About Deep

Alco blogger, ex-lifestyle/F&B writer for The Star

Mixtealogy anyone??

It’s extremely rare for me to get an invitation to a non-alcoholic drink event. It’s even rarer for me to accept! However, i was kinda intrigued by this one called Mixtealogy.

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It’s basically a colab between Monin syrups (often used by bartenders for cocktails) and Lipton Tea to create new drink recipes using the various flavours that both brands have in their portfolio.

Monin has a range of 175 flavours including gourmet sauces, fruit purees and frappe powder. Lipton has quite a few too, including the premium Sir Thomas J Lipton range.

Not huge fan of mint drinks but this was one of my faves

Not huge fan of mint drinks but this was one of my faves

Am glad i attended, as many of the drinks that were created are really good, even the simple ones.

Guests had several options when it came to drinks – you could either pour yourself from the ‘draught’ taps, or order a specialty one from the mixologists at the bar.

For the latter, you have an order card where you tick off various flavours as well as the ‘feel’ that you would like your tea mocktail to have.

Bartenders were recruited for this event

Bartenders were recruited for this event

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IMG_9236 (2)?

In fact this even inspired me and the bartenders at The Locker & Loft to come up with our own tea cocktail, blending green tea and cucumber juice, and it’s gooood.

Lipton Green Tea-infused gin, Midori, cucumber juice, lemon juice, sugar & Angostura Bitters. Refereshing and well-balanced

Japanese Squeeze – Sir Thomas J Lipton Green Tea-infused gin, Midori, cucumber juice, lemon juice, sugar & Angostura Bitters. Refreshing and well-balanced

I guess what this event is aiming to do is show the versatility of one of the world’s oldest beverage, tea. You could really mess with tea, more so than coffee i think. Even without booze.

 

Brain damage: 0/10

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A very special Singleton dinner

Gosh, don’t really remember the last time i was up at Genting Highlands. I guess am more of a Fraser’s Hill kinda dude… BBQ, beers, butterflies….

However took a drive up the mountain recently for an superb meal with The Singleton of Glen Ord, a single malt Scotch from the Glen Ord Distillery in Speyside.

The kick-off drink. Glen Sour (Singleton 12, lemon juice, maraschino cherry, gula melaka, dark walnut bitters, orange peel oils and egg white)

The kick-off drink, by talented bartender Erlwin, Glen Sour (Singleton 12, Maraschino cherry, lemon juice, gula melaka, dark walnut bitters, orange peel oils and egg white). Tastes gooood

The Trophy Malt Dinner is to showcase some of their exceptional whiskies with equally exceptional food, this time prepared by Chef Steven Chou, at the really cool restaurant with an alluring outdoor terrace, The Olive.

Perfect set-up

Perfect set-up

The theme was the Forgotten Drop Series, which is an annual release drawn from the brand’s rarest and most precious whiskies. The series are whiskies re-discovered from a few extremely rare casks

This year, the annual release is The Singleton of Glen Ord 41 Year Old, with a limited 600 bottles made available worldwide, and only 24 bottles in Malaysia, retailing at RM 15,193 per bottle. Yup. High-roller stuff. (Make it 23 bottles after our dinner.)

Fortunately it’s bottled at cask strength with 49.9% ABV to allow drinkers to experience the original character of this rare batch of old casks. This creates a very special dram with a fine balance and smoothness, alongside rich tropical fruit aromas and hints of oak.

The goods

The goods

Chef Steven doin his thing

Chef Steven doin his thing before main course

No surprises with the food - awesome

No surprises with the food – awesome

Ervin Trykowski, the first Global Scotch Whisky Ambassador for The Singleton,

Singleton’s Global Whisky Ambassador Ervin Trykowski gettin down n dirty with the crowd

The crowd

The crowd

The other crowd. We didn't destroy all tho

The other crowd. We didn’t destroy all tho

Also launched was the 18 Year Old Cask Strength, which is a limited-edition bottling to celebrate the distillery’s 180th anniversary. It is bottled at a major firepower of 58.4% ABV, with honeyed sweetness with rich fruity notes. This whisky is only made available in selected markets with a starting price from RM 624.

Bartender Erwlin is actually someone i met 15 years ago in Sarawak, when he was a kid. Grown up to be a cool man

Bartender Erlwin is actually someone i met 15 years ago in Sarawak, when he was a kid. Grown up to be a cool man. He’s based up there

After-party venue

After-party venue

After the superb session we marched on to some bar for more. Fortunately only required walking. And after, the hotel was close enough to require only required crawling if needed.

Brain damage: 8/10

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A gastronomic trip with John Walker XR21

Many drinkers might be unaware but John Walker & Sons is a range of super premium whiskies that includes the exquisite XR21, which contains whiskies that are aged for a minimum of 21 years and drawn from extremely rare Johnnie Walker reserves.

