What our wine and spirits experts are drinking this month.
Top picks from our wine and spirits experts
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