Singapore Cocktail Week is upon us! If you’re having a tough time deciding which events to attend – with so many guest bartending shifts, masterclasses and other alcoholic activities going on – we can’t say we blame you. There are just too many things going on.
Here’s where we come in to help. You may have already seen our definitive roundup of guest bartending shifts around town during this period, but here we risk life and liver to find out which cocktails you should be spending your time, money and calories on.
So here you go, SpiritedSingapore.com’s list of cocktails you must definitely try at Singapore Cocktail Festival 2017:
KOPI ‘OL FASHIONED | Crackerjack
Crackerjack’s entry into Singapore Cocktail Festival’s Singapore Next Top Cocktail is – as its name implies – a twist of a Rum Old Fashioned that uses Plantation Barbados 5YO and Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac fat-washed with coconut oil and butter like a local coffee, DOM Benedictine, and coffee syrup. For those who can’t decide between a coffee or a cocktail. Try it at the bar or at the SGCF Festival Village.
POP MY CHERRY | The Wall
The Wall’s virgin participation in Singapore Cocktail Festival sees the months-old whisky bar put forth Pop My Cherry by bar manager Jeremie Tan; Famous Grouse Tiger’s Eye whisky, Mozart dark chocolate liqueur, chocolate bitters, lemon juice, simply syrup, egg white, and a fresh cherry (to pop in your mouth with). If ever a whisky sour tasted like a chocolate-coated cherry, this is it.
MESO AMERICANO | Sugarhall
Coffee addicts are going to love this one – Soran Nomura of Tokyo’s Fuglen will be putting together this caffeine-laden concoction of Reposado tequila, Campari, a cold brew by local third wave coffee pioneer Papa Palheta made with Ethiopian Suke Quto coffee beans, agave syrup, and chocolate bitters for his guest bartending shift at Sugarhall on Saturday 18 March.
SINGAPORE SLING | Tess Bar & Kitchen
Raffle’s Hotel Long Bar may be closed for renovations, but across the road Tess Bar & Kitchen puts out its own interpretation from recently-appointed head bartender Boo Jing Heng; his Singapore Sling combines Bankes gin, fresh pineapple juice, cherry liqueur, Cointreau, Benedictine DOM, grenadine syrup, angostura bitters, and soda for a less sweet – and more superior – version of the classic.
OLD SAINT | Tess Bar & Kitchen
If you’re not a fan of the Singapore Sling, the refreshing fruity sourness of the Old Saint from Tess Bar & Kitchen should please – Rémy Martin VSOP, homemade blueberry shrub, angostura bitters, and peach bitters is guaranteed to perk up your palate.
MISS BAKER COLLINS | The Other Room
This take on the Tom Collins by master bartender Dario Knox – combining Monkey 47 gin, grapefruit soda, lemon juice and sugar – may sound simple, but it will cool you down on a very hot day, or after a stint on the dance floor during The Other Room’s disco nights. $18 nett for this and a chili dog? Done.
SINGAPORE GIRL | Nutmeg & Clove
A cocktail tribute to the beautiful stewardesses of our national airline, the Singapore Girl puts together Botanist gin, Campari, Fabbri lychee syrup, chrysanthemum liqueur, and lemon juice for a most intoxicating floral and fruity concoction. Just like those lovely trolley dollies.
OUR ‘KOPI’ COCKTAIL | Nutmeg & Clove
Nutmeg & Clove’s version of a coffee cocktail – Rémy Martin VSOP, port wine infused with Malacca coffee, Fabbri coconut syrup, and egg yolk – tastes wholly like an alcoholic version of those amazing cans of milk coffee one gets at a drinks vending machine in a Tokyo train station. In a good way.
TEA TIME SOUR | Cin Cin
Former Sugarhall bartender and Drinksfellas portfolio manager Stuart Danker will be throwing together this refreshing gin sour during his guest bartending shift at Cin Cin on Friday 17 March from 7pm; it’s made with Bluecoat gin, Owl’s Brew Pink & Black, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white.
PIÑA | Potato Head Folk
The Singleton of Glen Ord 12YO, pineapple, citrus, chocolate, Sauvignon Blanc, and rosemary combine for a strangely refreshing but flavourful cocktail that’s perfect for drinking on a rooftop bar. Which Potato Head Folk is.
SURPRISE OF THE DAY | Potato Head Folk
The simplicity of the ingredients in this whisky soda will astound you – Bulleit Bourbon, coconut vinegar, and soda. The taste will too.
MOON | Tippling Club
In typical Tippling Club fashion, the Moon from its Cosmos menu – introduced specially for Singapore Cocktail Festival – is sheer art in every way; “moon milk”, white wine, citrus, and Jameson whisky are transformed into a sweet and sour milky white concoction, with with black rings made with dyed Peychaud bitters. An adult Yakult.
