Drink News: 8 by Bottles & Bottles, whisky omakase, Bordeaux en primeur 2020, and more
No shortage of drinking options – both at home and outside.
From the guys behind whisky bar pioneers Quaich Bar, in collaboration with whisky tasting club Whisky Butler, comes Signature Reserve, a restaurant and bar situated within the Fullerton Hotel. As one might have guessed, whisky is the main draw here – and not just any whisky either. The bar stocks over 1000 labels, many of which are of the rare, uncommon, and boutique persuasion, and even some exclusive bottlings. It's not all just about sipping drams though, as several experiences have been curated for guests. Signature Reserve offers what is probably the country's first ever whisky omakase, where five courses of small bites are paired with a flight of whisky. While the selected drams and food might change from time to time, standouts include flavourful Xinjiang-style lamb skewers paired with a robust, peaty Ledaig 18 Year Old, and a tiramisu infused with Bunnahabhain. Don't forget to try their signature cocktails – we like the white chrysanthemum whisky sour.
There's tonic water, and there's tonic water. Fever Tree falls under the latter category – and has expanded on that with their new Refreshingly-Light range. They've taken some of their most popular flavours – Cucumber Tonic Water, Elderflower Tonic Water, Indian Tonic Water and Mediterranean Tonic Water – and created a version that swaps out sugar for fructose for a significantly lower calorie count. There's another bonus too: fructose is sweeter upfront, and has a cleaner aftertaste – perfect for letting the finish of any botanicals shine. Gin-pairing info available on the Fever Tree website.
Hunter Valley-based winery McGuigan has launched their series of non-alcoholic wines in Singapore, McGuigan Zero. While the alcohol has been removed from these wines – it's through a low-temperature distilling method called a spinning cone column, which removes most of the alcohol (only 0.05 per cent remain) preserves much of the flavour and body of the wine. Available in three variants: a rounded, oaked chardonnay; a fruit-forward shiraz, and a crisp, off-dry sparkling.
Available from Cold Storage.
8 by Bottles & Bottles
You might be familiar with the distinctive bottle-filled shelves of local drinks retailer Bottles & Bottles – and now they've opened their first drink-in concept in Terminal 3 of Changi Airport. Dubbed 8 by Bottles & Bottles, the space offers a chance for guests to enjoy bar bites – like a cheese platter, or seared beef cubes – alongside the brand's extensive selection of wines, sakes, and spirits. Many of these are also exclusive to Bottles & Bottles – including Margaret River's Domaine Naturaliste; as well as Cognac Tesseron, a high-end producer that only makes cognacs of X.O classification and above.
We've tasted dozens of labels, and 2020's Bordeaux en primeur is showing plenty of promise. Of note: the Saint Emilions (in particular Chateau Pavie Macquin and Fluer Cardinale) are showing plenty of depth and vinosity. From the other side of the river – look out for Margaux's Labegroce for its focus and surprisingly fine tannins; Pauillac's Pedesclaux for refinement and complexity; and Beychevelle in Saint-Julien for a prime example of balancing freshness and power. The whites are outstanding this year too, with Smith Haut Lafite, De Fieuzal, and Domaine de Chevalier being ones to keep a lookout for.