Singapore Cocktail Festival 2017 #SGCF: All your questions answered.
Wait, what? It used to be called the Cocktail Week, DrinkingPalooza or something, right?
It used to be called the Singapore Cocktail Week, but it’s now the Singapore Cocktail Festival. Much better, don’t you think – Festival? Also, it doesn’t last a week (Mar 16-21).
There’s a theme?
There’s a theme. Taste, Play, Learn. And it’s all happening at the Festival Village.
There’s a festival village?
There’s a Festival Village, at 99 Beach Road (the old police station, see map below). Entry to the village is complimentary and all cocktails there are priced at $12 Nett. Guests will enjoy close to 50 different cocktails across thematic Cocktail Rooms, sample artisanal and craft spirits from around the world at the Spirits Tasting Room, or pop in at the Food Street featuring your favourite restaurants.
Festival guests can also be a part of exciting events such as the Asia Bar Battle, and cast their votes for Singapore’s Next Top Cocktail.
$12 cocktails, Festival Village, loving it already. So, do we not visit the bars then?
Au contraire, you must visit the participating bars, because there’s loads going on: Masterclasses, guest bartending shifts, special tastings and special cocktails–
–way ahead of you, pal. Start with the new Cosmos menu at Tippling Club, an extension of their brilliant Sensorium menu. Theme is Cosmos, and here you’ll get to experience what space smells like.
What does space smell like?
Gigi Hadid. Actually, space smells a bit like charcoal after a yoga class. But their cocktails are splendid. Milky Way is a blend of cold brew coffee, honey, salted caramel, Aberlour whisky and bits of ‘meteorites’, it tastes like cookies and cream from heaven, and then there’s Moon (below) which–
–it looks like the rings from the squids in Arrival–
–that’s food dye, but yes, the effect is real and the cocktail has moon milk, white wine and Jameson whisky, you can drink loads of this, it has a pisco sour texture, but is like a strong, spirited calpis. Also ask for the Xenomorph, all cocktails are $22 (Tippling Club, 38 Tanjong Pagar Road).
And on closing night of SGCF, 28HKS will be hosting Fastest Hands in the East: Return to the 28 Chambers on 20th March. A yearly speed competition, FHITE will see clans of speed warriors battling it out for the title of Fastest Hands in the East 2017. For those who just want to drink, drink tickets are priced at $15 nett each. Entry is free but be warned, the room will be packed with bartenders and barflies. (28 Hong Kong Street, natch).
Go for the view, stay for the cocktails. If you haven’t been, Artemis is a good place to fuel up for the rest of your bar hop. It’s a Mediterranean rooftop grill in the city area, and they use fresh, organic and sustainable produce synonymous with the flavours of coastal Spain, Southern France, Italy and Greece. (Level 40, 138 Market Street.)
What about masterclasses and workshops?
What about them?
I’m just messing wit cha. Go to Trade Events and register for something you like. Payment might be required, it’s worth it though.
So… where do the industry peeps go?
They will mostly be busy with their own events and guest bartenders, but (ssshhhh….) they tend to all end up at Skinny’s Lounge, the dive bar at Boat Quay. Check out The Official Late-Night Unofficial Cocktail Week Party on 18 March, where famed NYC bartender Danny Neff goes behind the stick to whip up more tasty concoctions. The week winds down with the Red, White and Booze Party on 19 March, celebrating Americana for a good cause. With over five regional bartenders—including Ricky Paiva, Michael Callahan (welcome back!) and Gina Marie Kent—taking turns to shake up drinks, all proceeds will go to Red Pencil. (Skinny’s, 82 Boat Quay).
Okay, where the hotties at?
On 20 March, the Neon Pigeon bar will be helmed by bartending duo, Symphony Loo (above) and Palmira Bertuca alongside well-loved friends of Neon Pigeon, Mika Tomiyama and Vivian Pei. Catch the ladies battle it out at The Pretty and The Twisted One.
And speaking of hotties…
Also at Neon Pigeon (1 Keong Saik Road), to culminate the end of SGCF, there’s a bar takeover #aSailorsLife “Sherry-ing is Caring” starring Michael Callahan (above), the original ang moh beng of 28 HongKong Street will take place on 21 March.
Ce La Vi (SkyBar, 1 Bayfront Avenue, MBS) also has a line-up of guest bartenders, one of them is actually called Baby Bloom (above), from Thailand’s Miky’s cocktail Bar.
Highball has a cool guest bartender: Lauren Mote! Owner of Bittered Sling Bitters and winner of 2015 Diageo World Class Canada. She is also a sommelier. emcee, writer and an Architect of potions, tonics and elixirs. Details above.
This is too much to take in…
…what do you recommend for recovery?
How about the Recovery Brunch ($16+) from Crackerjack? Comes in two variations: Naughty (Chilaquiles and a mezcal bloody mary) or Nice (house bone broth and spinach superfood shake) with your choice of coffee. There’s also a team of massage therapists on standby to rub that sore head throughout the week (43 Tanjong Pagar Road).
Sold! One last thing, you got Gigi Hadid’s number?
Contact her here.
#SGCF Festival Village Opening Hours:
16 & 17 March 2017 (Thurs & Fri) from 4pm to 10pm
18 & 19 March 2017 (Sat & Sun) from 12noon to 10pm