For our last installment of our home bar series, we spoke to Noveen Singam, Bartender at Potato Head Singapore. Located in one of the most iconic buildings on Keong Saik Road, each floor of the building holds a different space, with a cosy drinking den on the third floor and an open-air bar on the rooftop.
Noveen has provided us with a few basic cocktail recipes that any beginner would be able to master, along with a couple of tips for those just starting out. He’s also shared a simplified version of 2 signature Potato Head drinks, so you can try to recreate them at home.
2 Signature Potato Head Drinks
Ingredients: 30ml Vodka, 10ml Lemon Juice, 10ml Yuzu Syrup, 30ml Raspberry Puree, 15ml Peach Liquor
1. Combine all ingredients in a shaking vessel.
2. Add ice and shake.
3. Strain into a glass with ice and serve
Royal Gin & Juice
Ingredients: 30ml Gin, 60ml Pineapple juice, 10ml yuzu syrup, 30ml Prosecco
1. Combine gin, pineapple juice and yuzu syrup in a shaking vessel.
2. Add ice and shake.
3. Strain into a glass
4. Add Prosecco
7 Basic Cocktails
Noveen recommends 7 basic recipes that beginners can easily pick up — a Mojito, Hot Toddy, Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, Cosmopolitan, Batanga and Tom Collins. These are all cocktails you’ve probably tried before, so why not play around with the ingredients and make them according to your tastes!
|Mojito||White Rum, Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice, Soda|
|Hot Toddy||Whiskey, Honey, Lemon Juice, Hot Water|
|Old Fashioned||Bourbon Whiskey, Sugar, 2 Drops of Angustura Bitters|
|Moscow Mule||Rum, Lime Juice, Sugar, Ginger Beer|
|Cosmopolitan||Vodka, Triple Sec (Orange Liquor), Cranberry Juice|
|Batanga||Tequila, Lime Juice, Coke|
|Tom Collins||Gin, Sugar, Lemon Juice, Soda|
For foolproof but impressive drinks, he suggests a basic mixing of spirits and sodas, including the classic Gin and Tonic, Whisky Dry (Whiskey and Ginger Ale), Rum and Coke and Vodka Soda. None of these cocktails require specific measurements — you can make them according to your own preferences and they’ll taste great. You can also adjust them to suit the preference of the person you’re making the drink for — simply add more spirit if it tastes too light, or add more mixer if it doesn’t taste strong enough.
“By doing this, you’ll learn how much volume of spirit and soda you have to pour in a glass to not make the drink too strong or too diluted. I can guarantee it will boost your confidence level and you’ll be ready to master cocktail making. The best drink that I love to recommend Whiskey on the Rocks, which is just Whiskey over 3 cubes of ice.”
“The basic bar tools that you need as a beginner are a jigger, strainer, sieve, a stirring jug, knives, muddlers and shakers.”
As for spirits, he recommends 5 which are affordable and flavourful, and best for beginners who are just starting to make cocktails.
- Whiskey: Naked Grouse or Monkey Shoulder
- Gin: Bombay Sapphire or Gordons
- Rum: Sailor Jerry
- Vodka: Ketel One or Stolichnaya
- Tequila: Milagro Silver
A Few Things To Keep In Mind When Bartending At Home
Don’t add too much
One of the common mistakes is adding too many ingredients, like spirits, juice, ice and garnish. Even using the wrong glassware is totally common for a beginner.
Practice makes perfect
“Practice your bartending skills, such as mixing, measuring, presentation, and most importantly, tasting. Once you’ve mastered these skills, you can show them off and impress your friends.”
For the more adventurous, he also suggests practicing flair bartending, sometimes referred to as extreme bartending. This can include manipulating flaming liquors, juggling and flipping bottles and shakers. Noveen himself is still practicing and learning these tricks.
Potato Head Singapore is currently open for delivery, for both food and beverages. Cocktails are available from $18, including the Red Velvet ($22), a sweet, vodka-based cocktail with raspberry puree and fresh lemon juice, and the Royal Gin and Juice ($20), a bubbly, gin-based cocktail with fresh pineapple juice and yuzu syrup. Bottled Sangria ($69) and Gingerly Love ($69) are also available.