XR21 organized a great dinner in Georgetown, Penang, to showcase the craftmanship of local cuisines and insights not just about the drink, but also the ingredients used in crafting the right dish to pair with, called XR21 Mastery. We were pampered alright.

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The balcony of my fancy-ass pad

The star of the show. the XR21

The dinner location was awesome – at the Khoo Kongsi. We were given a guided tour of the traditional association before the drinks started flowing

20170904_190803The three-course meal was created by Chef Spider Kong (am serious), owner of private dining restaurant Soul Food. Dessert was by Chef Jeffrey, the Head Pastry Chef at Metisser Dessert Parlour.

The delicious line-up consisted of Tiger Prawn Kerabu, Chicken Ravioli, and followed by a choice of Seared Barramundi or Tamarind Lamb..

Rajesh Joshi, who is the Marketing Director of Moët Hennessy Diageo Malaysia, says that ”This platform will be bringing flavours of traditional cuisines made with local ingredients across the nation to life, which will be paired with the XR21. The XR21 provides intriguing layers of surprising and delightful flavours.”

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Pre-dinner cocktails

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Long-distance entertainment. Haha

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Dining was on a performance stage

The dessert features the locally-famed Amra fruit, which can only be cultivated in the Tropics and is commonly produced into juice, pickles or used in salads. It was stuffed with chocolate mousse and was probably the most spectacular dish of the night!

You nailed it!

You nailed it buddy!

The Tamarind Lamb which i had is char-grilled, with polenta cake seasonal vegetable, confit cherry vine tomato and cooked with tamarind red wine au jus, which has a hint of acidity that balances the flavours of the rich and juicy lamb cutlets. Excellent stuff!

Score

Score

The XR 21 Mastery is a platform created exclusively for Malaysia which will feature local hidden gems and expertise in the culinary industry, as obviously our food is the world’s best.

Majestic aint it?

Majestic aint it?

The dinner in Georgetown showcased that, incorporating modern flavours into traditional cuisines of Penang. And the location and setting just made it all the more appropriate and outstanding.

The after-party was awesome at Mish Mash, Ben Ng‘s joint. Things got a little hazy during/after that; however the hotel was fortunately crawling-distance.

Brain damage: 8/10

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A great wine-tasting

I had a fantastic wine-tasting recently, which took place at Graze, Hilton KL. It’s very rare that i love all the wines at these sessions, but man, these were perfectly-selected.

The delicious award-winning Californian wines are under Treasury Wine Estates, and the session was guided by TWE Winemaking Ambassador Stuart Rusted.

The congregation

The congregation

We had several wines before and during lunch, starting with the Beringer Founder’s Estate Sauvignon Blanc. Refreshing & fruity in a citrusy way, soft, but rich as well. Clean grassy finish.

It’s for sure a superb wine, one that could easily challenge New Zealand’s sauvignon blancs. The grapes are from vineyards on the Central Coast mixed with those from the California Delta. I had to go for seconds. And thirds.

Come 'ere u!

Come ‘ere u!

It’s RRP is RM89, which is awesome value. Beringer has been producing since 1876 in Napa Valley.

After i got my late breakfast outta the way we had the Chardonnay. It was the Sterling Vineyards VC (RRP RM117). Again, the right amount of fruit, minimal dryness when it ends, and less oaky that the usual. A citrusy finish.

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Main course, NZ sirloin

A little tipsy by the time lunch was served. Food was awesome, as usual.

This was probably the first time i had a Cali merlot, the Stags Leap Napa Valley Merlot 2014 (279). Wine growers have faced a drought there for a decade, giving the grape richer flavours. As is typical of merlots, this one has a dry finish; however not the tongue-twisting dryness that usually puts me off merlot.

I’m more of a cabsauv kinda guy. We were served the Beaulieu Vineyards Cab Sauv 2015 (92). On my palate i got sweet berry. It’s also a little ‘leafy’, with tannin, but these are lighter flavours. Finish is velvety. Another excellent production.

BV_Asia CA CabSauv_750_nvThis was followed by an on-point Pinot, Sterling Vineyards VC Pinot Noir 2015 (117). It does a 10-month bid in American & French oak. The concentrated palate is rich with good depth and complex flavors of dark berries.

Dessert wasn't a dessert wine

Dessert wasn’t a dessert wine

For the finale, our glasses were blessed with the Beringer Private Reserve Cab Sauv 2012 (489). (ABV 14.9%)

The sifu for the day

The sifu for the day, kickin back

Their wines are near-perfect. Amazing stuff.

And understandably except for the Private Reserve, the prices are as enticing as the quality of these superb productions.

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I’ll definitely get my hands on some these wines, and not necessarily for special occasions either. Sunday breakfast should do.

 

Brain damage: 8/10

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