Drink

What our wine and spir­its ex­perts are drink­ing this month.

Crave - - TABLE OF CONTETS - Il­lus­tra­tions Tim Cheng

Top picks from our wine and spir­its ex­perts

Spring­bank 18

Spring­bank is one of the few dis­til­leries in the world that con­tin­ues to make whisky the tra­di­tional way, con­trol­ling the en­tire process at its dis­tillery, from malt­ing to bot­tling. It has also been quite pro­gres­sive in its use of local bar­ley. The tra­di­tion and fo­cus on qual­ity con­trol is very sim­i­lar to the over­all Ja­panese phi­los­o­phy, mak­ing its dis­tillery very at­trac­tive. We also like its other bot­tlings such as the 12-year cask. How­ever, its 18-year whisky is an ex­cel­lent bal­ance be­tween strength, com­plex­ity, palate and fin­ish.

from Masahiko Endo Bar­tender-in-chief, Mizu­nara: The Li­brary

A pas­sion­ate Ja­panese bar­tender who loves his whiskies, so when he is not serv­ing, he is con­sum­ing

Laven­der Meringue Pie

This is a ridicu­lously in­dul­gent sweet treat at Quinary. A cock­tail of laven­der re­dis­tilled Tan­queray gin and zesty limon­cello, topped with sweet marsh­mal­low foam and a sprin­kle of ground laven­der sugar that is torched for ex­tra fra­grance. I do not have a sweet tooth, but when I crave desserts, I go for the lemon meringue pie. It in­spired my cock­tail to be equally light and re­fresh­ing, yet in­dul­gent. Not to men­tion the marsh­mal­low foam here is much airier than beaten egg white, mak­ing it a per­fect be­fore- and af­ter-din­ner drink.

from Samuel Kwok Bar man­ager, Quinary

Named one of the top 25 bar­tenders in Hong Kong by Drinks World Asia mag­a­zine

La Mai­son Fon­taine Ab­sinthe Drip

Ab­sinthe is a strong al­co­holic aper­i­tif tra­di­tion­ally made with eau de vie and dis­tilled herbs or herbal ex­tracts, chief among them grand worm­wood, green anise and fen­nel. La Mai­son Fon­taine, our ab­sinthe of choice, is an ex­cep­tional mod­ern take, which mixes well in cock­tails, on its own or in the clas­sic French rit­ual, the louche. This in­volves plac­ing a sugar cube on a flat per­fo­rated spoon rest­ing on the rim of a glass con­tain­ing a mea­sure of ab­sinthe. Iced water is slowly dripped onto the sugar cube, which grad­u­ally dis­solves and drips, along with the water, into the ab­sinthe, caus­ing the spirit to louche into an opaque, opales­cent white.

from Ti­mothee Bec­que­ri­aux Oper­a­tions man­ager, The Con­ti­nen­tal

This French­man has spent most of his life in Asia, work­ing be­hind bars in Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore

Pierde Al­mas Es­padín Mez­cal

Pierde Al­mas is do­ing mez­cal right. Lo­cated in Oax­aca, Mex­ico, the dis­tillery is an in­no­va­tor in the mez­cal world and renowned for its en­vi­ron­men­tal and cul­tural ethos. Within the Pierde Al­mas range, I pre­fer Es­padín, the most ac­ces­si­ble mez­cal for cock­tails. The rich flavour of wild Es­padín agave matches well with the smoky qual­ity that comes from roast­ing the agave over fallen tim­ber. Its ro­bust flavours work well with red berry cock­tails, as a re­place­ment for pro­hi­bi­tion-style peated whisky cock­tails or, as I pre­fer, neat.

from Mark Brough Owner, The Tram­line Liquor Co.

Chief im­biber and ar­dent sup­porter of drink­ing bet­ter, not more

Gi­uaani Mtsvane Qvevri 2014

This wine is a flavour sur­prise for many, with soft gold colour, in­tense apri­cot, peach and nec­tarine aro­mas that lead one to ex­pect some­thing sweet and fruity. But in­stead this wine is dry, dry, dry. Fur­ther sur­prise: the palate is lightly tex­tured with pow­dery smooth tan­nins. Whoa! Did you say white wine? Tan­nins? Yes, this wine made with a spe­cial “skin con­tact” tech­nique us­ing tra­di­tional Ge­or­gian wine­mak­ing techiques in large clay am­phorae jars (qvevri) buried in the soil of this an­cient – 8,000 vin­tages old – “land of the vine”. It’s a won­der­ful flavour sur­prise for ad­ven­tur­ous wine lovers and cu­ri­ous tip­plers alike.

from De­bra Meiburg Mas­ter of Wine

Ded­i­cated wine pro­fes­sional teach­ing the world to nav­i­gate their taste buds

Rokeby’s Half Crown Gin

What bet­ter way to en­joy the last of sum­mer than with a clas­sic gin and tonic. Half Crown Gin is a clas­sic London dry-style gin, dis­tilled in small batches in a tra­di­tional cop­per still. At 40.6 per cent, it car­ries a huge whack of piney ju­niper, with fresh cit­rus notes and some co­rian­der seed spice. It’s great paired with Ledger’s Premium In­dian Tonic, served with ice and a wedge of lime. It also serves as a great base for Ne­groni cock­tails.

from Rick Ma Di­rec­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing, ginhk.com

Sells one of the big­gest selections of G&TS in town

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