SINGAPORE - For the upcoming SG50 celebrations to mark Singapore's 50th year of nationhood next year, the Singapore Hotel Association pitted the bartenders of fourteen hotels against each other to come up with a signature cocktail and mocktail that could replace the Singapore Sling as the next iconic local drink.
Here are some of the notable concoctions from Monday's contest:
First prize: Singapura Nacional, by Regent Singapore
The winner of the cocktail category, this concoction puts a new spin on a couple of old classics, the iconic Singapore Sling and the Cuban creation Hotel Nacional. Bombay Sapphire gin, apricot brandy and pineapple juice are shaken with a spiced sugar syrup infused with cinnamon, orange, clove and cardamom.
First runner-up: Majulah Julep, by Marina Bay Sands
A local twist on the mint julep of the American South, this cocktail combines silver and aged rum with galangal and lemongrass gula melaka, as well as fresh calamansi fruit. The traditional mint leaf is joined by laksa leaf and ginger flowers to create flavours reminiscent of local dish Katong laksa.
Second runner-up: Golden Heritage, by Grand Hyatt
Smirnoff green apple vodka and St. Germain elderflower liqueur are shaken with cucumber syrup, carrot juice and apple juice, and garnished with a cinnamon stick, star anise and gold dust.
Garden City, by Fullerton Bay Hotel
In an homage to Singapore's many gardens, this vivid green cocktail of vodka, peppermint liqueur and sour plum jam is smoked under a bell jar with dried Thai basil leaves.
A Toast of Kaya, by Swissotel The Stamford
A liquid version of a typical kopitiam breakfast, this cocktail combines Gordon's gin with kaya coconut jam and 'teh o', or tea with sugar but no milk. Served in a jar, it is garnished with an actual slice of kaya toast.
First prize: Golden Harvest, by Grand Hyatt
With its warm yellow hue a nod to Singapore's upcoming golden 50th anniversary, this prize-winning drink blends fresh mango with peach syrup and coconut cream.
First runner-up: Baba Nonya by Pan Pacific
This Peranakan-themed creation spices up grapefruit juice with a mix of flavours drawn from nonya cuisine, incuding star anise, nutmeg, ginger slices and kumquat.
Second runner-up: Pandan Valley, by Marina Mandarin
Named after one of Singapore's oldest condominiums, this drink muddles yuzu juice with pandan syrup and orange marmalade.
Beautiful Horizon, by Resorts World Sentosa
This mocktail could have been put together from the wares of your local drinks vendor. Marigold orange and cloudy apple juices are combined with Allswell longan and red date tea and F&N NutriTea lemongrass with ginger.