• Nobelle Liew

The Philosophy of the Cocktail – The Spiffy Dapper Approach

Today marks the start of Singapore Cocktail Week! With 30 cocktail bars roped in for this week-long event spanning 7-14 March, it's got to be the first major F&B event of 2015.


Amazing drinks by renowned bars like Anti:dote, 28HKS, and Manhattan among others, at a discounted rate is bait enough; but what's really exciting is the fantastic cocktail mix of events lined-up. Workshops, tasting sessions, to tattoo parlour pop-ups - all at a discount for ticket holders.

And if all of them were any bit as good as the one we attended this afternoon, then these are the real gems of the week.


Our week started with The Philosophy of the Cocktail - The Spiffy Dapper Approach. Founder bartender George said the workshop's pretty much as artsy fartsy as it sounds. Which isn't necessarily bad. Delving into the fundamentals of a good drink, George spent the next 1 and a half hours discussing a cocktail at its most elemental level.


What is balance? What is art? What is a cocktail? It's hard to imagine philosophy centred around the alcoholic world of cocktails; but that makes understanding the ideas behind a cocktail that much more interesting. While techniques are essential to creating a good drink, creating new, different, yet delicious drinks require understanding not only flavour-profiles, but how our biology predisposes us to enjoy it.


With a very hands-on approach, we experienced how ratios affect the way we appreciate a drink. That adding water to your whisky isn't as simple as dilution (or being a pussy), but lowering its ABV (alcohol by volume) to a level acceptable by our body thus allowing us to better taste its complexities.


That with the simple elemental knowledge of a cocktail, we can make an amazing Old Fashioned and Margheritas in the comfort of our home.


G&T, spirit-forward, with citrus notes (left); smoky, spirt-forward, Islay malt Old Fashioned (right)

The workshop ended with George mixing up his interpretation of what each attendee liked, explaining how the elemental philosophy behind a drink allowed for different creations. Our Old Fashioned tasted different from the usual. Sweeter than usual, it starts off light and palatable, smoothly building up to that level of smokiness that we're familiar with. An amazing bespoke drink to say the least.

With so much alcohol provided in this short workshop, S$58 is quite the bargain. That of course means what we've learnt is all a bit fuzzy around the edges. Still if there's one big take away, it'd be that the artists behind Spiffy Dapper make really great cocktails.

That's what I'll return for.

The Spiffy Dapper

73 Amoy Street

Singapore 069892

Mondays to Fridays: 6pm-3am

Weekends: 8pm-3am

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