For this month’s edition of our Drinkspotting column, we cast our eye out for various alcoholic tipples for the season.
August is special to Singapore because our National Day falls on this month. It’s that time we get creative in trying to celebrate everything local and hyperlocal. And so it is with Singapore breweries; earlier we looked at Tiger Beer’s Tiger Orchid Brew, for example, but this time we’ve got a couple more examples.
We also look at a few new bottled cocktails that’ve hit the market, as well as two interesting gins. So here we are, our Drinkspotting for this month.
Sunbird Brewing’s Ondeh-Ondeh Porter celebrates a pastry and Singapore’s National Day.
One of Singapore’s newest microbreweries Sunbird Brewing Company has launched a limited-edition brew, the Sunbird Ondeh-Ondeh Porter, to usher in National Day. Inspired by ondeh-ondeh, this dark beer aims to replicate the flavours from those fluffy green rice ball pastries filled with gula melaka and coated in shredded coconut that we all love.
Aside from the dark roastiness you’d expect from a proper porter, you’ll definitely get hints of smoky sweetness you associate with gula melaka, some floral notes of pandan, as well as silky creaminess of coconut. If you’re looking for a dessert in a glass, this is it – we’d go as far as to say it’ll make a great pairing with some ondeh-ondeh.
You can find bottles of the Sunbird Ondeh-Ondeh Porter at all good craft beer retailers, and on tap at selected craft beer bars.
Alive Brewing and Brewlander collaborates for National Day.
New Singapore craft microbrewery, Alive Brewing, has partnered with another local brewery Brewlander to create a special limited edition beer for Singapore’s National Day.
Day In August – which we assure you in Singapore is generally blazingly hot punctuated with short but strong showers – is a kaffir lime wheat beer. It is loosely made in the style of a Belgian witbier using kaffir lime zest, coriander seeds and black peppercorns, but also employs Kveik yeast to create more tropical aromas and flavours in the beer. How artisanal is this beer? The founders of both breweries spent many hours crushing the seeds and zesting those limes by themselves, that’s how.
You can find bottles of the Alive Brewing x Brewlander Day In August at all good craft beer retailers, and on tap at selected craft beer bars.
Nutmeg & Clove x Roketto Izakaya Garden City Negroni will grow on you.
For Singapore’s 55th birthday, our favourite Singapore-themed cocktail bar Nutmeg & Clove has teamed up with Roketto Izakaya to create an exclusive National Day cocktail in collaboration with Hendrick’s Gin.
The Garden City Negroni is a bottled cocktail is a local twist on the classic Negroni, using Hendrick’s Gin that’s been infused with ginger flower. Commonly used in local dishes such as rojak and nasi ulam, the ginger flower imparts a floral spiciness and a touch of citrus to the concoction. Combined with cucumber and rose vermouth, pear liqueur, clarified Campari, and lychee vinegar, it’s all tropical yet all Italian classic.
You can purchase the Garden City Negroni on Nutmeg & Clove’s online shop.
travel with Gudsht x iShopChangi.com Wanderlust Collection of bottled cocktails.
Global travel may have been gutted by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, but travel-loving Singaporeans can still travel using their palates with this set of bottled cocktails. Bottled cocktail purveyors Gudsht has collaborated with iShopChangi.com – the online tax- and duty-free platform of Changi Airport – to create the Gudsht x iShopChangi.com Wanderlust Collection of six specialty cocktails.
Each cocktail in the series is inspired by a travel destination; the gin-based Vietly Good draws its flavours from gỏi cuốn (Vietnamese spring rolls), for example, while Kopiiiii Yumsssoooo borrows from the iconic white coffee of Penang and infuses them into a caramelly-sweet rum tipple. There’s Un-Bali-evably Calm to celebrate the rice fields of Bali, while Bangkok is represented by the spicy More Than Meets The Thai. You’ll find one each for Boracay and Singapore too, but we’ll leave you to… explore those for yourselves.
