COCKTALES, by the Thirsty Blogger

The world of livin the good life, alcohol & travel

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The Star Factor Showdown

February 4th, 2015 · ~ Beer (lager / ale / stout) ~, ~ Events ~

Heineken and GAB Professional Solution (GABPS) held this competition recently that picked the cream of Malaysian bartenders to select one that will compete in the Heineken Global Bartender Finals 2015 in Holland.

In 2013 our guy got all the way to the finals but lost to a local. Damn.

The Heineken Star Pour is a five-step process of pouring the perfect Heineken draft.

The contenders

The contenders

It wasn’t merely pouring tho; some bartenders indulged in some booty-shakin before getting down to business. Hilarious! They selected their own tunes to work with.

The three winners from the six were judged to be Glen from Mish Mash (Penang), Sean from Muzuem (Setiawalk), and Spencer from Publique (Penang). They will now have  a 3-day boot camp to prep them for the Holland finals.

The 3 winners with Hans of GAB

The 3 winners with Hans of GAB

GABPS is the training division of GAB, catering specifically to trade partners and front-line staff.

As Jessie Chuah, marketing manager, explains, “The Heineken Global Bartender Final is also an avenue for local skilled industry professionals to open their world to new experiences whilst competing with some of the world’s finest bartenders.”

Set-up was different

Set-up was different

Earning his stripes

Earning his stripes

The three judges hard at work

The three judges hard at work

There was also a Consumer Star Factor Showdown. Guests were asked to pour a Heineken draft as we entered the event, and four of us were selected to face-off on stage.

Serious..

Serious..

After two rounds against two guys, i won. The prize? Attend the Heineken Global Bartender Finals in April. In…. Amsterdam!

I was there last more than a decade ago!

01 GABPS Academy NF 2015 - Consumer SF Showdown Winner

Damn. Cant wait.

 

Brain damage: 8/10

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Malaysian fruit wines

February 1st, 2015 · ~ Booze news / new products ~, ~ Cool drinkers' gifts ~, ~ Wine, tuak & champy ~

It’s strange that a fruit-rich tropical country like ours doesnt seem to have any fruit wines. Until now that is!

Reiss Jaden Wines is a new brand that currently has four wines and a liquor in its portfolio. I managed to score a sneak peek at the range, with full samples of course.

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Set

Set

The wines are targeted as table wines, to be enjoyed chilled at restaurants or at home. They’re produced from natural products, made from Malaysian fresh fruits.

There are more types being planned; as for now the range of wines are ginger, lemon, ginger-lemon and pineapple. And a coffee liquor too.

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The darkest of the lot

The darkest of the lot

Unlike many grape wines, these are simple and uncomplex beverages. The Ginger Wine is obviously the most lively and spicy of the lot. It feels a lot like ginger beer actually. Haha. But with a good side-effect.

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The Ginger-Lemon Wine has strong ginger aromas too, with a citrusy tinge. Taste-wise it’s more more lemon than ginger. Some of my tasting buddies say they’d prefer more ginger, but i found it perfect. The ginger was light, so was the lemon, and it enabled quicker consumption. Balanced and exotic, the sweetness was just right. A fruity-spice drink I’ve never experienced before, that’s for sure.

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Reiss Lemon Wine is very fruity and quite sweetish, with a sweet-sour finish. It feels more like a lemon liqueur. Pretty interesting.

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And the Pineapple Wine gives out the sweet aromas of pineapple; kinda puts the beach into my head. And in the mouth it’s fruity and even caramel-like. Awesome with ice.   .

In fact, all these wines should be enjoyed cold, and with ice as well if you prefer them to be less sweet.

The Coffee Liqueur is a 40% ABV drink. You can enjoy it on the rocks or a mixer of your choice. I went for Milo (as well as choco milk), with lots of ice. Good stuff!

These unique wines have a good ABV of 14.5%, and are priced at RM48, which is reasonable.

The tasting session was enjoyable and a nice change from the usual wines. All these wines tend to go down pretty easy, and make for a fun day or night out. I foresee purchasing some for consumption or as gifts.

These fruit wines are yet to be launched. However, if anybody’s keen to order a bunch, i’d be able to make arrangements.

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Absolut Andy Warhol

January 27th, 2015 · ~ Booze news / new products ~, ~ Events ~, ~ Liquor ~

Absolut threw another cool party at another cool spot recently. This was to introduce the limited edition Absolut Andy Warhol, celebrating creativity and pop art.

The design replicates the original Absolut Warhol artwork, which Andy created for in 1986 in Absolut’s very first artist collaboration campaign.

The spot was Vallette Gallery, a large house among fancy residences in Damansara Heights. It represents a local and international spectrum of artists, reflected in paintings, sculptures, installation art and photography.

Comes with a pool too

Comes with a pool too

Old skool

Old skool

Done by a Malaysian artist

Done by a Malaysian artist

The bottle features mostly a black facade, with blue, pink and yellow details.

According to Absolut’s Director of Storytelling Nodjame Fouad, the original Absolut Warhol painting hangs safe in a museum, but this bottle brings Andy Warhol’s artwork to the world.

Looks pretty cool

Looks pretty cool

There were several Absolut cocktails for guests to enjoy of course. Blue on Blue is a pretty nice cocktail to enjoy, tho i usually avoid blue cocktails. It’s 1.5 parts Absolut, 1 coconut water, 1 cranberry juice (never use a brand called Ocean Spray), 0.5 Blue Curacao, 0.5 syrup.

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Don't drop it Andy! An art piece that was done on-the-spot

Don’t drop it Andy! An art piece that was done on-the-spot

The limited edition Absolut Warhol is available in both the domestic and duty-free market. For those who are travelling, it’s available at The Absolut Brand Store located in Contact Pier Zone F, KLIA.

Funny guy

Funny guy

Brain damage: 8/10

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300 years of Martell

January 22nd, 2015 · ~ Bars / Clubs / Restaurants ~, ~ Booze news / new products ~, ~ Cocktails ~

One of the world’s finest cognacs, Martell, celebrated 300 years of existence recently. It’s the oldest of the great cognac houses, when Jean Martell laid it down way back in 1715 at the height of the era’s art de vivre, the French art of living.

For those that dont know, cognac is fine brandy (aged minimum two years in oak) from the area of Cognac, France. Brandy is made from grapes, and is actually distilled wine. Yummy.

Great on rocks.

The good news is i won myself a bottle of Martell!

The gallery

The gallery

Martell went for a low-key start with the first of the Tricentenaire celebrations at Elegantology, which will culminate with a gala dinner at a venue yet to be announced. The unique venue is a gallery-cum-restaurant in Publika, KL.

Modern candles

Modern candles

The celebration didnt have 300 candles, but it did have 300 light bulbs, as well as cake. Coincidentally it was my friend’s birthday, and she too received a bottle of Martell! Unfortunately for her, she’s not a cognac fan (fortunately for me tho).

The party was also attended by Jacques Menier, the Heritage Director of Martell.

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A special edition

Mine! (x2)

Mine! (x2)

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We were treated to a really good cocktail – ginger and lime muddled, Martell VSOP added, topped with lemonade soda. Goes down nice.

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It’s called Summit

The three artistic pillars of gastronomy, tasting and craftsmanship remain intrinsic to the Martell house, and am looking forward to the year-long celebration to reflect that!

Brain damage: 7.5/10

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