When we think of Gin, one thing comes to mind right off the bat – a spirit that more often than not, is complemented by tonic water. Truth be told, a ‘Gin & Tonic’ or G&T would be right up there with the likes of ever-popular drinks such as the Martini or a Long Island Tea. Yet, very rarely would the focus be on Gin itself, which is somewhat understandable considering the nature and most common usage of the spirit as a base for a cocktail instead of a standalone drink.
When we take into account the origins of Gin and its early uses as a medicinal liquor, it becomes decidedly less surprising that Gin, on its own, has not fared well in the popularity circuit as compared to the “cocktail version” since its introduction in the early 17th Century.
Fast forward to the present day and we bear witness to a substantial shift in attitudes and perception towards the distilled alcoholic beverage predominantly flavored by juniper berries that is gin. Aside from the various modes of production and countless different additions of botanicals, spices, or even fruit for flavor, gin now stands in its own class. And Roku Gin, almost a household name in Asia, is top of that class.
Japanese Craft Gin - A Brief History
Before Suntory, Shinjiro Torii’s dream of creating something uniquely Japanese in the form of spirits gave life to the Torii Shoten Store. The store opened its doors for business in 1899 and it was
When a brand touts itself as being “made for mixing” you can almost anticipate with absolute certainty what comes next – recipes. Or to be more precise, a follow-up question along the lines of “What do I mix it with?”. Well, before we begin monkeying around with a few simple recipes you could try at home (and making a bit of a mess in the kitchen), it would only be fair to first learn a few things about this blended malt whisky. A whisky that has managed to defy both demographics and social groups to capture the hearts of bartenders, your average college student trying to blow off some steam after a final paper, and even that one whisky snob we all know.
The Year of The Monkey
While it would have been serendipitous if the year 2005 was indeed the year of the Monkey following the Chinese Zodiac, alas, it was not meant to be. It was, however, the year “Monkey Shoulder '' from William Grant & Sons was launched and introduced as the new cool kid on the block. At a time when Scotch was mainly reserved for a more mature and affluent audience resulting in its “serious drink” image, in comes Monkey Shoulder to turn that perception on its head. Guided by wanting to be the “new face of Scotch whisky for a new generation of whisky drinkers' ' according to Jonny Cornthwaite, William Grant & Sons’ head of whisky, they then proceeded to brand themselves for maximum approachability.
This involved desecrating the “sacred” idea that blended Scotch whisky was somehow inferior to a single malt whisky although the saving grace lies in the fact that Monkey Shoulder is one hundred percent malt as opposed to a co
While the Covid-19 pandemic has caused nightlife establishments around the world to shut their doors, one alcohol brand is not going down without a fight. Literally translated to master hunter, Jägermeister stalks the night – researching consumer behaviour in the new normal, strategizing, planning – waiting to turn adversity into an opportunity to support the struggling nightlife community. And when they saw an opening, they pounced.
With the suspension of events, F&B, and places of entertainment in 2020, workers in nightlife-related industries were struggling to make a living. Jägermeister wanted to ensure there will be culture and nightlife to return to once the pandemic is over, and, at the same time, continue to keep consumers engaged, giving them the best nights through new ways.
Where other brands made consumers go to them for entertainment, Jägermeister decided to take the entertainment to their audience, on their terms. And thus, Meister Drop-Ins was born.
Meister Drop-Ins is a campaign that allows customers to book Meisters – otherwise known as masters, or nightlife talent – to provide entertainment during virtual parties. Since launch, the campaign has participated in 1,500 virtual events across 25 markets, as well as paid €800k to these Meisters, plus thousands mor
Gone are the days where hard liquor is the go-to spirit for making delicious cocktails. As it turns out, you can grab a bottle of your favourite wine and enjoy yourself a delectable, lower alcohol alternative to a spirit-forward cocktail. It doesn’t matter if it is red wine, white wine or even rose. There are tasty ways to mix up each varietal into a flavourful and refreshing drink. Ready to start mixing? Follow these simple tips.
Pick Your Wine Profile
Wines are a versatile cocktail ingredient because it has a dynamic spectrum of flavour profile, from dry and fruity to bright and savoury. Next, we will delve into the individual flavour profiles of red, white and rose wine.
Dry Red Wine
Red wines are known to have higher tannins - A group of bitter and astringent compounds that are found abundantly in plants and grape skins. They are bitter in flavour and leave a drying sensation on the tongue. Since grape skins are left on during the winemaking process of red wine, reds usually generally have higher tannins than white wine or rose.
When it comes to tannins, chances are you either like it or you never want to taste it again. But the beauty of mixing a wine-based cocktail is that with proper pairing of ingredients, you get to enjoy the flavours of red wine without or with less of the overbearing tannins.
Crisp White Wine
White wines, especially sweet whites, are more acidic than reds. High acidity in white wines makes them a unique s
It’s always summer in sunny Singapore, and what better drink to keep the heat away than a bottle of refreshing beer? Well, not if you’ve been drinking the same lager over and over and over again, with a whole carton stocked up during the nation’s call to stay home. If that sounds like you, why not learn to mix your own beer-tails (that is, beer cocktails)? With an infinite number of permutations for even one lager, we promise you’ll never get bored.
