If ever there was a cocktail for the lazy, the Highball, essentially made with one part whiskey, three-part club soda and some ice, would fit the bill. Yet this simple drink can be one of the fussiest, high precision and elegant cocktails you can drink.
What many consider to be an easy cocktail, not worth fussing over, is endlessly perfected by the Japanese. Even though the highball was not originally invented by them, they certainly made it their own.
The spirit of perfection is what results in the invention of the highball machine. The highball machine, invented by local brand, Suntory, is created to guarantee quality highball every time straight from the tap. According to Cameron Pirret, Australian Brand Ambassador for Beam Suntory, the machines are now ubiquitous across Japan - further stating that the Highball is a national love for Japanese alcohol culture.
But Highball is not just popular amongst the Japanese. Pirret believes that apart from a worldwide love for all things Japanese, the rising trend of health-conscious consumers, ease of execution and the highball’s low ABV and sugar content props the drink as an all-time favourite.
An Everyday Drink to High Cocktail Art
You may wonder, how exactly does the Japanese turn this everyday two-part drink into a ritualistic art form? Well, it is through the meticulous care and concern lavished on every aspect of the drink - From ingredients to glassware and preparation techniques.
The Japanese way to a better highball
Hand Carved ice
Shuttered bars, restaurants, gyms and a boom in e-commerce defined 2020. 2021 is not too different. The pandemic trends persist as we slowly recover to pre-covid life. However, the exponential increase in time spent at home within these two years has impacted most of us as consumers in a good way.
To keep ourselves occupied during the lockdown, we picked up new hobbies and gained confidence in our skills. Hard kombucha being one of the sensational hobbies for clean living enthusiasts and not to mention the rising trend of home bars and homemade cocktails for most of us booze-heads.
Wonders never cease as we unravel our capabilities of bringing the shuttered world into our own home through DIYs. If you are one of those people who love a good challenge and find value in recreating at home indulgence, level yourself up and bring homemade cocktails to a new level with alcohol infusion.
What is Alcohol Infusion?
Infusion sounds like a fancy science term but it just means putting ingredient(s), flavours you like (fruit, herbs or spice) into a liquid (typically spirits or liquor) so that you get a flavoured liquid of your choice. As straightforward as it may sound, infusing your own cocktail does require patience and imagination.
Choices of Spirits for Infusion
With different spirits and flavoured ingredients to choose from, the world of alcohol infusion is limitless
Cocktails & Concoctions
Whether you gravitate towards only certain types of alcoholic beverages or fall in the category of a casual drinker who has no qualms about trying everything, you would probably have been introduced to cocktails at some point. More commonly associated with being feminine drinks (thus the term “girly cocktails”, check out our previous article where we talk about this), cocktails are quite simply, a concoction that consists of a spirit or spirits mixed with other ingredients. The beverages themselves, however, are anything but simple in most instances.
With the fancy tools, terminology and mostly not-so-tempting prices, the intricate world of cocktails can seem unapproachable for most. Despite this, you would be hard-pressed to find an alcohol lover’s list of favorites totally devoid of at least one cocktail- unless of course they are strict connoisseurs of only one type of alcoholic beverage such as Rum or Whiskey. And rightfully so.
Cocktails bring with them an air of wonder and excitement, not to mention a depth of flavor which would explain why mixology - a discipline combining the appreciation of classic cocktails (i.e., Negroni Cocktail) with cocktail culture, and mixologists are highly regarded.
The Pandemic By-Product
When one thinks of Asia, one can’t help but think of mouthwatering food bursting with flavour and complexity. From the fragrant, hearty curries of India to the sweet, spicy, nutty, carbo-loaded goodness that is pad thai, Asian cuisine is as diverse as it is delicious. You might even imagine washing it down with a refreshing Tiger or Bintang beer, or pairing your meal with a warm sip of Tanduay rum or Hibiki whisky. From beer, rum, vodka, and whisky to even wine, Asia has been producing top-notch selections of all types of alcohol over the past couple decades – it is only in recent years that Asian gin has made its rise.
