The Booze Blog Portal - Alcohol, Bars, Malaysia and Beyond.

08 September 2015

Insta Weekly : Happy 58 Years old, Malaysia - Keep Your Peels - Arran Whisky Fling - Junior @ #tikitakeover44 - Taps' Better Beer Festival

Long post ahead! So no need for a filler introduction! Just go go go!

1. Jungle Bird for Merdeka #58

I've made the Jungle Bird quite a few times already just to practice. Practice practice practice makes perfect! If you're a true blue Malaysian  then this is one cocktail you should learn to make (and perhaps an Old Fashioned) to impress guests or a date, because if there are only 2 things that we are all unitedly proud of, it's our F(ood) and our B(everage).

Shawn's (he's only like, Malaysia's representative for Diageo's World Class Competition 2015 and co-founder of Omakase) recipe is my go to, and it's very easy to remember:
45 ml Gold Rum
45 ml Pineapple Juice
15 ml Campari (the original is 20ml, but it's just a bit too bitter for me).
15 ml Lime Juice
15 ml Sugar Syrup
Shake the mix up properly with ice.

I tried using blended fresh pineapple this time. I picked this up from my visit to Cantaloupe the other day and thought I'd give it a go. It's actually more fluffy, more bubbles, more fruity, less sweet and has no preservatives. I do prefer it over the prepacked stuff however, it won't last as long. After a week the live enzymes spoil the juice. Also it's quite a pain to sift out the pulp. Think I'll stick to the prepacked ones and leave the fresh stuff to cocktail bars. :)

2. A tale of a Donated Orange Peel + the Cocktails Made with it.

I smelled my colleague peeling her orange and immediately yelled out - KEEP YOUR PEELS FOR ME. Needless to say, everyone who heard looked at me weird. :P I wanted the peel because it's quite a hassle to get just ONE orange at the grocery's, when ALL I want is the peel to make cocktails at home. I don't even want the pulp or juice! So if you're one to discard your citrus peels - DON'T! Apart from passing it over to your weird colleagues (me), there are so many things you could with it before throwing them away. You're welcome!

Attempted to replicate Difford's version of the Old Fashioned again (the one with the 2.5 shots mix of bourbon AND rye whiskey). The reason why I'm pursuing this recipe YET again is because Difford's recipes usually work  for me until this. It's my second time and I'm still not liking the end result. The first time I tried making it, I thought it didn't work because I didn't have an orange peel. But now, even with the orange peel it's just too darn strong, rough and not balanced for me. If after the 3rd try and I still don't like it, I'm just gonna have to write this off and stick to my usual simple, 1.5 shots of plain ol' single whiskey.

With the donated orange peel I also tried making a Cosmopolitan with frozen cranberries again. This time, served with a big homemade ice cube to keep it chilled from the insane hot and humid weather we had last weekend. This also means that I shouldn't shake/dilute the drink too much because when the ice melts in the glass, it dilutes the drink even more. This is the recipe I I'm using:

About 15-20 pieces of small frozen cranberries
30ml citron vodka (citron flavour is optional. just plain old vodka is fine too)
30ml cointreau (don't use just any triple sec please, coz it makes a difference)
15ml lime 
1 dash of syrup for viscosity
1 dash of Orange bitters (optional)
Squeezing 1 orange peel is mandatory (flaming it is optional)
1. muddle fruits. 2. put in all the liquids. 3. shake it with ice 4. double strain into chilled martini glass 5. squeeze orange peel and drop into drink. 6. Enjoy.

3. Arran Whisky Fling @ Single & Available

I've written about the Arran before - and have declared how much I love their 12 years Cask Strength (53.6%). So when Single & Available brought some new Arrans to try at their monthly Whisky Fling, how could I not show up?

Longranza Reserve (43%) - this NAS replaces their "original" expression. Easiest to drink for the night. Light, fruity, a little rough but a good easy dram to start with.

Machrie Moor Peated (46%) - Also a NAS, there's is no running from the peat. The saltiness is more pronounced here too.

Machrie Moor The Peated - Cask Strength (58.4%!!!) - It's like the above, but 2 times more! More peat. More burn. More salt! After I had this, I went back to the Longranza, which then tasted like ... water, haha! This Cask Strength really is strong stuff.

Their 12 cask strength is still my favourite. If there is one expression you must try, make it the 12. At 53.6% ABV, it's also quite value for money.

More on Arran:

4. Junior Guest Bartending at #tikitakeover44

I made it for Junior's (the brainchild behind Marini's on 57 cocktail menu) Guest Bartending session at 44 Bar's Tiki Thursday last week, yeay!

The Twisted Daiquiri was my favourite of the night. It looks very unassuming, this slightly pink drink sitting plainly in a coupe glass. What made it exciting was the Campari which he had infused with coffee beans and dried chilli - it's an explosion of flavour in your mouth!

The Corn Collin with grilled corn syrup was an easy-to-drink cocktail to start the night with, it was like drinking popcorn!

Malaccolada's presentation took the cake. His twist to the pina colada with pandan kaya & coconut water was served with a dry ice steam infused with spices.

Junior's Jungle Bird ala Marinis has a lot of heat from the curry and ginger syrup. You could feel the heat in your mouth, down your throat right down the pits of your belly. This one's great for a really cold day or when you have the flu, haha!

Junior, please come out to play more often la! :D

5. Majestic Hotel's Smoke House Daily Happy Hour 

Code 55 and 2 Bulat  = 1 glass of Beer + lemonade + 1 shot gin +1 shot whisky.
This signature cocktail is VERY STRONG STUFF. 

The moment I read that the Majestic Hotel will be running a daily buy 1 free 1 happy hour session at the Smoke House I KNEW I had to make an overdue visit.

The Smoke House is a really nice cozy, classy lounge which has pool table, cigar room (complete with smoking jackets!), a card room, screening room, and a private dining room. There's even a Truefitt & Hill outlet here and get this - a bespoke tailor if you so require a spiffy suit in a jiffy. Just a tiny thing though - if you don't like the smell of tobacco, you might not feel very comfortable here. BUT stepping into this place transports you to what feels like a part of the Kingsman movie set. :p

The happy hour deal is applicable to all their beers, house pours spirits and cocktails. With the cocktails priced at RM45 nett a pop, I'll go for their cocktails all the time, every time. While the bar is actually known for its signature cocktails, but I believe the bartenders can also whip stuff up out of the menu. Just ask!

Daily Happy Hour from 5pm to 8pm at the Smoke House only.

6. Taps Beer Bar KL - The Better Beer Festival 2015 

This happened last Saturday! If you weren't there, this is what you missed:
  • 50 + craft beers for just RM20-25 nett  each!
  • (which usually cost nothing less than RM28++ and above) 
  • food & food trucks!
  • .... I mean there's even a freaking LOK LOK TRUCK!
  • RM10 Hitachino beer on tap (for charity!)!
  • RM20 event paraphernalia! Glasses! Clever tshirts!
  • Awesome live bands!
Even my mum was there! WHERE WERE YOU? Oh well. Now you just need to wait a WHOLE YEAR for the 5th edition to come along. If you were there, how did you find it?

Until next week, drink safe!

Insta Weekly is a weekly summary of boozy updates from my with the hashtag #angeltini. Feel free to follow me if you enjoy daily updates on booze, food and other random stuff by a girl from Malaysia. Cheers!