The fifth edition of Asia’s leading gin-focused festival, the East Imperial Gin Jubilee, will end off its regional tour next week – after touring in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Phnom Penh, and Shanghai – in Singapore.
So we were wrong. We usually aren’t, but when we compiled our event listings for November we thought there were more than enough alcohol events that month to addle our brains. But we failed to include Gin Jubilee – which will take place in Singapore from 27 November 2017 to 3 December – into the picture. Not that another spirited event on the drinking calendar is a bad thing!
The fifth annual East Imperial Gin Jubilee – which celebrates all things gin – in Singapore will seek to create a stir on what a traditional Gin & Tonic is. Aside from the various gin masterclasses and the signature Gin Lane closing party, East Imperial Gin Jubilee this year will see a record 43 local bars compete in the “Best Gin & Tonic” competition. These bars will be stirring up their own special takes on the classic highball drink, using a diverse mix of gins ranging from familiar names such as Bombay Sapphire, Fords, Hendrick’s and The Botanist to more eclectic ones such as Four Pillars, Bluecoat and Bulldog. Members of the public are invited to vote for their favourite G&T spin on Instagram (by following @EastImperial, uploading a snapshot of their tipple, and adding the official hashtag #ginjubilee2017).
“Singapore is a fine drinking capital of the world, with internationally acclaimed bars and bartenders. We’re thrilled to be hosting the Singapore East Imperial Gin Jubilee for the fifth time this year, with a record number of participating bars,” says Zdenek Kastanek, General Manager of Proof & Company Singapore, the local event organiser for the Singapore festival. “Festival-goers will have the opportunity to try out a creative and diverse array of Gin & Tonic concoctions and we are excited for imbibers to experience this year’s festivities,” he adds.
We’ve picked out a sampling of various activities – and cocktails – that you may want to catch this Singapore Gin Jubilee.
Contemporary Australian restaurant Adrift by David Myers at Marina Bay Sands will help to kick off Gin Jubilee with a special launch party in collaboration with Sipsmith Gin on 27 November 2017 with a $10 special for a Sipsmith gin and tonic and caviar, while Potato Head Singapore will be using the gin festival to launch a new “Spice Garden” menu in collaboration with Fords Gin showcasing different twists on different G&Ts to celebrate all things gin that’s available till end of December.
EC Proof will be holding a “Special Salon Social: The Gin & Tonic” on Wednesday 29 November at The Proof Flat where its resident spirits experts will take guests through a tasting and cocktail making adventure using St. George Gin. On the same day, catch Islay-born The Botanist brand ambassador from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Nutmeg & Clove, where she shares fascinating tales from her hometown while Nutmeg & Clove principal bartender David Quek shows you how to create your very own Gin Jubilee Gin & Tonic at home.
On Thursday 30 November 2pm to 4pm, Neon Pigeon will host Brian Ellison, founder of Death’s Door Spirits from Wisconsin, USA who will share his insights into wild and cultivated juniper, the essence of every gin. After that you can choose to join Hendrick’s Gin Southeast Asia brand ambassador Tasha Lu from 7.00pm to 9.00pm at Oxwell & Co where she will guide guests in experiencing Hendrick’s before its final stages at the distillery with a tasting of some of the key ingredients that go into the making of the gin.
It’s not a proper alcohol festival without guest shifts, so be prepared to catch the likes of Kyrö Gin Southeast Asia brand ambassador Mauricio Allende get behind the sticks at The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar on Wednesday 29 November (9.00pm to late), Citadelle Gin’s Asia Pacific brand ambassador Micaela Piccolo make her special G&Ts over at The Other Room on Thursday 30 November (7.00pm to 9.00pm).
On Friday 1 December Hendrick’s Gin‘s Tasha Lu will showcase her three favourite Hendrick’s cocktails over at medicine-themed pocket bar Apothecary in Oxwell & Co (7.00pm to 10.00pm), while Neon Pigeon will host Sean Kenyon, American Bartender of the Year in 2014 and owner of Williams & Graham in Denver, who will go behind the stick for one night with Neon Pigeon’s own Symphony Loo (8.00pm to 11.00pm).
Gin & Tonics, everywhere!
With over 40 different bars across Singapore participating in Gin Jubilee this year it’s near impossible to try all their G&T creations, so we figured the need to narrow down some of the ones we feel may be worth trying.
Those who like the taste of kaffir lime may like to try the EO GI(N)LET by Employees Only‘s Jia Wei, which combines Bluecoat Gin with kaffir lime, East Imperial Burma tonic and a house made lime cordial, or Who Can’t Be Tamed by Anne Princena from Highball, which is made with kaffir lime-infused Bulldog Gin, apricot liqueur, pomegranate syrup, and East Imperial Burma tonic.
Yuzu is a favourite ingredient in G&Ts these days. Those who enjoy its citrusy notes can try the YU/ZU at Potato Head Singapore, which comprises of Brooklyn Gin, yuzu juice, lemongrass syrup, and East Imperial Yuzu tonic, or the Gin & Kiwi over at Oxwell & Co, featuring Hendrick’s Gin, oregano syrup, Fabbri Kiwi, lemon, and topped with East Imperial Yuzu tonic. Likewise the Gin-esis at Ding Dong – made with Napue Gin, yuzu juice, homemade cucumber syrup, sweet basil, and East Imperial Burma tonic – will hit the spot.
For a very complex version of the classic highball you can’t go too wrong Best of Both (above) from Silvio Daniele of Gibson; this highball of Roku Gin, sakura-infused umeshu, clarified apple juice and East Imperial Burma tonic has aspirations of being a short drink.
It’s party time!
If you can’t make it to any of the bars during Gin Jubilee, you owe it to yourself to go down for the Gin Lane closing party on Saturday 2 December 2017 from 6.00pm to 11.00pm; this year it will be held at the lane way behind Amoy Street. The grand finale of the gin festival will see pop-up bars set up by various gin brandsfor party-goers to try out the diverse variety of Gin & Tonic creations this year.
This will then culminate in the announcement of the winner of “Best Gin & Tonic” competition.
We guarantee you’ll be ginned out by the end of the week.