Out of all the spirits, gin has one of the most nuanced, versatile flavours, making it the perfect medium to infuse Asia’s vast pantry of indigenous botanicals, spices, herbs, tea, and fruits. With thousands of native ingredients at their fingertips, Asia is a powerhouse for contemporary gin. Here are some you definitely need to try.
An Ode to Contemporary India In An Inspired London Dry – Stranger & Sons Gin
Gin & Tonic Fun Fact!
Did you know that it was actually in India that the gin and tonic was invented? In the 1700s, British soldiers stationed there drank quinine-rich tonic so as to ward off malaria. To cover its bitter flavour, they added gin, and eventually lemon and lime, inadvertently creating our beloved cocktail! So it goes without saying that we have to include a gin from India on this list.
Especially since i
You’re at a bottle shop looking to purchase a bottle of wine. There’s a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, and a Pinot Noir from California. What’s the difference? Which should you get? Surely the one from France must taste better… right? After all, isn’t France known for its wine? Aren’t French vineyards a travel destination in itself for oenophiles? Don’t worry, this is not a riddle – but if it is, the answer lies in Old World and New World wines.
If you’re looking to find the best possible wine for your personal preferences, simply knowing whether it is Old World or New World can tell you a lot about what to expect. These wines do not merely come from different geographic regions, they boast different flavour profiles, complement different foods, and exhibit different levels of tannins, acidity, and body.
So no, old is not always gold, although they can be exceptional indeed. (The answer is, it depends on you!)
The World of Wine
In describing wine, the terms “old world” and “new world” are used quite similarly to that of history – when explorers termed countries and continents previously unknown to them as “New World” while the places they came from were termed “Old World”. In moving to these unfamiliar newfoundlands, these settlers broug
The world of "aqua vitae", or the "Water of Life '' - Whisky, is built on legacy. Scottish distilleries tout over 300 years of histories with the earliest distillery dating back to 1690. It is no surprise that legacy and more specifically age is commonly used to identify a whisky's quality. There is also a prevailing idea that when it comes to price, it is “normal” to pay more for older whiskies.
As the whisky/whiskey world evolves and expands, we now have bottles produced from new and unexpected countries. Multiple distilleries from around the world are arguing that when it comes to the quality of whiskies/whiskeys, it isn't so much about how long the whiskey ages but where and how the bottle is produced.
With the myriad of techniques and processes proliferating amongst consumers, the whisky/whiskey age statement is slowly losing its credibility as a quality indicator. So to those of us who are still allowing the age of a bottle to justify quality and purchase price, it is high time we bear the knowledge and make our quality stance when purchasing the golden liquid. Remember, old does not always mean gold.
Whisky/Whiskey Aging 101
Before diving into the complexities of whisky aging and the role of techniques in determining a bottle’s quality, here is a primer.
Mandated Age Required for Whisky/Whiskey Varietals
Most whiskeys are required to age in wooden barrels for a minimum amount of time but most distilleries choose to exceed mandated time frames to achieve the taste profile they want to develop.
The average young adult probably looks for convenient bars or restaurants that feature a perfect social ambience to satisfy their drinking needs. Unfortunately with Covid-19 disrupting our alcoholic adventures and hindering us from dining in, drinkers must find the closest alternative to satisfy their cravings. Then our local drinking laws that prohibit alcohol consumption in public places and the sales of such beverages be suspended from 10:30pm till 7am the next day. Indulging in alcoholic delights seems to be a challenge for those who want to escape such restrictions, and fortunately there are alternatives that don’t concern Clarke Quay and the like.
Alcohol delivery is definitely running, but there are other options to quench your thirst. Exploring the variety of liquid courage at your convenience store is something only a true alcoholic enthusiast has done. Fret not if you haven’t, because here are some of their noteworthy options.
