East Imperial Gin Jubilee Challenge 2014

Back for a second year, the East Imperial Gin Jubilee challenges 15 of the city’s top bartenders to create their best gin & tonic. We speak to all the competing bartenders about their mixes and why they think it’s the best

How to vote

Sample as many g&ts from the 15 bars on this list from 8-12 September, then visit East Imperial’s Facebook page to vote for your favourite. Alternatively, you can also upload a photo of your favourite drink on Instagram and hashtag the bar’s name (eg. #28hks, #Bacchanalia or #Antidote) together with Gin Jubilee’s hashtag #GinJubilee2014 to make it count.

The winning bartender will walk away with the Silver Jubilee Tankard award, and will serve his or her concoction at a VIP Suite during this year’s Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Tom Hogan, Anti:dote
1/15

Tom Hogan, Anti:dote

Smith & Root, $20

The drink For Hogan’s deliciously artistic drink, you’re given a dowel to crack a disc of cardamom tea frozen at the rim of the glass to mix in with the liquid with of parsnip, rosemary, grapefruit peel, St George’s Terroir Gin and a special Angostura bitters dust. The elements play together to offer a balanced drink with a citrusy, herbaceous and bitter bite.

Why he’ll win ‘This drink holds true to the genuine craft of each product. Even though it’s showy, every element is there for a reason.’

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City Hall
Kae Yin, Nutmeg & Clove
2/15

Kae Yin, Nutmeg & Clove

Eastern Mystery, $20

The drink Kae mixes Gin Mare infused with ye lai xiang flowers – it reminds him of happy times in his grandparents’ yard – chocolate liqueur, lemon, nutmeg and clove bitters and Burma Tonic, topped with chocolate and flower petals. Odd as the elements seem, the result is a layered drink with initial notes of floral sweetness that evolves into a rich note of dark chocolate.

Why he’ll win ‘My style is to put very different flavours together to create a balance, and I think I’ve done that in this drink.’

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Chinatown
Ricky Paiva, Manhattan at Regent Singapore
3/15

Ricky Paiva, Manhattan at Regent Singapore

The Reservist, $24

The drink Opting for Citadelle Reserve gin, which is barrel- and Solera-aged to reference Manhattan’s rickhouse programme, Paiva’s drink includes premium Freak of Nature oolong tea, lemongrass, coriander leaf, and Burma Tonic. Herb-forward, mild on the sugar with a tart finish, a vanilla pod garnish adds a lovely creaminess to the cocktail.

Why he’ll win ‘With g&ts, you want something that you can keep sipping, so I’ve decided to make our entry refreshing and light.’

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Orchard
Jeremy Chua, 28HKS
4/15

Jeremy Chua, 28HKS

Childish Tycoon, $20

The drink
The Singaporean head bartender of the world’s best international bar (28HKS was recently crowned at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards) tempers the bitterness of reduced Burma Tonic syrup and QuinQuina spirit with lemon juice and a desserty peach liqueur. The character of the g&t is still dominant, but a juicy peach note lingers for a sweet finish.

Why he’ll win ‘This is a simple take on a sour cocktail that is still bitter – I’m hoping fans of the TV show Community will appreciate the name.’

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Raffles Place
Kevin Petrie, The Secret Mermaid
5/15

Kevin Petrie, The Secret Mermaid

G&T, $15

The drink With Greenhook Ginsmiths’ American Dry Gin’s as its star, Petrie plays up the spirit’s vegetal and fruity tendencies with rosemary, Green Bar Distillery Apple Bitters and Burma Tonic. The bracing long drink comes with a side of cucumber and ground black pepper that can be tipped into the cocktail to impart some heat to the g&t.

Why he’ll win ‘I think it’s a really balanced drink – it’s identifiably a gin & tonic, but offers an interesting twist using a really fantastic gin.’

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Raffles Place
Edwin Poh, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
6/15

Edwin Poh, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall

4 out of 5 stars

Amour de Clovis, $27

The drink
 Named after his newborn son, Clovis, Poh likes his g&t without the fizz and serves it like a spirit-heavy Old Fashioned cocktail. The tonic in this version comes in an ice cube with added osmanthus flowers and English breakfast tea, which slowly releases more aromas to the orange bitters and Tanqueray 10 in the glass as it’s slowly savoured.

Why he’ll win ‘Mine’s not a fizzy g&t – you can taste the Tanqueray 10, and the drink has an evolving flavour.’

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Raffles Place
Nicholas Quattroville, The Library
7/15

Nicholas Quattroville, The Library

Pick Me Up Tonic, $18

The drink Quattroville draws inspiration from his days as a barista. Coffee is infused in Hendrick’s Gin and lemon and orange peels, and topped up with more gin, tonic and Peychauds bitters. To highlight the elegance of the drink, it’s sipped out of a glamorous coupe glass, accompanied by a vintageinspired Hendrick’s playing card.

Why he’ll win ‘Hendrick’s Gin is one of my favourite gins and the sweetness and aromas of the spirit go especially well with the coffee.’

