Singapore’s Next Top Cocktail: All You Need to Know

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The quest for the Singapore’s next top cocktail continues at this year’s Singapore Cocktail Festival. The festival (formerly Singapore Cocktail Week) returns for a third consecutive year this March, and offers a myriad of unique cocktails and spirits from around the world. For the mixology enthusiast or the cocktail newbie, this event is certainly a must-go!

Four bars have made the cut in this year’s running for Singapore’s Next Top Cocktail. Will we find the next Singapore Sling? We just had to find out for ourselves, and what better way than to have a taste?

From unexpected ingredients to uniquely local and familiar flavours, here is our no-frills verdict on why these deserve a place in the finals!

Shiok Collins by Mitzo

Shiok Collins by Mitzo

What’s in it

  • Chilli padi-infused Gin
  • Goji berry syrup
  • Lemon juice
  • Curry leaves
  • Angostura bitter
  • Soda water

 

First impressions

Ooh, the smell reminds me of cereal prawn. I love cereal prawn. The first taste has a light spiciness, but not the sort that leaves your tongue burning like you would expect from chilli padi.

I first noticed the smell of the curry leaves before actually tasting it, and the overall aftertaste is light and tingly. 

Why we like it

This drink is perfect for a hot, sweltering day, and also a great prelude to a heavy meal. The citrus-y base whets the appetite, and each ingredient also manages to make itself apparent at multiple tastings.

Score: 4.5 / 5

Lion City Sour by 28 HongKong Street

Lion City Sour by 28 HongKong Street

What’s in it

  • Cimarrón Bianco tequila
  • Alipus San Luis Mezcal
  • Pineapple
  • Lime
  • Ginger
  • Coriander
  • Basil
  • Cucumber
  • Sesame oil
  • Chicken rice chilli

 

First impressions

This drink looks very unassuming, and smells very much like chicken rice chilli sauce. I’m worried I might really be drinking a whole cup of chilli sauce… 

This definitely tasted like chicken rice chilli sauce, and my whole jaw ached when I tasted the saltiness. The drink overall leaves a very sharp taste on subsequent sips.

Why we like it

The taste is certainly distinct and without a doubt reminds of chicken rice chilli sauce, perhaps just missing the trademark garlicky taste. It might have been good to cut back on the amount of chilli sauce since it overpowers the flavour of the other ingredients. Pineapple, ginger and basil are among the ingredients listed, but these have gotten lost in the mix.

Score: 2.5 / 5

Leo’s Flip by Nutmeg & Clove

Leo's Flip by Nutmeg & Clove

What’s in it

  • Wild Turkey honey
  • Ron Zacapa 23
  • Amaretto
  • Spiced pineapple
  • Egg yolk

 

First impressions

They’ve put a dash of cinnamon in this, so that is the most prominent smell right off the bat.

At first taste, Leo’s Flip has a slightly creamy texture which might remind me of pineapple tart pastry, except without the pineapple.

Why we like it

While the taste didn’t particularly strike a chord, it also became a taste that one would become accustomed to and eventually enjoy as a comfortable drink.

Score: 3 / 5

Kopi ‘Ol Fashioned by Crackerjack

Kopi 'Ol Fashioned by Crackerjack

What’s in it

  • Butter and coconut washed Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac & Plantation
  • Barbados 2001 Single Island rum
  • Bénédictine Dom
  • Housemade coffee syrup
  • served with kaya toast and a kacang puteh bonus

 

First impressions

Ooh, I can really smell the coffee! 

The immediate impression this leaves is that of kopi gadai – extra sweet coffee. The overall roundness makes it a drink that goes down easily. Having it on the rocks helps release the coffee flavour, while the coconut-washed cognac supplies just a hint of kaya, the obvious accompaniment to kopi.

Why we like it

In terms of finding a flavour that could adequately represent Singapore, Kopi ‘Ol Fashioned is as close as it comes, stemming from a drink that most Singaporeans would take comfort in, and this appears to be a more relaxing alternative to the much-ordered kopi-o. 

(As a personal preference, I might have liked it “siudai” aka less sweet.)

Score: 4.7 / 5

Final Verdict

If our scores are not telling enough, the Kopi ‘Ol Fashioned takes our vote, though Shiok Collins gets a worthy mention as a close contender for Singapore’s Next Top Cocktail. Have we found the next Singapore Sling? Only time will tell!

How to vote for Singapore’s Next Top Cocktail

Simply hashtag your cocktail of choice and #SGCF2017 on any of your social media posts! Results will be announced on Sunday, 19 March 2017.

Want to stay posted on SGCF 2017? Check out the official Facebook and Instagram pages. 

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