SINGAPORE -There are libations aplenty during my gin-themed weekend staycation at Oakwood Premier OUE, a serviced apartment that opened in 2017 and received its hotel licence in January this year.
Checking into my one-bedroom premier apartment, I am greeted with a do-it-yourself cocktail kit. It comprises a bottle of Brass Lion Distillery dry gin and mixers of honey chrysanthemum syrup and cold brewed Gryphon jasmine green tea with moroccan rose and lychee.
I am one of those annoying folks who is always asking for a customised order - less sugar, more garnish or a stiffer drink - so a DIY kit suits me perfectly. Playing bartender, I halve the recommended amount of syrup and reduce the amount of cold brewed tea so the citrusy notes of gin are more pronounced.
Garnished with a dehydrated lemon wedge and poured over ice, my mid-afternoon tipple tastes like an alcoholic version of chrysanthemum tea, only more refreshing.
Next, it is time to learn about the origins of the gin. I board a minibus bound for Brass Lion Distillery at Alexandra Terrace, where co-founder Mr Satish Vaswani explains the process behind this local spirit.
A total of 22 ingredients, which includes Asian botanicals such as kaffir lime leaves, torch ginger flower and lemongrass go into the gin. It is then distilled, diluted and filtered before being bottled by hand. The 45-minute tour concludes with a tasting flight of the original dry gin, a pink pahit gin best drank neat, and my personal favourite, butterfly pea gin, which is fragrant with lavender and turns lilac when I mix in some tonic.
The same minibus ships me back to my room, where dusk is slowly falling. Perhaps the alcohol lashings have made me sentimental, or blurred my vision, but Singapore looks particularly beautiful bathed in pastel sunset hues.
A roll-on-roll-off ship berths at Tanjong Pagar terminal, ejecting hundreds of new cars that line up on the wharf. Warm orange lights temper the glass and steel of our central business district. Ensconced in a plush bathrobe, I lounge on a bay window and watch the view.
It is but a short, dry interlude. A knock at my door brings food and beverage manager Mr Gregory Teo, who arrives with another trolley heaving with spirits, wines and mixers.
At his urging, I try two more cocktails, both recent additions to the menu that were designed by Mr Teo himself. The Se7enth Wonder, a concoction of whisky, grapefruit juice and ginger honey is rich and smoky, while the mix of vodka, ginger ale, grenadine syrup and mint in the Madame S is sweet without being saccharine.
The mobile bar, which the hotel will roll out in August, will serve free flow cocktails and canapes from 7 to 10pm. I graze on maple truffle drumlets and macarons, sipping on my nightcaps, thinking this would be "so not the perfect weekend" for recovering alcoholics.
There will be time for less intoxicating, perhaps more wholesome pursuits tomorrow. I might go to the gym, swim in the infinity pool or browse local designerware at adjoining mall OUE Downtown Gallery. But for now, hic,all I can do is tip into bed.
The Oops, I've Ginned staycation package starts from $447.30 per night in a one-bedroom apartment and includes a DIY cocktail kit, Brass Lion Distillery tour and two-way transport to the distillery. It is valid for weekend stays until Dec 1 2019. The mobile bar package costs $64.75 per person.