MILKY WAY | Tippling Club
Also on Tippling Club’s SGCF Cosmos menu is the Milky Way, made with cold brew coffee, honey, salted caramel, and a dose of Aberlour whisky; “meteorites” in the form of dehydrated yogurt pieces dyed with bamboo charcoal. This is art you drink.
DUFFTOWN OLD FASHIONED | Manhattan Bar
Manhattan’s Dufftown Old Fashioned takes the American whiskey based classic but uses Dufftown, Speyside based Scotch whisky of The Balvenie 12YO Double Wood instead, along with port wine syrup – a hat tip to port casks used in aging some whiskies – and chocolate bitters for a most comforting quaff.
XALAPA | Manhattan Bar
Spice things up with the Xalapa – named after the capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz, home of the jalapeño pepper – that’s made with Ocho Reposado tequila, green Chartreuse, cucumber juice, lime juice, vanilla tincture, and yes, heat-inducing jalapeño infused syrup. You’ve been warned.
ZAATAR QUACK | Fat Prince
Bartender Loga Raj of Fat Prince clearly takes inspiration from his bar’s name with a fat-washed cocktail for SGCF; Napue Gin washed with duck fat, watermelon shurb and extra virgin olive oil, and Middle-eastern spices combine for a flavour bomb. We reckon this cocktail should have been named Duck Fat Prince, or Fat Washed Prince. Just saying.
GARDEN OF RANGPUR | Highball
True to its name, Highball is offering the Garden of Rangpur, a gin-based highball that’s made with Tanqueray Rangpur, Fabbri White Peach, yuzu juice, and forest fruit “air” for a refreshing, relaxing tall drink.
RAINMAKER | Smoke & Mirrors
Smoke & Mirrors head bartender Yugnes Susela makes things happen with his SGCF edition Rainmaker; his cocktail of Monkey Shoulder whisky, vermouth infused with salted raisins, and spiced tomato comes complete with an Indian papadum cracker. It drinks like a meal, too – it’s a cocktail version of a Michelin-star course.
ODDLY G&T | Smoke & Mirrors
Smoke & Mirrors brings back a Gin Jubilee 2016 fan favourite for SGCF. This unusual twist of the classic Gin & Tonic uses Hendrick’s Gin, East Imperial tonic, shaved pink peppercorns, orange bitters, and an odd pineapple and beeswax-infused sake.
GREEN FOREST | Gibson
Bar Benfiddich owner bartender Kayama Hiroyasu will showcase his Green Forest during his guest bartending shift at Gibson on Thursday 16 March – Tanqueray 10, noble fir infusion, lime juice, acacia honey, lemon balm, and wormwood flower (senburi, grown on his family-owned mountain) is a taste of a Japanese forest during springtime.
RYE RYE | Gibson
This rye-based take on the Old Fashioned – rye whiskey, rye syrup, and rye angostura bitters – will be made available at Gibson during the 69 Colebrooke Row guest bartending shift on Tuesday 21 March.
WINTER FOREST | Flagship
Taiwanese bartending legend Aki Wang will take over casual bar Flagship for a guest bartending shift; one of the cocktails he’ll be serving is Winter Forest, made with Botanist Gin, Mancino Ambrato Bianco, green plum and Alishan Oolong tea, Granini pear juice, Giffard cinnamon syrup, dry sparkling wine, acacia honey and Litsea Cubeba foam, purple thistle and edible flowers. That’s, err, a forest load of ingredients.
SHISO MOJITO | Mitzo
Modern contemporary Chinese restaurant Mitzo on Orchard Road may be off the beaten cocktail track, but bar manager Marco Pignotta shows why it should be on your SGCF drinking trial with his Shiso Mojito, a refreshing and fruity tipple made with Havana Club 3YO rum infused with cinnamon and orange zest, shiso liqueur, sugar, lime juice, shiso leaf, and ginger ale. Pair it with dim sum!
SUMMER BOTANIC | Mitzo
Mitzo bar manager Marco Pignotta’s Summer Botanic may not have been his entry for Singapore Cocktail Festival’s Singapore Next Top Cocktail – his Shiok Collins got into the finals instead – but it really should have been. Ballantine Finest whisky infused with camomile tea, apricot brandy liqueur, rose and apple syrup, lemon juice, and apple soda is a winning combination.
CLOUDY HEAVEN | Jigger & Pony
Get ready to ascend to cloud nine with The Peninsula Tokyo’s Mari Nakano’s guest bartending shift; her Cloudy Heaven of Ron Zacapa 23YO, Philippe de Bourgogne Cassis, Pedro Ximenez sherry, fresh sudachi (a Japanese citrus fruit), and chocolate bitters will take you there.
SALTED SLOE SOUR | Jigger & Pony
Sydney’s The Barber Shop will showcase the Salted Sloe Sour during its guest bartending shift at Jigger & Pony on Tuesday 21 March – Monkey 47 Sloe Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white makes a conventional gin sour, but added flavour from grated licorice salt pushes it to another level. You might want to take this sloe.