COCKTALES, by the Thirsty Blogger

The world of livin the good life, alcohol & travel

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Tiffin teaser party

May 5th, 2016 · ~ Cocktails ~, ~ Events ~

We had a great time at Taste of Tiffin, a two-day event at Publika organized by Freeform Untitled. Took my  mixologist Imran along as well, to check out the alcohol section.

It was certainly an experiential celebration of food and drink. Although we only attended one afternoon, it was obvious that it was a unique collection of food and drinks all in one spot, with a total guest count of 3,000.

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The set-up outside

There were three parts of the event that we visited – the food booths outside, the ones inside, and the booze section. There was some really good grub all around, and we were spoilt for choice. I vaguely recall swallowing some Mexican stuff in the afternoon while buzzed.

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The afternoon session

Anyway, my highlight was in the Black Box – the sampling sessions in the afternoon, as well as cocktail stands. I got so wasted at one point just from sampling the variety that was given, that i had to leave. Swallowed the Mexican stuff at the food section, then came back.

I enjoyed trying out some new gin from Australia, West Winds – the Sabre, and the Cutlass. Especially the Sabre – kinda tangy and sweetish. These gins are available at Locker & Loft.

There were about 40 different spirits to try at the event!

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The Wholly Spirits boys

 

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Some of the booty

 

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Many mini-bars to select from

The best part of this event is that it’s actually merely a teaser to the main event, Tiffin Week. This goes down Sept 24 – Oct 3 at Publika. Expect a very interesting and fun ten days.

Launching mid-2016

Launching mid-2016 for Sept

But in the meantime, Tiffin is also organizing an F&B experience for Urbanscapes 2016. Locker & Loft will be involved in the final weekend of Urbanscapes in KL, May 7 & 8, where we’ll be making alcoholic ”daytime drinks!” from 11am on Saturday & Sunday.

Event details here. Day-drinkers, rejoice.

 

Brain damage: 8/10

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The real cost of booze

March 8th, 2016 · ~ Alcon ~, ~ Drinker's rights ~, ~ EVERY drinker should know this ~

Alcohol tends to be over-priced in many countries, and this is primarily due to two levels of  mark-ups. One is government tax, the other is at the on-trade (ie the outlet level).

Over in Malaysia, the tax is high. However, so are the mark-ups at the outlets, and people tend to blame the government for high prices when outlets also share the blame for this.

Besides last week (when the tax or beer was raised by cents), the alcohol tax hasn’t been raised for TEN years. However, outlets continued to increase prices disproportionately.

Anyway, many outlets add up to 400% for drinks based on their cost of goods sold (COGS), which is kinda extreme. More so for cocktails.

Probably overpriced

Probably overpriced

Here’s an idea on how much the outlets pay for booze, based on suppliers’ pricing.

A glass / pint of Tiger (draught): RM7.45 / RM11.18

A glass / pint of Guinness (draught): RM8.75 / RM13.12

A glass of gin (eg Beefeater): RM4

A glass of vodka (eg Absolut): RM4.40

A glass of Scotch (eg Grant’s / Black Label): RM5.90 / RM7.40

A glass of rum (Bacardi): RM5.28

Pretty decent eh?

Also, they get trade offers, and sales incentives, which includes free kegs / cash / bottles. So the actual cost could be even lower.

There’s this popular joint in BSC that sells mojitos for 30 bucks. I was told by a supplier that they use moonshine rum disguised in a premium bottle! Disgusting if true. At RM30, you can easily afford to give Bacardi or something, rather than a local rum that costs 25 bucks for the whole bottle. I once saw bartenders at Luna Bar pour crap into a bottle of Smirnoff to use for cocktails.

In fact many outlets do this for their cocktails, including hotels. It’s sick.

Beers shouldn't be expensive

Beers shouldn’t be expensive

Anyway, the mark-up (referring to premium drinks, not moonshine) is obviously to cover costs. However, the mark-ups should depend on several factors. Theoretically. Some fancy joints can probably justify higher prices – for example if the place has killer views, a swimming pool, or many professional staff, or nice decor, or spent on ID / decor / sound system, or high monthly costs due to a large space etc.

