COCKTALES, by the Thirsty Blogger

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Diageo Reserve World Class Finals

July 7th, 2015 · ~ Cocktails ~, ~ Events ~, ~ Whisky ~

There was a cool competition among Malaysia’s best bartenders at The Bee recently, the Haig Club Pop-Up Bar Challenge, where top barmen faced-off to select the four who went to the South East Asian Finals in Bangkok last week.

And Shawn Chong from Omakase+Appreciate won a couple of titles: Best Bartender South East Asia, as well as winning the Speed Round Challenge – where he made 9 cocktails in 8 minutes!

Shawn with his booty (pix by Ryan Tann)

Shawn with his booty (pix by Ryan Tann)

As far as the Malaysian leg is concerned, this is the third time Shawn has won. He will now represent at the Global Finals which will be held in  South Africa, versus 49 of the world’s top bartenders.

The Malaysian leg saw 12 of the country’s mix kings battle out to create cocktails that were judged to be the best, with each creating one iconic cocktail featuring Haig Club whisky.

It’s kinda tough creating good cocktails from Scotch due to its flavours. I guess the Haig Club would be a better choice as it’s quite neutral in flavours.

Joel of The View Bar telling his cocktail's story to judges

Joel of The View Bar telling his cocktail’s story to judges

I didnt get to try all the cocktails the boys made, but my fave was a really unique mix – called Grassie Goat – Haig Club, goat’s milk, peppermint liqueur, bannoffee curd, & mint leaf. A unique combination of exotic flavours, perfectly-balanced. Nothing close to anything I’ve ever tried. It was made by Naresh, of Prego in The Westin KL.

Shawn made Siamese Link, – a spicy-savoury cocktail made with Haig Club, Siamese paprika syrup and lime juice garnished with pandan jelly.

The Siamese Link

The Siamese Link

The other winners were M. Hanafi of Prego, The Westin; Osmund Illah of Hubba Hubba (KL); and Insan Sharily of Tate, The Intermark (KL).

The lucky four

The lucky four

There were also a couple of bartendresses who were making guests cocktails.


Award-winning Angel Ng and Diageo World Class Malaysia 2014 champ Yin Ying

 Brain damage: 8/10


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Now Absolut has a gay time

June 30th, 2015 · ~ Booze news / new products ~, ~ Cool drinkers' gifts ~, ~ Liquor ~

Absolut has released a limited-edition called Absolut Colors, which reflects the vodka brand’s close relationship with the LGBT community since the ’80s.

It pays tribute to the start of the gay rights movement, and honours the men and women who stepped out of the bars and fought back on the streets of New York City. This went down in 1969 in Manhattan – the Stonewall Riots, which also led to the famous, now-annual gay pride marches.

You learn sumtin new everyday eh?



The bottle is wrapped by the Pride flag, a flag which was originally designed by San Francisco-based artist Gilbert Baker in 1977 – it represents a message of solidarity, love and respect for diversity. In 2008, they collabed to create the limited-edition Colors bottle.

The collaboration was an extension of Absolut already close relationship with the LGBT community, which began as the brand was one of the only large companies back in the crappy 80’s that would advertise in the pages of LGBT-targeted magazines.

Absolut has now re-released the Absolut Colors limited-edition. Absolut Colors (aka Absolut Pride) is available only in the United States. You can also get it online. However from my research, i think it’s permanent and not a limited edition anymore.

And there’s a huggaz that can go with it, released last year, called huggaz Rainbow, which can be purchased online or at these outlets.

Staying Cool

Staying Cool

Party like it's 1969...

Party like it’s 1969…


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Tiger throws a gig

June 23rd, 2015 · ~ Beer (lager / ale / stout) ~, ~ Cool drinkers' gifts ~, Gigs

And it was a good one. More like a festival than anything else. Began real early too, kicking off at 5pm, and going on till about 1am.

