Pop the Cork: The Gin Story


Clarissa Kong

With popular cocktails such as the Vesper and the classic Gin & Tonic as a permanent fixture on the drinks menu. It is little wonder that the gin is a celebrated spirit that has endured the tests of time. Get behind the story of how gin became one of favourite drink of fictitious cool guys like Jay Gatsby, James Bond to even HRH Queen herself.

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This clear spirit first emerged during the Middle Ages where Italian monks flavoured their alcoholic spirits with juniper berries and other florals. Proper distillation of gin started from the 17th century and was initially used for medicinal purpose and a morale boost for the English soldiers before they went into war with Holland.

Because of the war, gin was also sometimes called, ‘Dutch courage’.

Gin quickly rose into prominence when King William of Orange removed taxation on alcohol distillation, which increased the production of spirits tremendously all around the United Kingdom. This led to the overconsumption of gin, which affected the overall well-being of the people as well as sparked social issues such as domestic violence and high unemployment rate. The government eventually managed to find a balance by implementing The Gin Act 1751, which restricted the sale of gin only to licensed retailers and alcohol stores.

What makes gin so unique is their flavouring from botanicals and floral, predominantly with juniper berries. These days, many independent distillers are making their own versions of gins by adding different plants and sometimes spices to switch things up. Besides different flavour profiles, there are also gins categorised by the difference of distillation or production process.

Here are 4 different types of gin you’ll need to know about:

Sloe Gin

Gin infused with the sloe fruit, a small stoned fruit that belongs to the same family as plums. Sugar is usually added during the infusion to further macerate the fruit for a stronger flavour. Sloe gin is sweeter than the ordinary gin due to this factor and is naturally deep red in colour from the flesh of the fruit.

London Dry Gin

This particular type of gin follows a strict instruction on how to process ethyl alcohol with pure infusion of botanicals to make the modern gin we all enjoy so much today. No artificial flavourings are allowed and the quality of gin produced have to meet certain standards such as methanol level and alcohol strength. Contrary to its name, it need not be processed in London as the name simply defines the gin making process.

Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin is named after the sign of a ‘back tom cat’ which English pubs use to hang on the outside of their shop in the 18th century, to signify that sale of gin is available and you’ll be able to enjoy a shot by inserting a coin into a slot found underneath the cat paw. This type of gin is slightly sweeter and less dry as compared to the London Dry Gin.

Dutch Jenever or Genever

Genever means “juniper’ in Dutch and the liquor is exclusively produced in either Holland or Belgium.

Often deemed as the mother of gin, it’s the predecessor to the London Dry, when gin used to be made with a malt wine base, resulting in a smoky and buttery flavour as compared to the other types of gin.

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Chef Emmanuel Stroobant shares his easy Mac & Cheese Recipe, catch him as he serves up tantalizing dishes at Savour @ Christmas Wonderland this December



Impress your guests this Christmas with Emmanuel Stroobant's Turkey Mac & Cheese, the perfect dish for home parties.

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Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • 60g             Flour
  • 50g             Butter
  • 500ml        Milk
  • 500ml        Cream
  • 150g            Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 tsp        Nutmeg, grounded
  • 500g           Macaroni or penne, cooked
  • 400g           Turkey meat, boneless and diced into small cubes
  • 50g              Fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • To taste      Salt
  • To taste      Pepper


  1. Melt butter in a pot on low heat.
  2. Add flour and toss to obtain a paste.
  3. Slowly add the milk and keep stirring until it starts boiling again.
  4. Add cream, nutmeg and season to taste.
  5. Strain over cooked pasta, toss in turkey, parsley and half the gruyere cheese.
  6. You may add in any mushrooms or other vegetables such as green peas, carrots or pumpkin.
  7. Place the pasta in a baking dish.
  8. Cover with remaining cheese and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes.


Recipe by Emmanuel Stroobant, Chef Owner of Saint Pierre which was awarded 1 Michelin star by the second edition of Michelin Guide Singapore in 2017.

Join Emmanuel Stroobant and other celebrity chefs on a gastronomic journey at Savour @Christmas Wonderland, Gardens by the Bay from 1st to 26th December 2017, where you can sample specially created gourmet dishes starting from just $6.

Get your pass from only $25 now here.

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Extreme Coffee Art


Coffee – a booster for focus and inspiration. Some of the most creative minds in the history of humanity dabbled with this liquid amphetamine to push their imagination to the edge of insanity. When coffee and artistry come into play, expect more than just creating art on a white milk foam canvas. Here, we unearth the most unorthodox art using coffee, its essence and its entity.
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I Can’t Believe It’s Not – Gelatine!


Clarissa Kong

One does not simply go to a campfire without marshmallows. And just in case you don't sit well with gelatine, here a great D-I-Y for the gelatine-averse.

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Gelatine sheets or Gelatine powder is mainly made up of collagen found in animal’s skin and bones such as pigs, beef and fish. It acts as a gelling agent and is often used in desserts such as panna cotta, custards and jellies.

Because of the components in gelatine, they are not suitable for vegetarians and vegans. But fear not, here’s one alternative that can produce the same tasty desserts with similar effects!

Agar is the most common vegan alternative for gelatine and it is used frequently in Asian desserts such as ‘kuehs’ (traditional Southeast Asian cakes) and fruit jellies.  They are extracted from a particular seaweed and comes in either flakes, powder or dried sheets like gelatine.

Besides the same use as gelatine, agar agar aids in digestion and are commonly used in fitness diets as it contains high content of fibre.

Talk about eating without having to feel guilty! Here is our fluffy strawberry marshmallow recipe using agar powder:


12.5g agar powder

90ml strawberry puree

150g sugar

90g water

150g glucose


Powder Mix

500g corn starch, 500g icing sugar



  1. Bring strawberry puree to a boil and dissolve agar powder. Once agar powder has been incorporated properly into the mixture, place the liquid in a mixing bowl. Use a whisk attachment for this recipe.
  2. Boil glucose, water and sugar together until it reaches 116 degree Celsius. 
  3. Pour sugar syrup in a steady stream into the strawberry puree, with mixer running on low speed. Once all the sugar syrup has been fully incorporated, whisk on high until mixture has cooled down to room temperature or turn very sticky. This process usually takes about 10 -15 minutes.
  4. Prepare the the powder mix. In a flat tray, oil spray the surface and line with parchment paper. Sieve icing sugar and corn flour together onto the tray and make sure they are evenly mixed together.
  5. Transfer marshmallow mix into a piping bag with desired piping tip. We use a basic round tip for our testing. Pipe marshmallow into long ‘logs’ onto the powder mix tray. Make sure that the marshmallow logs are covered evenly with powder mix, including the top. Leave marshmallow to set overnight.
  6. Brush off the excess powder on the marshmallow and cut them into small pieces. Using a sieve, sift out any excess mix from the marshmallows before storing in an airtight container.


We hope you’re all ready to test out this chewy goodness!

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