Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The IBA Project: Cuba Libre

Everything you need for a Cuba Libre. I had of course, finished the Coke only to remember that I haven't taken a picture.

The Grandfather Story:
The recipe of this cocktail might have originated from Cuba around the late 1800s. The original drink was said to have been made with cuban rum and a dark syrup mixture of kola nuts & coca.

The name apparently came about when an American captain proposed a toast with the drink (which became rum, coke and a squeeze of lime) around 1900 in a Havana bar filled with American soliders - "Por Cuba Libre", they would cheer, and cuba libre means "free cuba". This was just after cuba's war of independence with the Spanish.

This very disputed story was re-told by a famous rum company. There is a comprehensive article which disputes this, and yet another article which refutes this dispute, lol.

Well, whatever the story, the cocktail's yummy. :)

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Taste: Taiwanese Pride - Kavalan Single Malt Whisky

That movie reference
If you're old enough (like me) , you might remember this movie called "Armageddon". In that movie, a Russian astronaut exclaimed this rather infamous line:

"Components? American components, Russian components, ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!"

It's true innit? Everything CAN be made in Taiwan. Even Single Malt Whisky.

That's right. Just in case you've been living under a rock these past few years, Taiwan now has its own single malt whisky brand -  Kavalan.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) Wants Make Your Chinese New Year a Merrier one.

This happy lion just wants you to pet it for luck.

Chinese New Year is around the corner and GAB wants to be right there to celebrate it with you.

So if you're enjoying your spot of dinner or supper at your favourite neighbourhood food court, don't be surprised to suddenly find yourself in a GAB party with loads of entertainment.. and even the obligatory Choi San Yeh visit to rub on some new year luck to you.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

GAB Professional Solutions (GABPS) Academy National Finals

Yes, that's a LOT of words on the post title..... So let me try and break it down for you.

Firstly, a TLDR: A competition for Malaysian bartenders to pour the perfect pint of Heineken happened 2 weeks ago. The winner will represent Malaysia to compete against the rest of the world to be the best.. in the world.

Read on for the longer version! Give face la, I spent a lot of time typing this post up leh! :(

The stage at the event looked like it was setup for a huge concert and the contenders were the super Kpop stars. Nice.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Launch: Ippudo (yes that yummy ramen shop!) Bar @ Bangsar Shopping Centre

Firstly, let me get this out of the way - I LOVE Ippudo ramen. It is the best after-drinks food EVER. Nothing beats a pipping hot bowl of noodles swimming in a pool of delicious broth of pork after you're high from slightly over-imbibing. So what I'm going to say after this may be SIGHTLY biased. :P

I was so excited to find out that Ippudo launched a new bar in BSC last week - especially since it's going to be a full-fledged Japanese concept bar.

Sure you say, BSC is FILLED with bars. Do you really need ANOTHER bar?

Yes I say. Hell YES. A million times YES.

Some psychedelic lighting was happening at the launch party - but we were assured that on normal non-event days, it will be cosy & non-intrusive.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Martell Celebrates its 300th Birthday.

Born 1715, Martell is 300 years old this year.

Of course a huge fabulous party was thrown, if I lived to 1/3 of that, I would too!

Just to put things into perspective for you, the (recorded) oldest human being that ever lived was 122 years old.

This means that Martell lasted at least 3 (human) generations!

Elegantology all decked up with exclusive limited edition martell bottles for the party. Did you know that Martell is the patron for Elegantology? Read it up here! (Picture credit: Martell)

Friday, 23 January 2015

Carlsberg 2015 CNY Celebration - A Smooth Sailing In the Year of the Sheep

5  clear signs that Chinese New Year is upon us:

1. McDonald's Prosperity burger set is available
2. Eu Yan Sang runs their cheesy hamper radio ads
3. Banks start giving out empty angpow packets
4. Malls put up loud red decorations and/or loud chinese new year songs
5. Beer boys organise Chinese New Year parties and start dropping prices of their 24-can packs in hypermarkets, coupled with chinese new year themed gifts.

Item #2 is what we're going to talk about today....... No I kid. of course I meant #5. Surprise surprise. It's the only sort of thing I'll ever talk about, on this blog, anyway. So let's go go go!

