THE FUTURE OF WHISKY WITH SIMON MCGORAM, ATOM BRANDS


ASIA PACIFIC, 23 MAY – The whisky industry is exploding in growth with the number of small-batch distilleries increasing by double digits each year. Innovation seems to be coming out of every seam and people are demanding variety when it comes to grains, production styles, and consumption methods. Whisky drinkers are becoming increasingly diverse – pushing for something that suits their tastes rather than just settling for what’s typical – which will lead us into an exciting future filled with various changes within the current status quo.

For these reasons, we sat down with Simon McGoram, Regional Sales Manager of ATOM Brands (Asia Pacific) who shared his thoughts about whisky’s future.

Simon McGoram, Regional Sales Manager of ATOM Brands (Asia Pacific)

Atom Brands enjoys success at the 2020 World Whiskies Awards & Icons of Whisky

How has the market landscape for whisky evolved?

The landscape for whisky has evolved a lot in the Asia Pacific region and indeed around the globe. Whilst the brand ‘Scotch’ remains strong, we are seeing an emergence and increasing interest in new world whiskies. It’s one of the things I’m most excited about with working on brands like That Boutique-y Whisky Company which leads the conversation of craft whisky bottling exciting releases, White Peak in England, Nantou from Taiwan, Three Sheets in South Africa and Black Gate in Australia to name a few.

What are the areas of innovation you can foresee in the whisky process, ingredients and beyond barrels?

In terms of innovation, what haven’t we seen yet? As the world embraces new world whiskies, innovation can be found in every corner of the industry. Oxford Artisan Distillery is leading the charge with heirloom grains in England – it’s producing excellent whisky with more disease & drought-resistant crops (pertinent in the age of global warming). Archie Rose in Australia blends a six malt stream (with a load of speciality malts) to make their new make spirit in a dizzyingly complex process that has seen some delicious results to date. Let’s not forget the recently ratified category of Empire Rye in New York State is a driving force behind some excellent whisky from the US east coast. In short, it’s a great time to be a whisky fan.

What are the primary inputs for an excellent whisky in terms of ingredients, and processes?

Well, the ingredients for all whisky are pretty similar – grain (malted & unmalted), water, yeast and of course time in cask. We could spend a long time discussing speciality grains, length of fermentation, worms tubs and maturation regimes (and anyone who has spent any real length of time with me over a couple of drams would have fallen into this rabbit hole) – but really, I’m a firm believer that whisky is a primarily a product of people, passion and place.

These less tangible and personal elements are what help consumers fall in love with whisky – much like the bar industry, it’s passionate people that are at the heart of it working in a dynamic range of venues. Great whisky, much like a great bar, somehow manages to capture the essence & devotion of those behind it – and best manages to reflect the soul of where they’re from.

At That Boutique-y Whisky Company, we never try to lose sight that our whisky is made by people – our graphic novel-style labels often try to tell the story of the people and places involved in making their fabulous product.

What exciting news will we expect from your brand in the future?

In exciting news from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, we’re thrilled to be celebrating our 10th birthday this year and look forward to announcing soon a very special line-up of 10th Anniversary bottlings to mark the occasion. We are also planning a return trip to Australia after the success of our first Australian series. And very shortly our Boutique-y Record Series will be released – a double scotch whisky release that combines the teams’ love of music with some cracking drams.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Australia Series

Across the globe, demand for whisky is only increasing, so much so that it’s creating a new era of exploration for enthusiasts. Luckily for us, one company has been ruthlessly keeping up with the booming and changing markets, with innovation and quality at heart. ATOM Brands has been focused on crafting high-quality liquor products and extending to the joys of innovative research, leading them to what they do best today. Expect what you’ve come to love from this 8-years-old brand in future releases: awe-inspiring whiskies crafted by innovators who are always eager to seize inspiration before anyone else does.