Oh yes, and Gudsht also has a couple of cocktails – Neslo Gao Peng and Salty Egg-ceptional – specifically for National Day. So check those out if you’d like to celebrate with Singapore-themed tipples that day.
A New Sunday Punch for everyday drinking.
One of Singapore’s earliest bottled cocktail purveyors is Sunday Punch, which started in 2014 when Singapore’s cocktail bar scene was still nascent. What started as a side gig for the founders have since taken a life on its own, and today Sunday Punch works closely with many F&B establishments to create specialty cocktails for their menus.
They’ve recently added a new cocktail to their small batch cocktail range – the Momo Hoji. This cocktail essentially reinvents the Manhattan as a tall drink with a Japanese slant, combining whisky, roasted green tea, white peach and sweet vermouth for a fruity yet serious tipple. If you love your Japanese flavours, this cocktail will be a peach.
You can buy the Momo Hoji off the Sunday Punch online store.
Soulsister Spirits Gin is a gin with soul.
To celebrate its five years of operation, Singapore-based spirits distributor Gain Brands International has launched its very own local gin label – Soulsister Spirits Gin. They’ve worked with Simon Zhao of local micro distillery Compendium to create a special Southeast Asian-inspired gin, the SoulSister Spirits Gin – Singapore Edition.
This gin sees familiar Southeast Asian herbs and spices – such as lemongrass, tamarind, galangal, and kaffir lime – macerated with spirit drawn from Compendium’s copper and stainless steel still for two weeks. Complex on the nose and elegant in the finish, we think this gin is best used in a gin and tonic garnished with a calamansi lime.
The SoulSister Spirits Gin – Singapore Edition retails for $69, and can be purchased at the Gain Brands website. For a limited period, 10% of sales of SoulSister Spirits Gin – Singapore Edition hampers will be donated to local charity Daughters Of Tomorrow, which aims to support more than 25,000 women from low-income families in Singapore who are struggling to find and sustain a living.
Zhen Gin is real positive about the climate.
One of the more interesting gins to hit the local (online) shelves recently is Zhen Gin, touted as “Asia’s first climate-positive gin”. Started by Singaporean friends Terence Loh and Min Teo, Zhen Gin witnessed rice fields in Taiwan devastated by typhoons and resolved to do something about it. While they couldn’t do anything about the weather, they decided to make gin from those damaged rice crops to help support those farmers.
Today, Zhen Gin is made with Chih Sang rice gathered from the east coast of Taiwan, and the spirit is macerated with osmanthus from Yunnan, Thai coriander seeds, and Bhutanese juniper berries for a pan-Asian touch. The floral notes of the osmanthus from this gin will leap out at you, while the palate is rather sweet and features some rounded spiciness from the coriander seeds.
You can find Zhen Gin at its online shop, which retails for $150 (U.P. $180) for 500ml or $65 for the mini bottle.
Marks & Spencer shimmers and shines with two limited edition beverages.
Premium British retailer Marks & Spencer has specially brought in two limited-edition bottles just for summer. Shimmery and shiny – both inside and out – the Conte Priuli Prosecco and Elderflower Gin Liqueur is set to add some sparkle to any warm evening.
We’re loving the freshness that comes in every sip of the limited edition extra-dry spumante; it bursts with notes of stone fruit and citrus, with just a hint of herbal bitterness that makes it perfect drunk on its own, but also as an aperitif to start off a meal. The Elderflower Gin Liqueur on the other hand is a blend of gin and elderflower liqueur, and is stupendously refreshing with its sweet floral and tangy citrus notes especially when topped up with tonic or soda water. The bottle even doubles up as a glitter globe – it comes with real gold leaf within – which makes it a mesmerising centrepiece at any party or liquor cabinet.
Even better, make your own French 77 by combining the prosecco and liqueur!
The Conte Priuli Prosecco and Elderflower Gin Liqueur seasonal specials are available at Marks & Spencer.
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