Seven island cocktails for summer
You’ve got your vacations booked, summer gear washed and packed, air-conditioners turned to full blast, but the most important question remains: what are you going to be drinking? Carissa Morais hits up the local bars to see what’s muddling on the rocks t
BURMA CORIANDER FROM PATIO BAR DE TAPAS
Some herb and gin pairings can come across as grassy, but thankfully, this tingly concoction is an exception. This is herby, light and refreshing, one to order if you’re the type to sniff your drink before downing it. The aroma that comes from the crushed coriander pairs well with the sweet-smelling vanilla. Unfortunately the flavour was a little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it because of too much ice. If you’re here for the tapas, let this be your apéritif as the alcoholic strength plays a fine line between weak and wild. 49F Pengkalan Weld, George Town (+6012 311 0442/ www.facebook.com/ patio-penang). Mon-Thu & Sun, 5pm-1.30am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-2am.
MUNTRI MULE FROM INCH FOOD BAR
This is a zippy number that shouldn’t be judged by the first sip. But first, a history lesson: The Muntri Mule is a spin-off from the Moscow Mule that took 1950s America by storm, and was rumoured to be the one cocktail that bartenders hate. Vodka and ginger beer make up the mother ingredients of this drink; this version has tinge of ginger ale and bits of lime but a rather weak vodka taste. Fragrant peppermint leaves were used for garnishing instead of the traditional lime wedge. What could have been a really refreshing gingery kick was watered down in minutes, thanks to the huge amount of ice. 44 Lebuh Muntri, George Town (+604 261 1693/ www.facebook.com/ inch-foodbar). Mon & Wed-Thu, 5pm-12am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-2am; Sun, 5-10pm.
ANGEL’SA GOBLET FROM MISH MASH
Mish Mash is known for their inventive mixes and the Angel’s Goblet is one they’ve well and truly mastered. The graceful blend of white wine and watermelon liqueur has a bubblegum-y taste that complements the peach and roselle sugar grains that swim in t the drink. All these coupled with ground mint leaves make this cocktail a refreshing one with a flavour that lasts. It’s fairly pricey for a cocktail but if you’re stuck in Muntri Street looking for an alcohol-based cooler, perhaps t take a chance on this one. 24 Lebuh Muntri, George Town (+6017 536 5128/ www.mishmashpg.com). Daily, 2pm-12midnight.
ELDERFLOWER MOJITO FROM EDELWEISS CAFÉ
If you’re not already drunk on sunlight and art along Armenian Street, this concoction could work as an energizer before you head off for more sightseeing. A laidback blend of white rum, elderflower syrup, mint leaves and lime, the just-nice tinge of elderflower and rum creates a tasty effervescence in the mouth and you might just find yourself ordering another one for the road. This tipple has the dynamic equilibrium of alcoholic strength, flavour and temperature that perfectly works against the merciless heat of the town. We like this neat twist to the classic Cuban cocktail; we can totally imagine sipping this tippler in the summer of the 1930s. 38 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (+604 261 8935/www.edelweisscafe.com). Tue-Fri, 11am-3pm & 6.30-10pm; Sat, 12noon-10pm; Sun, 12noon-7pm.
DIM SUM COCKTAIL FROM BASEMENT 6
No, this is not your siu mai in cocktail form, in case you’re puzzled. The Dim Sum cocktail is a minimalist blend of gin, Chinese breakfast tea and fresh lemon. To add to the novelty of it all, the cocktail is served in a bamboo steamer and upon opening the lid, a whiff of dry ice sizzles off, revealing the dainty-looking cocktail (Instragrammers, take note). Besides this innovative take on beverage presentation, the cocktail has a really nice taste: The gin intermingles well with the tea and lemon, think of a Long Island Iced Tea sans the pink elephant aftermath. Yaaaaaaam seng! 56 Jalan Chow Thye, George Town (+604 226 1408/ Facebook: Basement-6). Daily, 8.30am-2am.
TWICE AS NICE FROM THE BEACH BAR
You can’t sunbathe without sunscreen and you can’t have a summer without Midori. Twice As Nice gives you a nice treat with its festive blend of blue curaçao, Midori and a dash of pineapple juice. The blue curaçao gives the drink the zing it deserves (like most drinks that have this pleasing ingredient) along with its vibrant blue hue. The Midori seemed like a saving grace to what came across as a boozy fruit punch – not that we’re complaining. Taste-wise, the tropical fruitiness of the drink stood out without the yucky sickly sweet aftertaste. 3i Upper Penang Road, George Town (+6016 597 9640/ www.facebook.com/ thebeachbar.penang). Daily, 4pm-3am.
POMEGRANATE MOJITO FROM GRAVITY
This drink is one that will take you to an entirely different level, in this case, to the 24th floor where Gravity shares its space with a rooftop infinity pool. Instead of using pomegranate syrup, the bartender blends the pomegranate and adds the juice in to the mix; no hint of the typical syrupy taste here. Drinkers with low tolerance levels might want to err on the side of caution as this little highball is packed with an alcoholic strength that hits as soon as it slithers down the throat. Taste-wise, this is one that will be the highlight of your summer drinking thanks to the finely-tuned balancing act between the rich natural sweetness of the pomegranate and the refreshing fizz of sparkling water. If you're fortunate enough to stay on the executive floor of the hotel, pair this drink with their selection of fine canapés at the lounge beside the bar. After all, who can resist a mojito to accompany a picturesque view? G Hotel Kelawai, Level 24, 2 Persiaran Maktab (+604 219 0000/ www.ghotel.com.my). Daily, 5-11pm.