Whoever said money cannot buy you happiness hasn’t been to Singapore during Cocktail Week. We are talking award-winning bartenders (both resident and visiting) shaking up special cocktails at watering holes across the city, while purveyors of fine spirits set up shop at the Singapore Cocktail Festival at 99 Beach Road. Also at #SGCF2017 are booths by the finalists of Singapore’s Next Top Cocktail; an Asia Bar Battle; a gourmet foot street with stalls on stalls serving seriously mouth-watering grub; dreamy bubble-ball pits for adults to waddle in; and lots of innovative booth concepts by the likes of Hendrick’s and Monkey 47—indeed, sweet dreams are made of gin. There’s no better time to bar hop than 16 to 21 March, and here are the experiences we suggest your savour:
- 1. Turn up the heat at the Artisanal Spirits room at Singapore Cocktail Festival (99 Beach Road) with fragrant sips of Paper Lantern’s Sichuan Pepper (with tantalising hints of ginger, lemongrass and galangal).
2. Also at the Singapore Cocktail Festival (99 Beach Road) is the Black Cow Vodka booth. Smooth and mildly sweet with a serious punch, this scintillating elixir is the worlds only Pure Milk Vodka™ made entirely from the milk of grass grazed cows and nothing else. Quick tip: Sip it with the cheese.
3. Both lovers and fighters alike will appreciate this Battle of Thailand’s superstar bartending teams at Nutmeg & Clove (10A Ann Siang Hill). Can’t make it on the 18th? The bar has battles going on all week.
4. For one night only on 20 March, Operation Dagger will be host to a visiting superstar bartender line-up unlike any other. Watch some of the industry’s most creative minds, Alex Kratena, Luke Wookie and Matt Whiley shake up a storm at this dark, mysterious bar in the basement of 7 Ann Siang Hill.
5. Two words: Erwan. Heussaff. This fetching French-Filipino foodie will be concocting drinks you’ll want to try, and try again, tonight at The Horse’s Mouth (#B1-39, Forum the Shopping Mall):
6. Did someone say Muah Chee? Red Tail Bar at Zouk has launched four brand new cocktails exclusively available during Singapore Cocktail Week, and this sweet-nutty confection of a cocktail (with Bacardi Carta Blanca, grounded peanut powder, rice water, toasted sesame, egg whites and lemon juice) is our top pick for your third, fourth, and maybe fifth night cap this weekend.
7. Trust the palate-pushing team at Smoke & Mirrors, are top spot to unwind above National Gallery, to serve up “The Rainmaker”, a sweet, savoury-umami cocktail crafted with Monkey Shoulder whisky, salted raisin-infused Vermouth and garnished with our favourite Indian snack, papadum.
8. And back at the Singapore Cocktail Festival (99 Beach Road), where $12 cocktails reign supreme ($20-for-2 during Happy Hour), is the must-visit Snow Leopard Vodka booth. We imagine chefs, aspiring bartenders and even, horticulturists will find this an intriguing experience, what with you having to forage for your own herbs from a vertical garden and picking the fruits that match best, before the bar whips up a fine drink from your glass of ingredients.
By Dana Koh