ABOUT ATOM BRANDS

Being the disruptive innovative arm of the Atom Group, the leading distributor of craft spirits in the UK, ATOM Brands owns, creates and produces some of the most exciting, innovative and high-growth, multi-award-winning (and delicious) brands in the drinks industry. It all started with the creation of Bathtub Gin, and rapidly grew to include the full Ableforth’s portfolio, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, That Boutique-y Gin Company and That Boutique-y Rum Company, as well as the groundbreaking Drinks by the Dram. The winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade in 2019 which recognises outstanding short term growth in overseas sales over a 3 year period, ATOM Brands now proudly operates in over 70 growing craft spirit markets worldwide, including Taiwan, USA, China, Japan and Germany.

For more information, please visit ATOM Brands.


28 HONGKONG STREET ANNOUNCED YEAR-LONG PARTNERSHIP WITH AWARE SINGAPORE


SINGAPORE, 22 MARCH 2022 – This month, to celebrate women’s growing empowerment in the bar industry, 28 HongKong Street has announced its year-long partnership with AWARE Singapore, the premier organisation advocating gender equality across Singapore. Founded in 1985, the Association of Women for Action and Research continue to champion the right of all individuals to have an equitable say in education, employment, and opportunity.

28 HongKong Street is celebrating women throughout March by spotlighting three barrier-breaking alumni: Charmaine Thio, Desiree Silva, and Jessica ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson. Each of these luminaries have called 28 HongKong Street home at one point in their careers, returning to curate a list of four cocktails available at 28 HongKong Street for the month of March, with 10 percent of the drinks’ sales donated to AWARE, Singapore.

Left to Right: Jessica ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson, Charmaine Thio, Desiree Silva

A pioneer of 28 HongKong Street, Desiree Silva (known affectionately as Dezzy), ran the floor with grace and confidence as floor manager. Today, Desiree is the co-owner of Sago House, which debuted at number 49 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2021, and at number 63 on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021. Silva and her co-owners built Sago House from scratch, and courageously opened the bar during Singapore’s lockdown phase. Despite the challenging conditions, their entrepreneurial mindset and passion enabled them not just to survive, but to thrive. That success allowed them to open Low Tide, a tiki-inspired bar serving up tropical cocktails and food with a local twist — all within a year of opening Sago House.

Charmaine Thio’s journey at 28 HongKong Street began in 2015 where she started out as a barback and worked her way up to become head bartender. Since then, she has embarked on a new adventure as the regional brand ambassador of Hendrick’s Gin.

Jessica ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson, Co-founder of No Sleep Club

Jessica ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson spent four years at 28 HongKong Street, working her way up from part-timer to front of house manager before becoming a personal spirits advisor for EC Proof. After leaving EC Proof, Hutch co-founded No Sleep Club in 2019, a venue that focuses on coffee and cocktails alongside some of the tastiest dishes in Singapore. With such a carefully curated menu and great hospitality, No Sleep Club landed at number 8 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 and at number 26 on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021.

“I think it’s incredible that the AWARE is pairing up with venues that are inclusive in hiring and staffing, and also ensuring that their venues are inclusive and a safe space — especially for nightlife, which is a predominantly male-centred universe.”

AWARE is a non-for-profit organisation, and 28 HongKong Street is honoured to contribute to this charity that actively supports UN anti-discrimination declarations regarding sexual harassment, gender discrimination, age opportunity awareness, and strengthening the laws, policy, and mindsets pertaining towards the lives of women.

“We just wanted to give something back to the community and strive in all aspects to make it an industry we can truly be proud of,” says Christopher Peart, General Manager of the celebrated Singapore cocktail bar.

After March and through the rest of this year, each month will see 28 HongKong Street collaborating with a different cocktail bar from around the world. Our global friends who embrace diversity and support the cause will be creating a special cocktail exclusive for 28 HongKong Street, with those proceeds being donated to AWARE.

So come by, have some cocktails, and celebrate the great work done by AWARE.


About AWARE

AWARE is the leading women’s rights and gender equality group in Singapore. The non-profit organisation works to identify and eliminate the gender barriers through research and advocacy, education and training, and support services.

Since its formation in 1985, AWARE has carried out research into numerous issues affecting women, including workplace sexual harassment, poverty of older women, and Singapore’s compliance with UN anti-gender discrimination standards. Their CARE services provides case management, counselling, legal advice, Befriending and other assistance to women in need.

