SMARTER WAYS TO PLAY WITH FOOD.
HOME BAR BASICS
Besides feeding your Don Draper ambitions, a well-mixed drink lays the foundation for impressing one and all. Jessica Hutchinson, head spirit adviser at EC Proof, spills it all.
Don’t drop a bomb at the local liquor store from the get-go. Grow your bar gradually and start by amassing ingredients for drinks you enjoy and know well. Gin fans, for instance, can consider the Nouaison gin by G’Vine. Crafted with 14 botanicals spanning a wide ﬂavour palette, it serves as a versatile base for both classic and newfangled cocktails. Hack the process by booking an appointment with one of EC Proof ’s spirit advisers who can recommend spirits and goods based on your preferences.
UPGRADE YOUR TOOLS
Those who are more conﬁdent with their cocktail mixing skills should be thinking about their tools. The equipment needed for most cocktails are easy to master, and the list typically does not go beyond a swizzle stick, strainer, shaker, mixing glass, teardrop bar spoon and jigger.
Once you master the basics, devote time to broadening your knowledge of the craft so you can experiment with different bar goods and substitutes. EC Proof frequently hosts salon socials on Friday evenings where guests learn from experts and explore spirits and cocktails.
ROLL WITH IT
For those who enjoy their whisky on the rocks, ice balls – its smaller surface area allows it to melt more slowly than its cubical counterparts – are a must. The Macallan Ice Ball Maker is designed to transform large chunks of ice into ice balls measuring 65mm in diameter – a perfect fit for rocks glasses.
Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, may well be the sous chef you never thought you needed. With its ability to maintain a grocery list, filter recipes and count calories, you may really want to consider this Amazon Echo smart speaker as a permanent fixture on your prep counter.
STEADY DOES IT
Unlike other bulky sous vide machines, the Anova Precision Cooker requires little space in the kitchen. Stick it into a pot of water, drop in your vacuum-sealed bags of ingredients, and the device will maintain the water bath at a constant temperature for a set duration.
Essentially an icicle-shaped chiller filled with non-toxic freezing gel, the Corkcicle Air fits into any 750ml wine bottle, keeping it chilled for almost an hour. It also doubles as an aerator, by introducing just the right amount of oxygen to enhance your wine’s subtle flavours.
Gerald Sim, head of food procurement and quality at Sunday Roast, shares protips on elevating your barbecue game.
LESS IS MORE
Don’t overthink it. A modest dash of pepper and salt is often enough to bring out the flavours of your meat. Dousing your grass-fed Angus beef with mustard or black pepper sauce is never a good idea.
“Cook with heat, not the flame,” advises Sim. Set aside ample time for the smoke to abate, then go for the glowing red embers which cook your food without burning them. Move fatty cuts of meat farther from the heat source for a low and slow cook or you risk charring them before they are done.
THE SKINNY ON FATS
Go for the cuts of meat with a decent amount of fat, which melts on contact with heat for an unctuous oomph. Sim also suggests going for chicken legs (instead of wings or breast) as its fat content lets it grill without losing its juices.
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