Did you know that Carlsberg was born in the year of the sheep waaaayyy back in 1847? Well, this 168 year old young man brand celebrated its zodiac-versary, with a HUGE party. And by huge, I mean, a 18 ft Chinese ship (sheep, ship, lol) in the middle of Ara Damansara Oasis HUGE.

See how BIG the ship was. I placed the entire Carlsberg management team, 2 lion dancers, 7 chinese drummer boys and 8 gods of prosperity there just for scale..

Monday, 19 January 2015

The IBA Project: Hemingway Special


The Grandfather story:
  • A twist of what Hemingway liked - which was basically a daiquiri with no sugar and extra strong (known as the Papa Doble, where > 3 oz of Bacardi  was originally used), blended with shaved ice. 
  • A Hemingway Special is based on this recipe but with an additional maraschino, grapejuice and with less rum, which I suppose was to make it more palatable for the normal, non-alcoholic drinks like you and me. :D

Fun fact:
Hemingway was a known alcoholic and diabetic. Apparently he could consume glasses upon glasses (6-12, legend has it) of this original recipe of this daiquiri in a sitting.

Monday, 29 December 2014

The IBA Project: Margarita

I'm a margarita. Drink me.
Grandfather story:
  • The Margarita can be considered a Tequila Sour (Sour = base liquor, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener), or a Tequila Sidecar (replacing cognac).
  • It could simply be a twist on the Daisy, (a classic long drink from the 1870s made with a base spirit, lemon juice, sugar or liqueur) - as Margarita is the Spanish word for daisy.
  • In a British cocktail publication called Café Royal Cocktail Book published in 1937, the author mentions a drink called a Picador, which lists its ingredients as tequila, Cointreau and lime juice (the exact same recipe as a margarita!)
  • The 1st official mention of Margarita in print in Dec 1953 was in the Esquire magazine with a quote "She’s from Mexico, Señores, and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative". The recipe called for an ounce (30ml) of tequila, a dash of triple sec and the juice of half a lime or lemon.
  • Like most cocktail histories, there are quite a number of people who have claimed to have invented it, and if you'd like to know, here they are:
    • Could have been created in 1930 by Doña Bertha, owner of Bertha's Bar in Taxco, Mexico (unlikely as Mexicans don't typically drink margaritas)
    • A Vernon Underwood, who had started distributing Cuervo Tequila in the 1930s may have went to Johnny Durlesser, head bartender of the Tail O' The Cock in LA, and asked him to create something using his spirit, then named it after his wife Margaret (Margarita).
    • Daniel (Danny) Negrete could have created the drink in 1936 when he was the manager of Garci Crespo Hotel in Puebla, Mexico for his girlfriend Margarita as a present.
    • Francisco 'Pancho' Morales, while working in a bar called Tommy's Place in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was asked to make a 'Magnolia' on the 4th July 1942, but couldn't remember it so created this drink.
    • Carlos 'Danny' Herrera created the cocktail either in 1947 or 1948 at his Rancho La Gloria bar in Rosarito, Mexico, for an actress called Marjorie King who drank only Tequila. He added Cointreau and lime, and the unique salt rim that caught people's attention at the bar, then named his creation Margarita, the Spanish for Marjorie.
    • A socialite Margaret Sames held a Christmas party in Acapulco, Mexico, in 1948, and created the first Margarita.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Taste: The Arran Single Malt Whisky

All the Arrans Available in Malaysia.
Background:
  • Opened in 1995 - to put things in perspective, the oldest bottle that they technically can have today if barreled then is 19. So it is a relatively new distillery.
  • It is located at the East of the village of Lochranza at the North of the Isle of Arran. Yes, the whisky took after the island's name.
  • An independent distillery - ie privately owned and not owned by the big boys.
  • Founded by Chivas Brothers’ retiring managing director, Harold Currie.
  • The only malt whisky distillery on the Isle of Arran (since the last legally run distillery, ‘Lagg’, was closed in 1837... that's about 158 years ago!)
  • Water used in the distillery is sourced from Loch na Davie, supposedly home to the purest water in all of Scotland.
  • Its single malts are non-chill filtered, which means that it will cloud in a cooler temperature.