Booze Bonanza

Booze Bonanza

Do you ever just want to flip every table at work, waltz out of there while singing like a mad person and then be a merry drunk at some watering hole? Well, these are some watering hole suggestions for you to get your drunkard on at.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

Hey there, whatcha got planned this weekend? Nothing, you say? Well you’re in luck, @vingeeksg Bottomless July is here till the last weekend of September! For $60++, you can drink as much as you like on Friday & Saturday evenings, but the only caveat is that you gotta stick with one wine all night.⠀

However, they do have all bases covered. Prosecco, red, rosé, and white wine are all available for you to choose. Feel a little ebullient on that night? Get yourself some of Tini’s Brut Prosecco. Delightfully bubbly, dangerously light and refreshing, and bursting with citrus aromas & flavours, this straightforward bubbly is adequate enough for celebrating the arrival of the weekend.⠀

Feeling a little more moody instead? Order Siete Soles 2016 vintage Sémillion Chardonnay. A heavy, silky smooth body from the Chardonnay balances out the high acidity from the sémillon in the blend, and the notes of green apples & orange peel mask subtle notes of tropical fruit that never quite reveals itself. Sémillon is a rarer varietal of wine, so it was nice to sip a well balanced blend that’s a decent showcase of sémillon.⠀

There’s no need to whine when you could be sipping on wine, and Vin Geek has a whole lotta wine for you.

Most people go to @vingeeksg for the innovative wine dispenser, but I was there for the boozy bottomless July. Yes, bottomless July in August, because Vin Geek extended it till the end of September. For $60++, you can drink as much wine as your liver will allow from 6-8pm on Fridays & Saturdays. The catch? You can only choose one wine from their house-pour selection. However, if you get a very amicable service staff on a quieter night, they might just let you try all 4 house-pours.⠀

House-pours generally get a bad reputation as cheap crap, but Vin Geek’s lineup is anything but garbage. I present exhibit A: Siete Soles 2015 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend. Provocatively full bodied and smooth, this fruit forward wine was loaded with aromas & flavours of cherries & plums, underpinned by the hearty, heady aroma of oak.⠀

While it is rather tannic & dry on the palate, giving it a little time to breathe does mellow it out a little. While it isn’t a brilliant bottle of vino, Siete Soles’ Cab Merlot blend is decent enough for a freeflow slammin’ sesh.

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Nothing screams #tgif louder than a proper pint of stout, like this $10 pint of Brains Black Stout. It’s a rather moderate stout in terms of flavour, with the normally heavy handed roasted coffee notes being more nuanced here. Lots of dark chocolate notes too, so chocoholics rejoice. However, the mind blowing part is the smooth creaminess of this stout. The body is on the heavier side, and the thick foamy head lingers for quite a while.

This goes down so easy it’ll blow your mind.

The Cider Pit is a true gem of a watering hole, and it’s dangerously close to my office. Sure, the bar counter is a bit sticky, and the menu is slightly tattered, but they have a half dozen ciders on tap there. This blonde beauty is Henry Westons Vintage Cider, and it’s only $14 a pint for this rare gem.⠀

If your only experience with cider is limited to the stuff you get from 7-11, then boy are you in for a shock. At first sip, this punchy 8.2% ABV cider tastes like freshly squeezed apple juice. Then, the subtle funkiness and the tartness kicks in. The sweetness & bitterness are evenly matched, and the mild funk from this hard cider being aged in oak barrels was quite unforgettable for all the right reasons. It needs to be drunk with a sense of urgency, as it is definitely not pleasant when it warms up. Fortunately, the light carbonation aids chugging quite well.⠀

I’m mighty pleased that The Cider Pit has this boozy adult apple juice on tap for a reasonable price, and that’s why I’m usually in the Pit.

@cherki_sg have an extremely intriguing selection of 15 cocktails to go with your food. As a bourbon enjoyer, I instantly picked the Fortune Favours the Bold ($23++). A concoction of grilled pineapple juice, buah keluak tincture, Picon Club (orange liqueur) and bakkwa infused bourbon, it’s served in a skull shaped mug. That’s pretty metal.⠀

As you might be able to tell by looking at the ingredient list, this cocktail is pretty saccharine sweet. You can’t quite taste the bourbon, but can taste the bitters. It’s a little smoky, and the mouthfeel is quite syrupy. Despite the sweetness, this is a potent cocktail with adequate punch to get you tipsy. Skip the bakkwa served alongside it though, it absorbed way too much alcohol and tastes like it.⠀

Overall, Cherki’s libations are incredibly creative, and definitely warrant a sample or two.

