had in our respective childhoods but could not put our finger on. By the end of the night, neither of us could solve this conundrum. Regardless, this was a nice mix of peach yoghurt or Calpis soda rounded off with a citrus element. Quite a tasty cocktail actually albeit a little on the sweet side. Worth a try!

Fire in the Hole: 7/10


The presentation was lovely for this drink. They brought an overturned serving class encapsulating an mysterious cloud of smoke, and a shot of a mixture of bourbon, creme de peche and absinthe bitters to our table. Just before serving they turned the serving rocks glass the right way around and poured the shot in. We enjoyed the bourbon which had a smoky plum-like quality that gets smokier as you make your way through the drink. A tad sweet for B’s liking but he liked the smoky quality.

Price:

All cocktails were $22 each

Punch Bowls are $220 each before GST


Verdict:

This was an excellent cocktail experience in our minds. The romantic old school meets new school setting, great seats, dapper bartenders all added to our enjoyment of this place but the cocktails definitely hit the right spot. There were a couple of duds but overall most of the drinks were delightful, well balanced, had elements of surprise and awe, opening our minds further into our exploration and enjoyment of the cocktail universe. What made the experience even more special was double dating with like-minded friends (and family, haha) allowing us to try many more drinks! We had a great time and are likely to come back some time to try out the other great cocktails, and perhaps even the Punch Bowl they have on their menu.

At $22 a cocktail it is definitely quite pricey, but it’s money well spent given the quality of the drink. A good place to bring a date or some good friends to enjoy a quality night out if you so desire!

Thirsty Recommendations:

Espresso Gin Tonic, Ramos Gin Fizz, Dark and Stormy

LOCATION AND DETAILS

Jigger and Pony

Address

101 Amoy St, Singapore 069921

Opening Hours

Monday to Thursday: 6pm – 1am
Friday to Saturday: 6pm – 3am

Sun: Closed

Contact
+65 9621 1074

Website (for reservations as well)

http://www.jiggerandpony.com/

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! XD 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