Learn more by visiting their website at https://www.aware.org.sg/

About 28 HongKong Street

Hidden behind an unassuming 1960’s shophouse façade, 28HKS is a word-of-mouth venue for people who might appreciate the kind of venue that we enjoy ourselves: relaxing at the beginning, growing a tad louder as the night goes on. The drinks focus’ is on artisanal spirits and American-style craft cocktails. The food is gussied up American comfort food made from scratch for sharing.

You can visit the venue from 5:00pm to 10:30pm, Monday to Saturday. You can follow the journey on Instagram.


CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY WITH WOMEN IN PROOF & COMPANY


ASIA PACIFIC, 8 MARCH 2022 – “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish,” said Michelle Obama. Bartenders, bar managers, beverage directors, creators, distillers and ambassadors – whether it be by remembering how women are some of the most influential and powerful individuals we know, or just how they inspire us with their passion, creativity and unbridled dedication to their craft in the drinks and hospitality industry, we are honoured to have them in our lives and taking the time to really celebrate them.

To mark International Women’s Day, we sat down with four Proof’s women as they shared their love for the industry and even, tips for future generations.

Elaine Hardiman

Favourite Cocktail: Negroni – thanks to 28 HongKong Street

Favourite Past times: Bike-riding with her toddler in tow and hosting friends for dinner.

Best Proof Moment: To see her finance team come through it together and be stronger after the toughest two years in any of our personal and professional lives.

Born in Kuala Lumpur but moved to Melbourne at a young age, Elaine Hardiman considers herself a proud Aussie with an international background. Even with extensive experience in the fashion and retail industry, she had a smooth transition into the F&B industry when she joined Proof. “Of course, it also helps that I had studied many of our products closely over the years as I visited cocktails bars from New York to Shoreditch to Lan Kwai Fong,” she quipped.

“As quoted from one of the most inspirational female leaders, “Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.” Proof has been and always will continue to be a great place to build a career. The business I joined 4 years ago compared to the business today is so different and yet has retained the same ingredient that made me want to join in the first place, a thirst to be the best in the industry!”

Jordan Ashleigh

Favourite Cocktail: Vieux Carre

Favourite Past times: Keeping fit through bouldering, hiking, yoga and kickboxing. She’s also a Reformer Pilates instructor on the side.

Best Proof Moment: As a fellow lover of travelling, she loved visiting our brand partners’ distilleries and exploring their local cities.

From humble beginnings in Far North Queensland (the rum state), Jordan Ashleigh found her love of bartending and the hospitality industry when she moved to the United Kingdom in 2015. From masterclasses, local competitions, and bartending across the country, our bubbly and energetic member immersed herself in the cocktail country before joining Proof in 2018.

A huge believer in trying everything to find what you are good at (and not good at), our Brand Manager for Proof’s Australia & New Zealand shares her favourite quote from Paulo Coelho, “Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”

Trisha Chan

Favourite Cocktail: French 75

Favourite Past times: Tennis, exploring new cities during her travels, and experimenting with recipes, especially desserts and cocktails.

Best Proof Moment: Stepping into the office on my first day and being welcomed to the warm and passionate members of Proof & Company.

Having worked in technology and healthcare companies in the Silicon Valley, joining the Hospitality and Spirits Industry was the last place Trisha Chan thought she would ever be. “My time at Proof has been an amazing journey so far because I realized that my legal skills are easily transferrable from industry to industry and even align with my personal interests which makes it even more fun!”

When asked what advice would she offer to her younger self and future generations, “I know it sounds cliché, but don’t give up on your dreams or goals. Always be curious – you never know where life will take you or what opportunities are around the corner!”

Eve Guo

Favourite Cocktail: Old Fashioned

Favourite Past times: Levelling up in her yoga practices, swimming, and discovering cultures when travelling

Best Proof Moment: Being able to learn and grow everyday in this thriving and vibrant culture.