Both Asahi Dry and Asahi Dry Black are available at a great offer of $10 for 2 tall cans at 7-11. This Japanese premium beer can easily be enjoyed at such an affordable price and accompany you through a small social gathering at home (of course following the Covid-19 res
“That’s enough today-ing for today, I’m done”. A phrase apt for the best of us, after a long gruesome day of what we call the routine for working adults. We all look forward to the end of the day. The end to a bitter hustle and the start of a sweet and restful indulgence.
There’s nothing like swaddling yourself up to all the good feelings of accomplishment and treating yourself to a box of sweet treats after a striving day. Desserts have a way of speaking to our weary soul. If it was a person, he/she would make a great therapist - assuring that when it comes to forgoing a day of being stressed, the solution is in the problem; desserts! (stressed spelt backwards).
As if cakes and pastries were not heavenly enough, there is a divine invention in the realm of wines that could swoon you into sweet ecstasy. Wines lusciously sweet with pronounced flavour and higher alcohol content. Call it wine, call it dessert, but it really is a confectionary heaven in a bottle.
A Tale of the Di(wine) Dessert
There’s no sugar-coated tale to dessert wines. They are simple sweet wines commonly served with dessert. Although, they are not merely one-trick-pony wines. The myriad of methods in creating dessert wines allows for a wide range of styles; sparkling to still and sweet to dry.
Know Thy Grapes : Harvest Techniques
Ripe or Overripe
Both red and white grapes with high sugar content can be used to make dessert wine. Grapes are harvested a
Have you ever wanted a specific flavour in your beer, but couldn’t describe it? Maybe you thought a juicy mango IPA would hit the sweet spot, but found it a little more bitter than you hoped for. Or perhaps you’ve been listening to the bartender rattle off the beer list in hopes of finding your desired flavour, but simply can’t make heads or tails what any of the words mean – or, you know, taste.
Because what does “hoppy” taste like? (Don’t fret, that’s a question we get often.) If you’ve read our previous 101 on different beer styles, you’ve already taken the first step into the world of beer. But unfortunately, an IPA isn’t always bitter, and a stout isn’t always roasty – so how do you navigate the taproom and find the perfect pint for you? Here’s an introduction to some of the most commonly-used words to describe beer.
Malt is the soul of beer. All beers contain malt, so when the bartender tells you a drink is malty, they probably mean its malt flavours are more prominent. Commonly obtained from grains such as barley, wheat, rye or oats, malt provides the sugar source that yeast uses to convert into alcohol. As such, you can expect malty beers to have a degree of sweetness in them. It can range from the more rustic – bready, toasty, and biscuit-like – to more saccharine flavours such as honey, caramel, and chocolate. Depending on the grains used, it might even taste nutty, roasty or smoky. Some beer styles that might host a more malt-forward flavour profile include amber a
Local Understated Bars, Speakeasies
Have you ever heard of a speakeasy? Speakeasies are hidden bars that get their clientele only through word-of-mouth. Back in the 1920s, bars were prohibited from operating in the United States, which gave birth to speakeasies — illegal drinking houses that had to keep a low profile.
Many bars in Singapore are well known for their exclusive drinks and luxury experience. However, there are more understated bars in Singapore than you would think! These bars, though understated, each add their own distinctive touch to the local cocktail scene.
These 12 bars in Singapore are definitely worth visiting, from their distinct concepts to their remarkable selection of beverages.
(Image courtesy of worldsbestbars.com)
Tippling Club keeps its customers coming back with its ever-changing menu, all featuring drinks that never disappoint. Their bartenders certainly know how to mix it up! However, the most interesting thing about this bar isn’t just their beverage menu.
With cocktail-flavoured gummy bears that customers can try beforehand, it is impossible to order a drink that does not suit your palate in Tippling Club! Though these gummy bars manage to capture the taste of each cocktail perfectly, they are non-alcoholic. Try it for yourself — then pick the drink that you think you’d like best!
Address: 38 Tg Pagar Rd, Singapore 088461