Although many big scale events in Singapore‘s social calendar have been shifted to a fully digital format or cancelled entirely, fans of the Singapore Cocktail Festival will be glad to note that the annual event has not been cancelled but instead will be taking on a different look and feel this year. The festival kicked off with a bang on 1 November and festivities will continue across the island till 31 December. In an interview with SilverKris, Wai Mayleng, co-founder of Singapore Cocktail Festival and owner of experiential marketing agency, The Events Artery, tells us what to look forward to.
1. Cocktails inspired by Singapore neighbourhoods
Instead of the usual Festival Village which sees local and regional bars serving up inventive libations under one roof, this year’s edition will feature a combination of at-home and on-premise experiences. With SGCF City Takeover, festival-goers can still enjoy creative concoctions at 21 participating bars all around the city, with special edition signature cocktails inspired by the neighbourhood the bars are set in. Some highlights include Manhattan’s Orchard Express, which draws inspiration from the pepper farms, spice gardens and fruit orchards that were grown along the Orchard Road in the past, and features Maker’s Mark, hazelnut liqueur and a spice-laden milk punch, as well as Gibson’s 71 Herbs, a nod to the array of traditional Chinese medical shops that line the streets of Chinatown. Prefer to stay home? SGCF On Wheels is a newly set up online store that retails these signature cocktails and delivers them right to your doorstep.
2. Cocktails from some of the best bars in the world
While we can’t yet travel abroad to check out new and interesting cocktail bars, you can still enjoy cocktails from some of the best bars from around the world. SGCF On Tour has partnered with four top cocktail bars – Hope & Sesame in Guangzhou, Maybe Sammy in Sydney, Indulge Experimental Bistro in Taipei and Tropic City in Bangkok – to bring their cocktails to revellers in Singapore. While it’s not quite the same as sipping on a cocktail at the bar itself, this is surely the next best thing. Carefully crafted according to recipes from the bars, these limited edition bottled cocktails are available for purchase from the SGCF online store. In addition, guest bartenders from these four participating bars will be conducting online masterclasses for those who want to find out more about their tipples.
3. A taste of Peru in Singapore
From 1 to 31 December, look out for SGCF X Pisco Nights at participating bars such as Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, Anti:dote, Barbary Coast, Bar Stories, Fat Prince, Gibson, Hopscotch, Jekyll & Hyde, Live Twice, Manhattan, MO Bar, and Skai Bar. Each establishment will be presenting the South American nation’s signature spirit through a variety of innovative concoctions.
4. Gifts that keep giving
If you haven’t bought your Christmas gifts yet, don’t fret. SGCF has partnered with Hendrick’s Gin to present three Celebration Bottled Cocktails. Created by Charmaine Thio, Regional Brand Ambassador, Hendrick’s Gin, South East Asia, these bottles come with the option to include personalised messages on the label (with a minimum order of 30 bottles), making it the perfect present for year-end gatherings or even as festive corporate gifts.
“It has been a steep and fun learning curve pivoting to e-commerce, co-creating a range of 25 bottled craft cocktails with our bar and brand partners as well as creating online experiences and content with overseas bartenders remotely,” says Wai. “While these challenges left us stumped at the beginning, seeing the excitement of the cocktail community and compatriots as we launch these experiences made it all worth it.”
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.