Cocktail enthusiasts will be able to pour themselves into a whole range of drink- related activities when the inaugural Singapore Cocktail Week rolls around on March 7.
Over eight days, around 2,000 people are expected to bar-hop around town, attend workshops by seasoned local bartenders, and meet world- renowned bartenders who will be shaking up their signature tipples.
Thirty cocktail bars here will be taking part in Singapore Cocktail Week, organised by Curated Events, a lifestyle events company co-founded by Singaporeans Pauline Wee, 34, and Ivy Woo, 39.
The duo say they hope the event will boost Singapore's profile as a leading cocktail destination and showcase the growing pool of bartending talent.
The drinks fest kicks off with an opening party for ticket-holders at Tanjong Beach Club on March 7.
There will be a series of four pop-up bars showcasing a particular spirit during the week - Hendrick's gin at Oxwell & Co in Ann Siang Road; Sailor Jerry rum at Bar Naked in Club Street; Tito's vodka at The Spiffy Dapper in Amoy Street; and Monkey Shoulder scotch at bar L'Aiglon in Neil Road.
Ticket-holders can sample a range of cocktails at participating bars at a discounted price of $14 a drink and enjoy a 10 per cent discount on 19 cocktail workshops. Those without tickets pay between $28 and $68 for the workshops, which include sample cocktails and spirits.
The workshops cover everything from getting the right tools to setting up your own bar at home to interesting techniques in garnishing your cocktails and creating fun cocktail punches for house parties.
The event's sponsor, Scottish alcohol company and distiller William Grant & Sons, has handpicked 10 award-winning bartenders from around the world to host workshops, do guest-bartending shifts and lead attendees on themed cocktail tours.
Among the visiting bartenders are American Steve Schneider of Employees Only in New York; Australian Nathan Beasley of Black Pearl & The Attic in Melbourne; and Amanda Wan of The Envoy in Hong Kong. Some of them will lead bargoers on themed bar crawls, where they get to visit four bars in one night and enjoy a signature cocktail at each stop.
Among those who have bought tickets is Ms Sharon Liew, 36, who is keen on visiting new bars and trying out their signature cocktails.
Ms Liew, an accounts manager with a creative agency, says: "I knew that there was a cocktail scene but I didn't realise there were so many players. It'd be interesting to see them come together, each bringing something special to the table, be it cocktails or workshops. It'll be a good time to hit the bars."
HIGHLIGHTS OF COCKTAIL WEEK
Singapore Cocktail Week Opening Party
Here is where you can schmooze with some of the best bartenders in the world. Attending the event are 10 award-winning international barmen, including American Steve Scheider of Employees Only in New York; Roman Foltan of award-winning bar Artesian in London; and
Nick Koumbarakis of The Alchemist Says in Cape Town, South Africa.
Toast the start of Singapore Cocktail Week with drinks made by seasoned local bartenders from 11 cocktails bars, including Nutmeg & Clove, Hopscotch, Jekyll & Hyde, Jigger & Pony and Manhattan.
Be sure to check out cocktails made by Irish barman Dean Callan, who is brand ambassador for Monkey Shoulder scotch.
When: March 7, 5.30pm till late
Where: Tanjong Beach Club, 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa Island
Cost: Free for Singapore Cocktail Week ticket-holders. Tickets at $38 from eventclique.com
Getting Started: The Basics Of Craft
Bartending at Home Want to set up your own bar at home? Head bartender of Bar Stories David Koh, 34, will teach you how to equip a home bar and the basic know-how to craft a cocktail, from the use of ingredients to developing multiple cocktails with one recipe.
He will use unusual garnishes inspired by his chef training, such as using edible flowers and making an ice bowl from crushed ice. He will also create five cocktails to showcase different techniques of making a drink, including an aged rum Old-Fashioned and a Whisky Sour.
Where: Bar Stories, 57A Haji Lane When: Next Saturday, 4 to 5.30pm Cost: $65 (10 per cent discount for ticket-holders)
Head bartender of L’Aiglon Louis Tan, 26, will take you through the basics, such as balancing the taste of a cocktail, explaining how a shaker works and the function of ice in cocktails, and show how to use egg whites in your tipple.
You also learn how to replicate three of his best-selling cocktails: the Whisky Sour (bourbon, lemon juice, sugar syrup, angostura bitters, orange bitters, egg white); Scotched Apple (blended scotch, sugar syrup and fresh green apple); and Wolf’s Peach Illusion (gin, lychee liqueur, lemon juice, basil syrup, pineapple juice, cherry tomatoes).
Where: L’Aiglon, 69 Neil Road When: March 9, 6 to 7pm Cost: $60 (10 per cent discount for ticket-holders)
Learn about the 1920s Prohibition era and the rise of speakeasies in the United States from restaurant-bar Tippling Club’s head barman Kamil Foltan, 29, who will be doing versions of two classic cocktails that were popular during that period – the Old Fashioned and Whisky Sour.
At Tippling Club, known for its innovative and experimental drinks, guests can sample the cocktails made using the original recipe, and Foltan’s take, for comparison. Among the drinks are his Jungle Old Fashioned (Monkey Shoulder blended scotch infused with bananas, maple syrup and house-made chocolate bitters), and Jersey Lightning (cinnamon-infused High West Rendezvous rye, green apple, vanilla syrup, citrus and angostura bitters). Where: Bin 38 at Tippling Club, 38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Level 2 When: March 10, 6pm Cost: $68 (10 per cent discount for ticket-holders)
Advanced Punch Workshop
Spice up your house parties by making a fancy punch to impress your friends. Taught by Jigger & Pony’s head bartender Aki Eguchi, 34, workshop participantss will learn how to pick the right “vessel” to present their punch and to make oleo-saccharum, an ingredient in cocktails and punches used in 19th-century bartending as a way to provide an elegant flavour and aroma to alcoholic drinks.
Aki will teach attendees three different ways to prepare oleo-saccharum. He will go through the building of a punch, from working with spirit infusions and house-made syrups, to the types of ice to garnish your punch. You will get to make and taste up to five punches, including Jigger & Pony’s popular Shogun Cask punch (sake, vodka, creme de peche (peach liqueur), grapefruit, pineapple, lime, grenadine syrup).
Where: Jigger & Pony, 101 Amoy Street When: March 14, 6 to 7pm Cost: $60 (10 per cent discount for ticket-holders)
There will be four pop-up bars, each focusing on a different spirit. They are Voyages In The Mist – An Adventure Inside A Hat by Hendrick’s Gin at Oxwell & Co; Sailor Jerry rum pop-up at Bar Naked; Tito’s Vodka pop-up at The Spiffy Dapper; and Monkey Shoulder (scotch): Appreciation of Fun & Cocktails at L’Aiglon.
Where and when: Oxwell & Co at 5 Ann Siang Road from March 9 to 13; Bar Naked at 95 Club Street from March 9 to 13; The Spiffy Dapper at 73 Amoy Street on March 11; L’Aiglon at 69 Neil Road on March 13. For details, go to www.singaporecocktailweek.com.sg Cost: Prices of cocktails range between $10 and $16 for ticket-holders. Those who do not have tickets pay $12 to $25.