From Chang Chun, Jilin Province in China, Eve Guo envisioned a career where everyone is able to develop professionally and personally, an industry that is all about diversity and opportunity. And she found this in the hospitality industry – from the Novotel in Bangkok, Club Med in Phuket, and Wynn Palace in Macau to her current role as Sales Manager in Proof & Company.

“A career in the hospitality industry is all about passion and learning. You would need to venture out of your comfort zone and transform every experience as a new opportunity to develop yourself better.”



CELEBRATING WORLD BARTENDER DAY WITH OUR ADVOCATES OF EXTRAORDINARY SPIRITS


SINGAPORE, 24 FEBRUARY 2022 – What started out in a cocktail competition became a popular day that is celebrated in the global bar industry. Toasting to the creativity and talents of those important people tending bars all across the globe, World Bartender Day pays tribute to individuals who have shaped the industry for future generations throughout history.

To show the love and appreciation for our advocates who are passionate about sharing their knowledge of spirits with people around the world, here are five incredible individuals who are making waves in their community. These bartenders run the gamut from industry-renowned professionals to the up-and-coming bar talents. From Singapore to Sydney, Shanghai, and Hong Kong to New Zealand, let’s take a look at what makes these bartenders and their signature serves exceptional.

Nicholas Edward Alexander, Head Bartender at Writers Bar, Singapore

With almost a decade of bartending experience at numerous prestigious bars and restaurants in New York City, Nicholas brings with him a wealth of knowledge and mastery to Writers Bar at Raffles Singapore.

His signature drink “Guilty Pleasure” is reminiscent of a 1950’s pitcher of Old Fashioned with muddled oranges and cherries but in an exceptional form.  The rye brings spice to balance the fruit while the bourbon reminds him of his favourite dessert, the banana bread.

Lorenzo Antinori, Beverage Manager at Argo, Hong Kong

Lorenzo Antinori, the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts group bar guru has over 10 years of experience in the F&B scene across Europe and Asia and masterminded the rise of several globally renowned bars. As a believer in experiential cocktails, he strives to create story-driven drinks through innovative techniques.

The Single Origin Negroni was inspired by his visit to Malaysia, where he saw a cocoa pod and thought how cool it would be to age a Negroni inside. There’s much to admire about this drink at Argo with such inventive ingredients and winning flavours.

Andrea Marseglia, Beverage Director at Teresa Bar, New Zealand

Meet Andrea Marseglia from New Zealand who has over a decade of international bar experience. With a focus on seasonality and foraging, it’s no wonder that this Aperitivo & Cocktail bar is an oasis of sustainable practices.

Not only does he enjoy making all sorts of cocktails, but the co-founder of Neighbourhood Foraging also enjoys using ingredients sourced locally. Inspired by the fauna on the way to Bluff Hill, Andrea foraged New Zealand’s native ingredients and infused them into bourbon to create an earthy taste while enhancing those caramel and coconut notes of the Ferrand Cognac. The result? A uniquely delicious Bluff Hill Sazerac.

Eason Guo, Head Bartender at The White Moth, Beijing

Recently crowned champion of Diplomatico Rum’s Artisans of Taste competition in China, Eason Guo perfected his craft to create this sustainable and impeccable cocktail. Leveraging two types of Diplomatico Rum with sour plum soup and plum bitters, Guo was able to obtain a more robust and well-rounded flavor in his signature Diplomático serve, Hao Ye.

The rich aroma of Diplomático Rum takes the Head Bartender of The White Moth back to the classic Beijing specialty – sour plum soup. Pushing the boundaries further by using up all parts of the coconut, we are presented with a memorable drink.

Hélène Bord, Bartender at Apollonia Bar, Sydney

Hélène Bord is a 1/3 oz Spanish, 1/3 oz French, 1/3 oz American who’s still figuring out ounces while in OZ. Little did she know when she made the move from Spain to Sydney for her studies that she would develop a love for hospitality. This young bartender’s current passion project is making cocktails that tantalise all senses and creating unforgettable experiences for her guests.

With Dirty Gimlets (her signature drink), she can make sure anyone visiting Sydney gets the perfect summer cocktail experience they deserve – not to mention one that embodies her passion for hospitality. Nothing shouts of a Mediterranean summer more than a refreshing citrus-forward cocktail with marinated olives.

