Award-winning bar manager shares 5 easy cocktail recipes for your Christmas party
December 24, 2019
Every good host knows how to whip up a yummy cocktail for their guests, especially while we’re celebrating the holidays. We’ve asked Sim, award-winning bar manager and partner at the famous Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, to share five easy drink recipes you can put together in a flash this festive season.
This rich, sweet, dairy-based beverage is a Christmas classic. “It’s an amazing dessert on its own,” says Sim.
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva Rum
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites
Step 1) In the bowl of a stand mixer or whisk, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in colour. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.
Step 2) In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 70 degrees Celsius.
Step 3) Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.
Step 4) In a medium mixing bowl or whisk, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually, add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.
2. Mulled wine
Also known as spiced wine, mulled wine is a favourite when the weather is chilly. Served hot, it’s both festive and comforting. “It goes really well with desserts, like Christmas log cake,” says Sim.
4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
For garnishing: 4 oranges, peeled, or whole nutmeg, grated
Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.
Pro tip: Add in half a cup of your favourite spirit to spice things up!
3. Christmas Punch
Served in large bowls, punch is a great drink for parties. Here, Sim shares his festive take on the classic mix. “It’s best with pork-based dishes like Christmas ham or porchetta,” he advises.
2 red apples
2 cinnamon sticks
500 ml of Apple Cinnamon Infused Bacardi Ocho Rum
100ml maple syrup
5 marsala tea bags
150ml lemon juice
1 bottle of sparkling wine
For garnishing: cinnamon sticks and thinly sliced red apples
Step 1) Slice the two red apples into 2cm-thick slices and combine into any preferred light rum. Add 2 whole cinnamon sticks. Set aside for 2 days at room temperature.
Step 2) Strain the apples and cinnamon and keep them for garnishing in the freezer.
Step 3) Brew 5 bags of marsala tea in 250ml of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Step 4) Combined all ingredients in a large punch bowl (or any large cooking pot).
Step 5) Top up with sparkling wine.
4. Christmas Negroni
The Negroni is an Italian cocktail that is traditionally served with an orange peel. Here, cinnamon adds a dash of festivity to the drink.
30ml Four Pillars Christmas Gin
20ml mulled wine
For garnishing: orange peel and cinnamon stick
Step 1) Combine all ingredients and stir well in ice.
Step 2) Garnish with orange peel and cinnamon stick.
5. Hot Toddy
Also known as hot whisky in Ireland, hot toddy is a comforting, bolstering drink that’s been described as the “vitamin C” of cocktails.
45ml Monkey Shoulder Blended Whisky
15ml lemon juice
50ml hot water
For garnishing: slice of lemon, cloves
Step 1) Combine all ingredients and mix well using a spoon.
Step 2) Garnish with a slice of lemon pierced with cloves.
Sim Sze Wei, Award-Winning Bar Manager
Sim Sze Wei, more affectionately known as Sim to his friends and regulars, is a banker-turned-bartender who has won several awards. He has represented Singapore on the global stage in various competitions, bagging awards and honours such as Finalist for the recent La Maison Cointreau 2018, Top 16 Global Finalists in Bacardi Legacy 2018 in Mexico, and Top 16 Global Finalists for Stoli Elit – Art of Martini Global Finals 2017 in Ibiza. Sim is currently the bar manager and partner in Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall after a stint at Atlas, the world’s eighth best bar, and Café Fernet, which was accorded the title of Best Restaurant Bar in Singapore in 2018.
Photo: Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
Tucked away in a second-storey shophouse along Boat Quay, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall is a beloved regular haunt of locals who go back for the warm, easy hospitality and the delicious cocktails.
Though they serve world-standard drinks, the atmosphere is by no means stuffy nor formal: guests are treated to a relaxed, cosy ambience with the chatter and good humour usually found in a kopitiam. “Being in Boat Quay, we wanted this place to pay homage to our forefathers who worked in the port,” shares Sim, bar manager and partner. The casual-rustic décor – with wooden stools, communal tables, and signs and noticeboards on the wall – is different from its sleeker neighbouring watering holes, and yet feels right at home in Boat Quay; any Singaporean stepping in would instantly be at ease with the familiarity of the place.
On the menu, you’ll find interesting local-inspired cocktails that pay tribute to aspects of Singapore culture, such as the Laksa cocktail. With ingredients such as dried shrimp-rendered oil-infused tequila, lemon grass, and chilli padi, this drink is fresh with subtle savoury notes. Another famous drink, Tak Qiu (kick ball in Hokkien and the colloquial nickname for Milo), is a variation of the popular Old Fashioned cocktail that combines Milo and bourbon for a nostalgic, comforting taste.
The bar also serves local dishes in generous portions – you’ll be able to enjoy classics like char kway teow, Hokkien mee, and carrot cake alongside your drink, while overlooking the Singapore River.
Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall is at 60 Boat Quay, Singapore 049848. Tel: 6535 0838