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If @braseiro_sg $20 for 2 housepour merlots ain’t fancy enough for you, then look no further than their well curated winelist. It features five French reds that go by the glass, and an additional five that only retail by the bottle. Of course, they have another three reds from other countries, two whites and a rosé if you’re so inclined.⠀

Sitting pretty in this glass is a pour of Clarendelle’s 2017 vintage Bordeaux. It’s a classic Bordeaux red blend, and its DNA is 67% merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and just one percent Cabernet Franc. It’s one hundred percent fabulous too, as its velvety smooth and heavy body emit aromas of vanilla, oak and leather. The flavours, however, are distinctly blackberry, plum & raisin, with fleeting hints of cinnamon in there.⠀

As expected of a good Bordeaux blend, Clarendelle’s Bordeaux is charmingly complex with great fruit forward flavours and soft, rounded tannins. Tis a wonderful wine, and is best enjoyed slowly sipped between big bites of juicy entrecôte.

So, what does the removal of the ten thirty pm alcohol curfew mean for a barely functioning alcoholic like me? Well, it means that it’s open season on all you can drink alcohol buffets like the one at @singaporehimonoya! I am BACK! What it do, baby!⠀

For a fairly reasonable thirty five buckaroos (before taxes & service charge), you have ninety minutes to get absolutely shitfaced on your choice of Asahi beer, highball cocktails, plum wine or sake. To maximise your drunkenness, stick to the sake. The free flow sake is supposedly a Shochikubai Ten, which is a decent but forgettable sake, boasting a tiny twinge of sweetness and a little viscosity.⠀

However, the taste is irrelevant, because what we’re here for is the Shochikubai’s ample alcohol content of 13.5%. A decently respectable strength, which will turn you into an indecent wreck after about ten bottles. Go on, go wild. You definitely deserve to let loose after enduring two years of this clown world.

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@harryssingapore do mix up a delish drink, and even though I prefer my spirits straight, I can certainly appreciate a competently crafted cocktail. Harry’s limited edition Martell Osmanthus is undoubtedly a tasty tipple, and is definitely made for the ladies.⠀

One part of Martell is mixed with a dash of aromatic osmanthus tea, a bit of simple syrup, and tempered with a splash of tonic water for that fizzy, refreshing element. ‘Tis a simple cocktail, but an infinitely imbibe-able one. The floral fragrances of the tea complement the rich, smooth bitterness of the cognac, while the syrup silences any excessive bitterness from any of the Martell Osmanthus’ components.⠀

Better yet, this cocktail is going for a reasonable sixteen bucks a glass, but it’s only twenty two for two! Yup, this might just be the only time I’m feelin’ 22. It’s a ravishingly refreshing cocktail, and it’s absolutely perfect for hen-dos or a girls night out.⠀

Thank you for the invite, @harryssingapore & @burpple!

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Another curiosity inducing cocktail at @drunkenfarmer_sg is the Jalapeño Paloma ($18++). A Paloma (no, not the singer) is a rare-er cocktail in Singapore that’s a concoction of tequila, lime juice, and a grapefruit flavoured soda. As expected, Drunken Farmer does it a little different, with the addition of actual grapefruit juice, plain ol’ soda water for that fizzy component, and of course, jalapeños.⠀

Besides the sizeable slice of candied jalapeño garnishing the cocktail, the tequila itself has been infused with the spicy chili pepper, resulting in a scintillatingly spicy drink, punctuated by punches of sourness from the citrus juices.⠀

Unfortunately, the spiciness is the only element that really stands out from the cocktail, and spiciness alone cannot stand. Spiciness always needs to be backed up by salinity, or in some cases, an equal amount of sweetness. However, the Jalapeño Paloma was lacking in both salt & sugar, resulting in a hollow tasting drink that leaves your tastebuds hanging on fire.⠀

This Paloma has much promise, but Drunken Farmer needs to improve upon this by making salty soda water. And if they wanna go extra, well, extra, they could try adding a measure of pineapple rum or liqueur to the mix for that tantalising taste of tropical sweetness. Might be a little over the top, but it could be crazy enough to work.