Let us celebrate the unsung heroes that are tending bars all over the world. Given many recent challenges within the hospitality and bar industry, it is heartwarming to see the resilience and determination of this global community. These are passionate people who help each other, who are kind when it matters, and who rally together during tough times while delivering the highest quality of cocktails and experiences for their guests.

Show your love for the bartenders you know and love on World Bartender Day by giving them a special shout-out or even turning the tables around by buying them a drink.



PEDDLERS SHANGHAI GIN CELEBRATES CHINESE NEW YEAR AND THE SPIRIT OF THE TIGER


SINGAPORE, 25 JANUARY 2022 – Shanghai-based Peddlers Gin Company is celebrating Chinese New Year in 2022 – the Year of the Tiger –  with a series of events and partnerships in Singapore.

The cornerstone event will be a two-week partnership with Projector X, an indie film theater that will feature Chinese New Year related screenings and Peddlers Gin cocktails paired with Chinese delicacies from 26 January to 6 February. To ring in the festivities with delicious dumplings, film-goers and the public alike are welcome to enjoy some G&Ts and special Shanghai Dumplings from 29-30 January only. 

At the same time, six bars from Singapore’s exciting cocktail scene will each feature 3 Peddlers Gin specials for 2 weeks in Peddler’s Tiger Bar Crawl. There will be special menus at partner venues Sago House, Stay Gold Flamingo, Barbary Coast, 28 HongKong Street, Druggists, and Set of Six. At these top bars, guests can explore drinks inspired by ingredients and botanicals from around the different regions of China.

Some of the highlights include:

28 HongKong Street’s "Vice & Valor"

Barbary Coast's "Count Cassia"

Sago House's "Peddler's Street Side Special"

As part of its global Chinese New Year campaign, Peddlers will be releasing exclusive interviews with people across the generations in China who were born in a Year of the Tiger. From an 86 year old hunter-turned conservationist to a 24-year-old surfer, a rice farmer, a hip hop star, and everything in between. Each story paints a picture of Chinese culture, celebrating the human spirit in a country undergoing unprecedented change.

Peddlers special limited edition gift box with a custom Spirit of the Tiger cocktail mug, available online and at events.

“The Lunar New Year is about celebrating what’s new, honouring what came before, and feasting with family and friends. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger – an animal that represents bravery in Chinese culture.

Along with some exciting events, delicious food, and cocktails, we’ll be releasing exclusive content that captures the spirit of the tiger and sheds a human light on China and its rich cultural diversity. We can’t wait to share these stories – and some cocktails – with the world”, said Joseph Judd, Marketing Director of Peddler’s Gin

Peddlers use the London Dry method, which means no additives or artificial flavours are added after distillation. Their use of a traditional copper pot ensures a crisp, clean taste. Peddlers Gin is double distilled, with a vapour infusion of the delicate Chinese botanicals including Sichuan pepper from the mountains of Hanyuan, near Chengdu.

The expansion of Peddlers Gin Co around the world follows a surge in demand as an adventurous new generation seeks unique gins which push the boundaries of flavour and craft. With notes of Sichuan pepper, Buddha’s hand & Chinese mint, the award-winning flavour profile of Peddlers Rare Shanghai Gin is delicious in a cocktail or mingling with mixers. Along with being critically acclaimed, earning medals at the San Fran World Spirits Awards and CWSA, Peddlers Gin stands out for its distinctive and award-winning bottle design.

Now being served at bars around Singapore, Peddlers Gin is helping to pioneer the craft spirit industry in Asia.


PEDDLERS GIN COMPANY

Peddlers is a Shanghai gin company started in 2017 with a vision of challenging perceptions of what it means to be ‘Made in China’. Using uniquely Chinese ingredients like Sichuan Pepper and Buddha’s Hand, Peddlers Gin tells a story of diverse regions of China. With exports of their premium gin to over ten countries throughout the Asia Pacific, and triple-digit sales growth, Peddlers is proudly representing Shanghai to the world.

For more information, please visit:
peddlersgin.com
@peddlersgin