COCKTALES, by the Thirsty Blogger

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Beware, your beer has a clandestine enemy

September 29th, 2015 · ~ Beer (lager / ale / stout) ~, ~ Booze news / new products ~, ~ Cool drinkers' gifts ~, ~ Drinking accessories / bar accessories ~, ~ EVERY drinker should know this ~, ~ Personalities / Mixologists / Them experts ~, ~ Travel ~

I learnt something new today. Keeping your drinks cold has another enemy that is little known – condensation.

While i always assumed condensation was natural and quite harmless, it’s in truth a goddam cold-sucker. The droplets on your glass, can or bottle, are actually the main cause of your drink warming up.

Once you grab a can or bottle of beer from the fridge or esky/ice-box , stopping it from warming up quick is a losing battle, unless you have some protection. (Thirsty Blogger post on booze storing systems and ice-boxes here.)

The important part is why. The researchers studied how much of an effect the water droplets that collect on the outside of the beverage — condensation — have on the temperature of the can, glass or bottle.



The effect is huge: the formation of those damn droplets sucks heat from the surrounding air, and delivers it straight to the drink.

It was sumtin i saw on Business Insider, an article called Science Proves It: Koozies Keep Beer Colder. Among others, the koozie stops the formation of these water drops, thus slowing the heating process.


Koozies by huggaz – handy drinkers’ gear

Works for wine bottles too

Works for wine bottles too

Says study researcher Dale Durran, atmospheric scientist of the University Of Washington, “Probably the most important thing a beer koozie does is not simply insulate the can, but keep condensation from forming on the outside of it.”

I didn’t know that. I assumed it’s role was merely the insulation from the surrounding heat.

Will use huggaz koozies a lot more now. Haha.

A beer is typically served at 5 Celsius. With condensation, within 5 minutes it can double and warm up to 10 Celsius. Condensation is an exothermic process. Heat is released into its surroundings, in this case, the beer.

Liquid absorbs heat to turn into gas; thus gas (in this case H2O) releases heat when it turns into liquid.


Condensation = bad news. Gas turning to liquid and causing shit

When u see sweat on your can, beer or wine bottle, or glass, it’s no good. And the more humid the air is, the worse the condensation. And we have a high 80% humidity.

So watch out for that condensation. And if you dont have a koozie/huggaz, a napkin will have to do. Just make sure you don’t allow that evil condensation!

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The Glenlivet dinner @ Dewakan

August 18th, 2015 · ~ Bars / Clubs / Restaurants ~, ~ Booze news / new products ~, ~ Whisky ~

Glenlivet scored again with one of their cool events. This time, it was @ Dewakan, a restaurant at KDU in Shah Alam.

The selection for guests were three exceptional triple-cask matured single malt whiskies, which are exclusive to travel retail.

The spread

The spread

A really cool e-book about the whiskies

A really cool e-book about the whiskies

The Master Distiller’s Reserve, the cornerstone of the range, is joined in 2015 by two new expressions: Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted and The Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch, to become the new permanent range.

Interestingly three types of wood are involved with all the whiskies, contributing to their the multi-layered characters.


Interesting menu… (sorry about the spots – camera issue i think!)

The food at Dewakan was a treat for sure.

All whiskies involve the highest quality Traditional Oak, American Oak and Ex-Sherry Oak casks.

The first whisky was the Master Distiller’s Reserve. I got leathery spice on the nose, spicy in the mouth, with a sweetish end.


The second one, New Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted, seemed drier, and gave me a citrusy nose. While New Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch was sweeter in a fruity way, with hints of marmalade.

The characteristics of various wood

The characteristics of the various wood

Dewakan is run by popular chef Darren Teoh. He’s a young dude that’s done well for himself.

Darren in action

Darren in action

Fried bread sticks, which were served with budu mayo!

Fried bread sticks, which were served with budu mayo!

Various species of shrooms being prepped

Various species of roasted shrooms being prepped

Lamb breast. Portions weren't big

Lamb breast. Portions weren’t big. Marinated for a day then cooked in a wood-fired oven. Amazing stuff


Giant cockroach with ice-cream

The fortunate guests

The fortunate guests

All the whiskies are exclusive to travel retail, and are available at KLIA from US$51.

The meal at Dewakan was exceptional and new. Glenlivet and Pernod Ricard Malaysia have yet again done an amazing job with a really cool event, and was worth the drive to KDU University College in Glenmarie.

Lionel and his PR/event team at Millennium Associates aced it again. As usual, i look forward to the next one.


Brain damage: 8/10


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44 Pops Up again

July 31st, 2015 · ~ Bars / Clubs / Restaurants ~, ~ Cocktails ~

Pop-up bar 44 has reappeared, after going under for a coupla months. It first appeared at APW in Bangsar, a warehouse joint. However, it’s got a different set-up and look now. While the first one had a really interesting industrial theme, this one has more of a modern and minimalist look.

44 now hides in a downtown spot at The Row, and the lifespan this time is up to December.

Like certain newer bars now, 44 is now upstairs

Like certain newer bars now, 44 is now stashed  upstairs

The joint had a guest bartender, Yishu, from Jigger & Pony for a visit. I had the opportunity to try some of the cocktails he made.

Starting with the Sakura Sakura, which was a real treat for a first drink. I should have saved it for last. It was like a fruity dessert. Delicious, finely-balanced, tho i expected it to be too sweet.

But the ingredients are surprisingly complex – Owney’s rum, peach liqueur, sake, lemon juice, sakura syrup and egg white.



Next was the Godfather – Scotch & amaretto. Nutty, with some chocolate goodness. It had a sweetness, but it was a good kinda sweetness. Like the natural flavours u’d find in a fruit. That’s probably courtesy of  the amaretto, which is almond liqueur. Such a simple but amazing drink.

Comes with a piece of flamed white chocolate.

Uncomplicated like a guy

Uncomplicated like a guy

And then there was fire. Flames and alcohol tends to get my attention. Mai Tai ala Sugarhall. It was Bacardi 151 (a 75.5% rum) that provided the burn. Yishu sprinkled some grounded spices to add some fireworks.

In it is cachaca, rum, orgeat syrup, spiced apricot syrup, lime juice.  It’s spicy-sweet, with some cinnamon coming thru but not dominating the show.

We also had a tequila cocktail. Haha.



The lychee in this drink hits your palate off the bat. So i expected sweet shit, but no. It was fruity, but the lychee flavour flattens out quick, and surprisingly, you dont taste or smell any tequila. Fruity. It’s called Newton Flash.

We also tried some craft spirits – gins and American whiskies.

What stood out was a gin called New Deal – real strong berry nose, berry taste, but with quite a zing at the end.


Also another cool one was Green Hook. Distinctly floral.

But by then, my taste buds were too busy partying to provide anymore feedback.

44 also ages pre-mixed, simple and classic cocktails, like Negroni. They are on display at the bar, in cool bottles, and aged for a few weeks, with oak added in.

The regular menu

The regular menu

To find 44, head to The Row (Jln Doraisamy, KL), and go behind Mojo.


Just add ice..

Brain damage: 8/10


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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 was the Boozepimp of the Month on this blog way back in 2011.

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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