Who: Australian Matthew-Fergusson Stewart, 46, is a whisky expert who moved to Singapore in 2009. The industry veteran spent more than five years as an award-winning brand ambassador for Glenfiddich and created the Dram Full whisky community, which has some 22,000 members.
He is currently the director of Spun Spirits, a spirits consulting and distribution company he co-founded in 2020, and is also a regional brand ambassador for Beam Suntory’s malt whiskies portfolio, in particular the Auchentoshan and Bowmore brands.
He is married to a Singaporean in her 40s, who works in public relations. They live in Sengkang with their 10-year-old daughter.
“My weekdays are usually full on, so I like to relax during weekends.
As a family, we love to do nature walks and try to spot some wildlife. Mornings are the best time to do that, so we often have a quick breakfast before heading out.
Pasir Ris Park is a favourite haunt as we almost always see vipers there. But we also often frequent Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Previous sightings which have thrilled us include mouse deer, which are endangered and quite rare, and also the Raffles banded langur at Thomson Nature Park.
After our walks, we stop for cheese prata, which my daughter loves. The location depends on which park we are at. For instance, if we are in the Thomson area, we probably head to Casuarina Curry off Upper Thomson Road near Lower Peirce Reservoir.
Because my day job requires me to socialise and drink more often than not, I like to engage in more introspective, hands-on activities during the weekends, such as building and fixing things on our balcony. My daughter helps out a bit, though she runs off when I bring out the power tools.
I built one of the cabinets we have placed on the balcony, which functions as a herb garden, storage facility and cat house. It took a few weekends to complete.
The Covid-19 pandemic was a productive time to indulge in my product design and do-it-yourself passion. One of my projects then was a collaboration with Lucaris Crystal, a Thai brand, to produce the first specialised luxury crystal glassware for whiskies.
In the evenings, I like to wind down with an Auchentoshan whisky highball (whisky, club soda and ice). It is simple to make and easy to drink, and expresses the flavour of whisky very nicely.
My wife and I enjoy cooking, so we usually have homemade dinners. Her specialities are local and Chinese cuisine – she makes an amazing chicken rice, which is one of my daughter’s favourites. I am better at Western dishes and make what I consider to be the best bolognese pasta, although my daughter thinks my mother’s version is better.
We usually eat at the dining table, but on Sundays, we pick a movie and settle down on the couch while we eat. It is a quiet and relaxed way for the three of us to spend time together before the work and school week starts.”