Anyone who has been to a bar in Singapore can attest to the fact that the prices of alcohol can be so excessive, you'd think the drinks were laced with gold and blessed by the Pope himself. Being a light social-drinker, I felt no particular way about this when I first arrived. However, my mother was certainly pleased, being someone who exclusively refers to alcohol as 'the devil's juice' and then looks far too chuffed with herself for being so clever (in the most endearing way possible of course, mum).
The exorbitant prices of alcohol are due to a high 'sin tax' enforced by the Singaporean government (although I would not be surprised to find that my mother was somehow involved in this too), making it necessary to cut back on one's alcohol intake for the sake of one's financial stability. However, as the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. For what they cannot provide in quantity, bars across Singapore have instead focused on providing quality in their craft beers and creative cocktails.
Living in Singapore has resulted in a very unique college experience for me. In a stereotypical college experience, each weekend begins on thursday, and is filled with cheap alcohol, hazy memories and overall a really 'sick time bro!' Rather than toting red solo cups at frat parties, I've spent my weekends bar-hopping from secret locations to the rooftops of skyscrapers, trying the most outstanding cocktail concoctions one could think of.
Of course, I don't mean to undermine the "typical college experience," I simply think that it isn't for everyone, and I'm very glad to have had something rather different. I feel I've been quite spoiled in Singapore, in that whenever I please, I can waltz into one of the numerous trendy bars, say "surprise me!" to a bartender and receive a unique, bespoke creation. That said, sometimes in trying to provide a novel experience, the envelope has been pushed too far and I found myself sipping some sort of fresh hell and squirming uncomfortably on a bar stool shaped like Donald Trump's toupée. However, for the most part here, I have one helluva time sippin' Mai Tai's like I'm Jay-Z in New York circa 2009.
Now imagine my intrigue when I heard that there was going to be a whole week dedicated to the art of cocktail making in dozens of fantastic bars across Singapore, half of which I'm ashamed to say I've never even been to yet. The impressive venue list includes bars such as Pollen, Horse's Mouth, The Cufflink Club, and 28 Hong Kong Street (a personal favourite, especially because the hostess very kindly let me use her hand lotion last month). Singapore Cocktail Week is a festival from the 12th -19th of March 2016 that will give you a very good excuse to drink all week long (it's for the culinary experience, dahling, the gastronomy, the mixology, the ol' razzle dazzle)!
My first thought was 'YAS GAGA! This is what I'm here for!'
My second was 'my mum reads my blog and will fear I have become an alcoholic.'
But by far my most sensible thought was 'how the hell am I going to pay for all this?' The ticket for 8 days is $38, which entitles you to $14++ cocktails (10% off essentially). In theory, this is rather decent but in reality, it may very well deceive you into buying $200 dollar's worth of alcohol over one weekend. After consulting my financial advisor (i.e. myself), I came to the conclusion that this would be a very unwise decision and that I really should not do it. That is, unless someone miraculously starts paying me to blog (I'm a college student, hellerrrr).
I was initially determined to have a cocktail from every bar on the list. Then I counted them. There are 60 bars. Even if I went to three every night of the week, I wouldn't make a dent. Trying to accomplish all of them would require a terrifying amount of day-drinking, something I'm neither old nor bitter enough to do.
Thus, I have decided to narrow my list down to 20 bars (allowing for whichever picky companion I might be with), based on two very scientific criteria:
1. Have I been there before?
2. Do I like their website?
Finally, my list comes down to:
If you who are reading this strongly object to the omission of a certain bar, or if you have recommendations and suggestions, click here! I'm always open to trying new things! I'm also open to making new friends, so if you're feeling spontaneous and want to join my cocktail crew, or perhaps take me along somewhere new with you, click here!
As per my financial advisor's stellar advice, I fully intend on using my cultivated flirting skills to procure free drinks from handsome strangers (and friends). As a feminist, I know I'm expected to pay for my own drinks. And I would absolutely do so if the buyer were another college student, rather than a working man with a stable income and a well-tailored suit. But that's why I don't date college students.
Here's to feminism and free drinks at Singapore Cocktail Week! I bravely undertake this endeavour even though it may jeopardise my sleep and/or bank account (but certainly not my liver because I'm a very good daughter and I drink responsibly).To the bars! At dusk, we ride!*
*Or rather at about 9:30pm or so, because one must never appear too eager.
Pepper & Söl
(Photos from the Singapore Cocktail Week Facebook Page)
P.S. I love you, mum.