Beverages Abroad Pt. I – Singapore

Here’s the first post of 2012! A very happy new year to all you bevvies!

Many apologies for not having posted in the past few weeks. As any good explorers know, one must go far and wide to obtain the treasures of the world — and boy, have I. Singapore was my destination! The wondrous city/country/island and my many friends there showed me the greatest hospitality – which included much alcohol.

So, I have returned from my epic exploration with much bounty to share (I even have pictures). Let’s get to it!

To not completely come off as an alcoholic, I’ll include a variety of beverages that Singapore had to offer. First, I present to you a Hawker center (Singapore’s solution for regulating food carts and stands) classic.

A creamy, malted chocolate beverage -- good at any time of dayThis is the Milo Dinosaur. This cup of malted chocolate milk isn’t your average cup of “Yoo-hoo.” It’s creamy (from the condensed milk *drool*); it’s cold (which is friggin’ FAN-tastic in the Singapore heat); and it’s topped with extra malt powder which turns into that slimy, chocolatey goodness that lingers at the bottom of your cup. Luckily it comes with a spoon: yum.

And here is the warm alternative which is popular in many Hawker centers: Pulled Tea.

Frothy Milk Tea

This take on the popular Asian milk tea drink is a warm delight. Just like the Milo Dinosaur, it’s real creamy, ahem condensed milk. This simple drink’s taste is only half the fun. The frothy bits at the top all come from the pouring motion. Ain’t no thang.

Ok, enough sober crap. Onwards, to the alcohol (the reason why we’re all here…)!

First off: a beer. Tiger Beer is Singapore’s national beer. It was average. Cheers.

Singapore's Budweiser

I can’t say it was anything phenomenal, but I figured I might as well try it. One does not simply fly across the Pacific Ocean to not try the local beer. Like the adage goes: when in Rome…

(drink beer).

Ok and here’s the last of the picture series. Here we have Singapore’s speciality: The Singapore Sling.

Fruity and colorfulFirstly, excuse the out-of-focus-ness.  Secondly, holy sh!t this was not what I expected. My friends and I went to the place where this drink originated: The Raffles Hotel. Having done zero background research on the drink, I was decently bamboozled at our order (my friends and I were also surprised to learn that you could toss your peanut shells on the ground – it creates a nauseatingly crunchy texture to the ground).

For a drink that was birthed in the watering hole of one of the most historical hospitality establishments of the colonial world, I was not expecting a orangey-pink monstrosity (with a maraschino cherry to boot). I think the story goes that the colonial manly-men of the day needed to mask the foul taste of their gin.  Thus, pineapple juice, grenadine, and sweet and sour mix was used to mask the taste. My hat is off to you, ye olde colonizers – never have I seen such shameless sweetening of a drink. Wear your man-parts with pride!

Anyways, sarcasm and colonialism aside, It was a decent drink. Admittedly, this is a departure from the original recipe, but I couldn’t complain. The foam was a nice touch; the sweetness and tartness put it somewhere between “Peeps” and “Ring-pop”; and there was an absolute lack of alcohol burn, despite the three liqueurs and heavy-handed pour of gin. An interesting drink, for sure.

Next time, expect Hong Kong.

-J Lo

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