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#578

I CAN'T EVEN "I CAN'T EVEN"

06 Feb 2018 By David Fuhrmann-Lim

How a Good Drinking Experience Can Be Ruined When You're Surrounded by Fucktards From Other Media.

I go to review a new bar with high hopes; I want to be thrilled, touched, taught a trick or three. I don’t show up with gloves, or a sledgehammer, ready to knock some concept off its crazy head – trust me, I’ve seen some half-assed, highfalutin, hopeless ideas that should have stayed in the bog where they were conceived.

There are times when you’re rewarded with marvels of course: genius menus, clever classics, cocktails with culinary techniques and meaningful spirit directions.

But sometimes there are externalities that don’t go their way and stuff gets screwed up: Like you know the people behind the bar are good, but it was a bad-service day. Fine, I’ll come back again. Or when it’s a preview of a preview and some ingredients are missing. Fine by me.

What you don’t want to ruin your day out is… other people.

But it happened when I went to review Elixir Bar. Sure. I can be magnaminous and ignore the irritants around me. But there’s only me and these two fuckwits from a vomit blog I’ve never heard of. Like, never.

I don’t need to trot out my credentials, but it’s not fun to sit next to two shoe salesmen whose every utterance is: “Wha, what is this drink it’s very smooth what is this gin you say I only heard of vodka not the same meh?”

Like, how did they get past the gatekeepers?

And these two are Grown. Ass. Men. Not the gaggle of Insta Girls who take selfies with cocktails whose names they can’t pronounce (say ‘mar-ti-ni’) and who would never drink the cocktails anyway. Smile!

“Are you mixologist wha every drink got fire one! This one very strong got that brown thing, okay, very shiok strong, my favourite.”

[ Editor’s Note: Singlish, Yoda-syntax and slang will not be edited for clarity ]

Okay, some background perhaps.

I’m at Elixir Bar in Orchard Road at the behest of the PR, to check out its new alchemy-themed cocktail menu by new bartender Vladyslav Buzko. So there’s me, PR lady, and Fucktard #1. Fucktard #2 was late (but of course).

Drinking, whether it’s for work (chat with bartender, other media) or with mates (chat with mates) is a communal experience. You’re there to revel in each other’s knowledge, trivia, jokes and maybe commiseration. But there you are, hoping for an experience.

And boy did I get one.

Anubis Potion (1) Elixir Bar

The menu by the appropriately-named Vlad is inspired by potions, magic and mythology. It’s clever and impressive actually. At two drinks in, Fucktard #2 shows up, but by then I had already heard a slew of “this one damn strong”, “I only know beer one, not cocktail”.

Yes, Fucktard #1, like part of a WWE wrestling duo, had been keeping it in check until he could tag his partner, and then we were off to the match!

“Ya ya you pose with the cocktail, very drama, video good!”

“Can can we share, very strong!”

And I repeat, these were two Grown. Ass. Men. Singing along to Limp Bizkit as well. (Or is it Limpeh?)

“We never heard of this Monkey Shoulder thing where can I buy I never seen before!”

I caved and – in a fit of testiness – shouted out that, “Monkey Shoulders is the Jacobs Creek of Whisky! It’s everywhere!” But it seemed to have swung over their heads.

It’s a reflection of where media is at, at the moment in Singapore, where PR companies are concerned: You’ve got a phone, hey you’re media, please join us for this review.

What?!! You’ve got Internet connection and WordPress?! Oh my lord, please, we send you invite.

Yeah, we’ll worry bout your publication later, you did say your name was Drink This? Eat That? I Like Donkey Shit? Bedok Beer Bros? Merlion Moron? Come, join us, you free this Friday right?

And that’s how people get past the gatekeepers, when the need for Likes, Shares and Retweets overrides the need for judicious scrutiny, knowledgeable exchange and critical diligence. I wanted Parched to be a guide to drinking, so we can all drink better. I can’t claim to know a lot, but at least I’m curious. I know what I don’t know, and what I know I realise is never enough.

So by the time Bon Jovi came on, I knew I had lost this bout. So yeah, sorry PR, this one’s on you.

Heracles Force Elixir Bar

To be fair to Elixir Bar, the drinks were mostly good: Great on presentation (love those goblets!), the blends were clever and the cocktails were focused and deserving of more attention. There were a few too many flamed beverages for my liking (dear readers, you’re not gonna plow through seven cocktails, so not to worry).

I loved the classic Dirty Martini, Vlad had muddled the olives well, and it brought out a crisp and oleaginous quality I don’t usually find. Go visit, I say, and bring good company – maybe you’ll find magic here. 

Elixir Bar, 321 Orchard Road, #02-01, Orchard Shopping Centre (part of the Kuvo Group).

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