Chad and I had four full days in Singapore on our last trip.
In reality, Chad had two days for work, two days to spend with me. I had two days to gallivant as I pleased, and two days to spend with Chad.
In a previous trip, I decided to do cultural/historical related things: understand different religions by going on tours in a Hindu temple and Islam mosque, go to the Kranji war cemetery, walk around Little India, visit the Tampines war museum, explore the Singapore National Museum as well as the Peranakan museum.
This year, however, I decided to explore drinking in Singapore.
I did need material for the blog.
I realised that I actually have developed some beverage-related traditions when I travel to places… Here are some of my traditional drink must-haves in Singapore:
The cocktail was created in the Long Bar of Raffles Hotel before 1915 by a Hainanese bartender named Ngiam Tong Boon. It is composed of gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, Benedictine, grenadine, pineapple juice, lime juice, and Angostura bitters. Initially, the Singapore Sling was made as a sweet beverage with a dose of alcohol snuck in for female bar patrons (once upon a time, female drinkers were frowned upon).
What’s amazing is that people can still have the cocktails from its birthplace, still see the old-fashioned “ceiling fans”, and participate in the traditional disposing of nutshells on the floor.
BREWERKZ – CLARK QUAY
Chad and I always manage to visit the oldest and largest microbrewery in Singapore (whether intentionally or otherwise).
On this trip, we decided to catch up with an old college buddy who has spent about seven years in Singapore. We thought of Brewerkz since he and I used to drink up a storm in college.
Like finding time to visit him, it is tradition for us to enjoy a couple of pints of Brewerkz beer. For this visit, we had the recommended Centennial Pale Ale from the Single Hop Series. It was a little citrusy, a bit floral, and a whole lot of bitter.
We decided to have an even more traditional beer afterwards: a dark stout (Guinness is all over Singapore and I wanted to try a home brewed version). The Oatmeal Stout was smooth and silky, with flavours of coffee and chocolate.
Delicious. So were the Wagyu burgers.
LAU PA SAT FESTIVAL MARKET
I firmly believe in the notion that a country’s culture is reflected in their street food.
While Singapore is no exception, they are also well known for their cleanliness. So, unlike the Philippines’ turo-turos, they have immaculately clean facilities that house several food stalls featuring local cuisine: the hawker centres.
This being a beverage blog let me focus on the “street beverages”.
One of my favourite street drinks in Singapore is the Milo Dinosaur. It is essentially an iced Milo topped with Milo powder, and is oh-so-yummy.
This year, Chad and I went with the cabbie’s recommendation of Lau Pa Sat (“I promise, lady, local food with local prices!”).
It did not disappoint.
Not only did I have the best Indian buttered chicken EVER; I had a fresh (and I mean FRESH) sugar cane juice. It was so fresh that the lady only juiced the sugar cane when I ordered. It was mildly sweet, rather earthy, and beautifully refreshing. It went perfectly well with the spicy food.
HORLICKS MALTED DRINK
I first learned about Horlicks from a friend of ours who had lived in Singapore for over a year. He brought a pack of it home for us during one of his breaks.
We fell in love with it.
It’s beautifully malty, light, and just hits the spot if I’m craving for a quick, healthy snack.
Naturally, I bought packs to take home the first chance I could.
What are your travel drink traditions? Do share them. Cheers!