Best part is, you don’t even need fancy craft beer! Commercial beer does fantastically as well, so truly anyone can make their own beer-tails. But before you start, you might want to keep in mind some considerations.
How to Mix Beer
Sure, you can throw a bunch of beers and beverages together, shake it (warning: big mistake!), and call it a day. But if you want to create a respectable, drinkable, possibly even delicious beer-tail, here are some tips for you.
Depending on beer style, adding beer typically gives your beer-tail a fuller body. For a thicker, creamier mouthfeel, consider adding an oatmeal stout, wheat beer, or even hazy IPA.
Due to its carbonation, adding beer to cocktails not only creates some brightness and liveliness, it may also boost some of the drink’s other flavours and aromas.
And we are back at it again with the Fuss-free “series”! What was originally a lament about how the pandemic has shifted our drinking habits and how we can do it better with the given circumstances, has now turned into a full-blown arsenal of tips and tricks aimed to get your drink on- in style and in comfort.
This time around, we wanted to sashay into keeping things classy and what exudes class better than wine? Or at least perceived class. This is in no way a knock on other types of alcoholic beverages or wine itself, rather, it is a tip of the hat to the portrayal of the beverage over the years in mass media and society at large to attain such a status.
The Wine Connection
These days we tend to see and hear more about a niche profession dedicated to the understanding of intricate taste profiles of wine and its history in the form of Sommeliers, but don’t be fooled. The duties of the modern-day Sommelier can be traced back to the 1300s where Butlers were commonplace for Noble and wealthy families. Part of the Butlers’ duties included sourcing and procuring higher end bottles of fine wine, presumably for special occasions (or just for the King), as well as decent but less expensive bottles for general household consumption (thus the term house pours). This is reminiscent of Sommeliers today who, in addition to sourcing and procuring, also recommend you the best wine su
Modern history is shaped by historical revolutions. A series of turn key, crisis level events that had major effects on the world. While revolutions are riddled with morbid stories of pain and deaths, some of the greatest opportunities and inventions were created out of those trying times.
The United States alcohol prohibition in 1919, which bans the manufacturing, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors, was one crisis known as the dry era that inspired modern craft cocktails and impacted the drinking scene as we know it today.
The Rise of an (Gin)telligent Era
"Crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think." - Jawaharlal Nehru
The closure of bars forced many to find inventive ways to access alcohol. The prohibition meant to sanction order and control in alcohol consumption only fueled creativity and fanned the flames for illicit activity and organized crime. People started crafting and peddling their own hooch using ingenious ways.
Bootleggers, Rotgut Liquor and Home-brewed Gin
Necessity is the mother of invention. With limited resources, illegal makers aka bootleggers resorted to anything and everything to make spirits that resemble the good stuff they could
The Martini is a king in the pantheon of cocktails. Sipped and celebrated like no other from the golden age to the madmen era and beyond. Ever charming and pleasing yet no one really knows the secret to its allure. Maybe it’s the refined aesthetics - A crystal clear drink served on an iconic v-shaped glass that reminds you of the cool of the day or it’s the way it tastes - invigorating yet sippable.
A more salient point would be that the Martini is so famous because it is so simple - a two-ingredient drink that also comes with a wealth of possibilities. Gin or vodka? How much? Shaken or stirred? Wet or dry? What the Martini lacks in ingredients it more than makes up for in its intriguing personality - the devil is in the details.
The King of Cocktails and Opinions
Drinkers and bartenders have been debating on the “right or perfect” way to create the Martini. Naturally, there is a vast variety of literature dazzled with strong opinions of how the "perfect” Martini should be made.
While there is a strong appeal in discovering flavour varieties from different techniques, the heavy clout of guides and varying opinions on what is socially acceptable in the art of making and drinking a Martini is largely distasteful. Alas, a deterrent for those of us who are just stepping into the world of this famed cocktail.
Preferred, Not Perfect
As in the wise and comforting words of Victoria Moore, A wine critic and a drink writer - “Don't expect anyone to agree about how dry a martini should be”. We all could learn that there is no “right” or “perfect” way of creating or drinki
We would like to think that since you are reading this, you might be following up on our previous ‘Fuss-free’ article. While you are still more than welcome to read ahead if that is not the case, we do recommend a quick read through our previous piece as a prelude and to offer some context.
That said, as promised, let’s jump straight into a recommended recipe you can try at home if you consider yourself an adventurous drinker who is past the tried and tested cocktail kits or ready-made options available and yet not too bothered about getting processes exactly right (i.e lazy).
It is imperative however, that we first set some definitions and boundaries on what we consider “fuss-free”.
The idea of a “fuss-free” concoction in our book can be characterized by:
- Simple, easy to find ingredients
- A bias towards ready-made as opposed to made-from-scratch (in most cases)
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