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Chinatown
Kamil Foltan, Tippling Club
8/15

Kamil Foltan, Tippling Club

Espresso G&T, $20

The drink Another one for the coffee crowd, Tippling Club’s new head bartender pours coffee into a glass of Tanqueray 10 and East Imperial’s Burma Tonic Water. Tanqueray 10 gives the mix a whisper of botanicals, coffee the acidity and tonic the refreshing bitterness for a drink that’s beautifully blended and surprisingly fruity.

Why he’ll win ‘The g&t is one of the most popular drinks in the world and coffee the second most popular beverage – why not combine the two?’

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Tanjong Pagar
Nick Haas, The Cufflink Club
9/15

Nick Haas, The Cufflink Club

Not-so-pink Monkey Gin, $18

The drink Paying tribute to Monkey 47’s ex-RAF wing commander and globe trotter maker, Montgomery Collins, Haas updates the historic pink gin cocktail with a few dashes of grapefruit bitters to play nice with the subtle hints of citrus in Collins’ unique spirit. The addition of East Imperial Burma Tonic ups its fresh factor.

Why he’ll win ‘The Burma tonic is bold and pleasantly bitter, and perfect when combined with the floral Monkey 47 and grapefruit bitters for a refreshing drink.’

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Chinatown
Mohammad Irwan, Studio 1939 at Potato Head Folk
10/15

Mohammad Irwan, Studio 1939 at Potato Head Folk

Burma Fizz, $22

The drink Sweet from the sloe berry gin, a thyme, hibiscus-flavoured honey and hibiscus steeped in Plymouth Gin, Burma Fizz is thickened in texture with egg white and sports added complexity with added umami Japanese plum paste. Each sip evokes memories of the haw flake discs we all snacked on as kids.

Why he’ll win ‘I hope I’ll win! Ultimately, my goal is to share the flavours of my childhood with this sweet and savoury concoction.’

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Chinatown
Stuart Danker, Jigger & Pony
11/15

Stuart Danker, Jigger & Pony

Symmetry, $22

The drink Packed with plenty of sunny day potential and sessionable berry sweetness to please the most sippy female drinker, Jigger’s house bartender Danker improves his disarmingly yummy personal signature drink of muddled strawberries, lime juice, elderflower liqueur and gin with the addition of a reduced Gurma Tonic syrup, and citrusy Fords Gin.

Why he’ll win ‘You won’t even feel the alcohol – it’s easy and refreshing, and perfect for our weather.’

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Tanjong Pagar
Hilda Tan, The Spiffy Dapper
12/15

Hilda Tan, The Spiffy Dapper

Death’s Door Gin and Tonic, $20

The drink Singapore’s most well-stocked gin bar goes for a pared down approach. Showcasing the Wisconsin-made Death’s Door Gin and its three simple ingredients – fennel, juniper berries and coriander – Tan dresses the mix of bracing tonic and the spirit with dried juniper berries, orange peel and a passing spritz of lemon oil.

Why she’ll win ‘Both the brands are very true to their ingredients, and the drink is a mix of bitter, floral and fruity flavours.

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Tanjong Pagar
Alvin Lee, The Conrad Centennial
13/15

Alvin Lee, The Conrad Centennial

G&T, $20

The drink Working with the Proof and Company experts to boost the hotel’s drinks programme, Lee looks to history for his classic rendition of a g&t. A shot of Sipsmith London Dry gin – made in the UK by the great grandnephew of Sir Stamford Raffles – is served with Burma Tonic water and citrus garnishes on the side for you to tailor the intensity and bite of your own drink.

Why he’ll win ‘We want to serve something with a local connection – the tonic’s colonial, and the gin’s made by a descendent of Stamford Raffles.’

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Marina Bay
Luke Whearty, Oxwell & Co
14/15

Luke Whearty, Oxwell & Co

Eau de Vie G&T, $25

The drink Showing off some of the experimentation that he undertakes in his underground Operation Dagger lair, Whearty bottles his fermentationcarbonated mix of Hendrick’s Gin, lemongrass, chamomile and reduced tonic in champagne bottles with its own label. It’s served tableside at Oxwell & Co in a champagne flute that elevates the g&t experience.

Why he’ll win ‘As Muhammad Ali said: “If you even dream of beatin’ me, you’d better wake up and apologise!”’

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Tanjong Pagar
Mark Thomas, Bacchanalia
15/15

Mark Thomas, Bacchanalia

G&T, $25

The drink The reigning champion for the East Imperial Gin Jubilee works once again with his crack kitchen team to throw funky technique into his drink. Green grapes are impregnated with La Quintinye Bianco vermouth and flash frozen to slowly release a herbaceous flavour to a mixture of G’Vine Floraison, Burma Tonic and a rim of bitter Aperol dust.

Why he’ll win ‘I’m planning on keeping the trophy here. Like last year, we’ve kept our drink true to the original gin and tonic, and the elements all blend together to make a very good g&t.’

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Raffles Place

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