Lots of people know about Common Man Coffee setting up shop in Joo Chiat, but what many don’t know is that a certain @drunkenfarmer_sg owns the place after dark. They’ve got sharing platters & pizza for food, but what you’re really here for are them drinks.⠀

I prefer my drinks like my work desk: neat. However, Drunken Farmer’s cocktails were intriguing enough to warrant an order, and I’m glad I did. The Coffee Negroni ($18++) ain’t nothing new, but it definitely is an intriguing concoction. Admittedly, it was the big man behind the bar, Alvin, who persuaded me to give this negroni a fair shake, and boy am I glad he did.⠀

The three usual suspects of gin, campari & vermouth are joined by an unexpected guest: Common Man’s very own house blend of coffee. I don’t remember what exactly they did with the coffee and what they infused it into (in my defence, I was already about a litre of wine into the night by the time I got to this drink), but my god it was a sensually smooth & ravishing drink.⠀

The coffee brings its roasted cocoa flavours, mild acidity, and slightly chocolatey richness to the smooth sweet & bitter tones expected of the standard negroni, and these coffee elements redefine the classic gin cocktail and elevate it into a deliciously complex & sublimely enjoyable drink. And if you hold a sip for long enough on your tongue, I swear you can taste just a fleeting yet unmistakable flash of sichuan peppercorn. Yep, a little mala flavour sans spice in a negroni? Sure, why not?⠀

Drunker Farmer is a decent, languidly laidback watering hole that I can foresee myself paying regular trips to for the ambience, the booze, the great service, the booze, the booze-and did I mention the booze? And of course, the world class service crew there.

@brassliondistillery Barrel Aged gin was so good, I had to have a proper drink of it all by its lonesome. Brass Lion strongly recommends that the barrel aged be enjoyed naked on the rocks, and I certainly can’t disagree.⠀

The ice causes the gin to thicken up, resulting in a delectably fuller body with hints of juniper & assorted florals, and the oaky, smoky aroma from the bourbon casks. The big boozy punch of 43% ABV certainly isn’t lessened, and the Barrel Aged is definitely a strong brew. It truly is a gorgeous gin, and it might just be the only gin I’ll be able to tolerate alone neat or on the rocks. Well played Brass Lion, well played.

Thanks to a traumatic first experience with gin (looking right AT YOU BOMBAY SAPPHIRE) I had steadfastly refused to touch that cursed liquid. Well, that is, until @burpple hooked me up with a tremendous gin tasting flight at @brassliondistillery along with a couple of other Tastemakers.⠀

Brass Lion is one of the few true blue, made in Singapore distilleries. Having their own pots for gin distillation allows them to brew up extra strong stuff like the Navy Strength, which clocks in at a thoroughly impressive FIFTY SEVEN percent. However, the Navy Strength gave me mild PTSD flashbacks to my first & absolutely awful experience with gin, as the juniper taste & aroma is pretty damn strong. The standard Brass Lion gin fared better thanks to its more nuanced flavours & aromas, and it’s actually somewhat drinkable when mixed with tonic.⠀

They don’t just do super strong moonshi-sorry, I meant gin, they’ve got some experimental flavoured gins too. At the risk of sounding like a basic bitch, I really enjoyed the butterfly pea gin which possessed an enchanting violet hue & was infused with the fabulous floral scent of lavender. Not gonna lie, it was a sleeper hit for me. The Pahit Pink is a curiously complex gin fortified with cinnamon, spices and most interesting of all, bitters. It’s reminiscent of an Old Fashioned, albeit thinner in body & less rich. Great for cocktails to be paired with Indian cuisine I reckon.⠀

Now, it ain’t gonna be a surprise that I took a shine to the barrel aged gin. Maturation in American bourbon casks imparted a rich, oaky aroma & flavour to the gin and elevated it above all other gins out there. Easy shoo in for my runaway favourite for sure. ⠀

Also, thanks to Brass Lion encouraging us to pair each gin up with a different mixer, I gained an aloof appreciation for the classic gin & tonic. Y’know what, gin? Perhaps I judged you too harshly.

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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