I liked the spot – APW in Bangsar, which i’ve visited for cocktails at the pop-up bar 44, as well as for a few Chivas events. Translate however took the entire area – a coupla warehouses included.

Translate happens around the world, and  features creativity in the field of music and art. So there was a good mix of artistry, by Malaysians and foreigners.

The images can tell the story.


Welcome sign

Welcome board


Funky art

Random art


Here.. kitty kitty! Awesome piece made of shattered glass and mirrors, by Louise Low….



.. who also designed this special huggaz beer koozie for Tiger Beer, which keeps your beers chilled

and this was designed by HK artists Parent’s Parents:


who also designed the simple n cool outdoor bar:



Andrew doin his thing

Andrew doin his thing


Blood Red Shoes - awesome energy for a two-piece

Blood Red Shoes – killa energy for a two-piece


One of three bars

One of three bars


The set-up was awesome – a mix of outdoor & indoor


Warehouse gig - been awhile

Warehouse gig – been awhile


Thailand's Rukkit Kuanhawate's Tiger head artwork.

Thai artist Rukkit made this cool piece..


.. and designed this huggaz

.. and designed this huggaz

The huggaz-Tiger Beer collaboration koozies were limited editions, and guests could get them by registering. However, you can get your own huggaz koozies here.

The event had a great atmosphere, and everybody looked content and happy. Lotsa beer went down over the evening dats for sure!

Tiger Translate looks set to be an annual gig. It’s definitely bold and something different from the mainstream; lookin forward for Tiger to unleash the next episode.


Brain damage: 8/10


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The Glenfiddich ‘distillery’ in Carcosa

June 19th, 2015 · ~ Events ~, ~ Liquor ~, ~ Whisky ~

William Grant & Sons took over the awesome hill of Carcosa for a few days for Glenfiddich to set-up a little mock-up of distillery.

The party went on for several nights, catering to about 3,000 whisky fans.

I love Carcosa. It’s such a cool spot, with the beautiful main building which has a great classic interior as well. Tastefully renovated too.

The pad

The pad

Anyway, the set-up was classy, and Glenfiddich 12, 15 and 18 were served. Guests were treated to group tours to the ‘distillery’ which was built outside.

Tour in action

Tour in action

After a history lesson on the brand, we were schooled on how whisky is made, with a cool presentation by my buddy Ian Brosnan, who did a great job.

The 'distillery'. Looks great eh?

The ‘distillery’. Looks great eh?

Cool screen

Cool screen

The replica of a still was quite a sight. The last time i saw stills was in Scotland a few years back. I guess the only thing missing was the lovely aromas of alcohol brewing!

The still is still

The still is… very still

The party however was in the main building. Service was excellent.

The bar, which was kinda smalll

The bar, which was kinda limited with the drinks

Halim and his smooth crew

Halim and his smooth crew

Cool stairs. Where to?? Checked it out of course

Cool stairs. Where to?? Checked it out of course

Glenfiddich's head cooper (aka woodman), Ian McDonald showed up. These are the guys who build the oak barrels. They do 126 per day at the distillery in Dufftown

Glenfiddich’s head cooper (aka woodman), Ian McDonald showed up and got down. These are the guys who build the oak barrels for maturation. They do 126 per day at the distillery in Dufftown

The 12 is matured in American bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casks. Glenfiddich translates to valley of the deer in Gaelic.  It’s still managed by the fifth generation of William Grant’s descendants.

The good stuff

The good stuff

The 12, with its famous triangular bottle, is definitely one of the single malts that i enjoy. I find it easily enjoyable, pleasant, and smooth. Fresh with a mellow finish. Hence, it’s the world’s best-selling single malt. It’s expressions go up to 50 year-olds.

They are also the first ones to package whisky in cyndrical tins.

Let’s hope they have events at more cool spots like this.


Door gift. I tot it was a lil bottle of perfume and dabbed it on my face. It worked. Kinda


Brain damage: 7/10

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