Unfortunately, even basic to mid-level bars, neighbourhood pubs, and the like also tend to impose very high mark-ups, mostly unjustified. (Prices at many coffeeshops are also quite ridiculous.)

Their extreme mark-ups are probably due to reasons other than mentioned above, such as the desire to make fast money, or greed. Many bar owners are in the business for the money, not the passion of owning and running a bar.

And the F&B business in Malaysia is pretty dirty, that’s for sure. And so are many owners, who underpay their staff with low wages, and charge customers 10% Service Charge, but keep that money meant for staff, for themselves. That’s very common.

Some have decent happy hours, but murder you after that.

So while taxes are high, many outlets are obviously taking advantage as well, thinking that everyone blames the government.

I’ll leave it to the consumer to decide if the bars you go to are pricing their drinks unfairly.

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Chivas Regal Extra introduced, in style

January 28th, 2016 · ~ Booze news / new products ~, ~ Events ~, ~ Whisky ~

Chivas sure threw a party.The brand introduced its newest expression, Chivas Extra, at a cool party at a cool spot, the Glasshouse in Seputeh, KL

Chivas Extra is a rich, but easily-enjoyed-anytime Scotch. It’s a very different whisky from Chivas Regal, and it stands on its own from the other expressions.

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It’s a collection of Chivas Brothers’ rare whiskies built on a foundation of malts that have been matured in a higher proportion of sherry casks. This process delivers a good depth of flavour. I liked it. It has a fruity, sweetish, nose and palate.

It was crafted by Chivas Regal Master Blender Colin Scott.

The launch party saw various activities like drinking, as well as a great set by Joey G, and varieties of whisky cocktails, and tasting sessions..

as well as grooming

… as well as grooming

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Lionel doing his thing, at a tasting session

A few of us were luckier than the rest though – the introduction to Chivas Extra took place a few weeks ahead. We were invited to a special event.

Starters

Starters

After a few Chivas cocktails which took place at Marble 8, it was dinner time, and this showed up –

Very nice

 

Yup, quite a stretch

Quite a stretch..

The ride had plush seats, and a bar. Great stuff.

We were taken to a very interesting dining experience, Dining In The Dark.

Classy

Delish stuff

It began with a pre-dinner drinks at the bar, before we, in a single file, held the shoulder of the person in front and were lead into complete darkness.

Going in..

Going in..

It was surreal eating and drinking and getting high in complete darkness. There was so much conversation going on, and i had no idea who i was talking to. Till later. Haha.

Chivas Extra’s ABV is 40%, and it’s available at whisky stores as well as certain F&B outlets.

 

Brain damage: 8.5/10

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La French Touch party comin’ up!

January 8th, 2016 · ~ Events ~

Martell is throwing a party real soon, and it’s got a cool UV bottle as well to go with it. To celebrate the limited edition bottle designed by Etienne de Crécy,Martell will bring the ”French Touch” to KL Live on Jan 16, next Friday, with the  La French Touch party.

Le good stuff

Le good stuff

The bottle was presented to the media during an event at Elegantology, where Pernod Ricard Malaysia’s marketing director Emmanuel Dokhelar elaborated about the plan. “The La French Touch party is a way for us to bring the art of French living to KL in line with Martell’s brand messaging.”

Emmanuel with the limited edition bottle

Emmanuel with the limited edition bottle

“The concept aims to expand the brand reach by offering a curated experience for the new generation – who celebrate life through exhilarating music, spectacular parties and elegant cocktails.”

Phartay..

Partay..

Headlining will be Joachim Garraud, who’s basically a pop/EDM DJ. There’ll be Malaysia’s Joey G on decks. Lookin forward to his music selection that never disappoints.

And get set for Play for Passion, a collective of dance music DJs who’ve been keepin it real for years. Big up to these boys. They will be represented this time by Alex Martin, Bernie, Chris, Bongo Machine and Kuma Raza.

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Everything’s blue..

Martell’s foray into the music scene is open to the public, and the tickets are reasonably-priced for such a wide line-up of DJs, at RM88. You can check out this link for the lowdown.

 

Brain damage: 7/10

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