Elite Fridays (starting from 28th August 2015)
From 28th August 2015 onwards, The Exchange will be having Elite Fridays, featuring 1-for-1 on specially concocted vodka martinis, housepour spirits and San Miguel beer deals, with 2 different local female DJs hitting the decks every Friday.
We had the pleasure of having Thinagaran (Thina), the Bar Manager for The Exchange, to host us for our cocktail tasting session. Thina had previously worked at China Jump (let's see how many of you older folks remember this place), 1nitestand Comedy Bar, and the Martini Bar at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. That was also where he first started mixing his very own signature cocktails as well as infusing alcohol.
Thina has also participated in various bartending competitions such as the Designer Cocktail Contest organised by the Singapore Grand Prix in 2010 as well as 23rd National Cocktail Competition in 2011. He enjoys using local spices, fruits, flowers and teas in his specialty cocktails. Thina is also the brainchild behind the unique home-infused Stoli vodka martinis exclusively created for The Exchange’s Elite Fridays.
Much to our privilege, the Thirsty Merlions have had the prodigious honour of sampling several of these astounding customised cocktails and the good experiences were as described:
“Artesian” Apple Martini
Stoli Premium Vodka, Sour Green Apple Liqueur and Fresh Green Apple
Stoli Premium Vodka, Cointreau, Fresh Lime Juice and Cranberry Juice
The act of bursting an orange peel in quick flames to bring out the essence of the orange oil from the rinds, and burying the skin into the lime and cranberries juices so uniquely exposes the bitter-sweet symphony of a true Cosmo mix! An everyday cocktail. A Sunday morning juice, if preferred. Other probable names include “Nomore” UTI.
If you need to see that in full slow motion glory again:
“Alpha” Melon Martini
Stoli Premium Vodka, Midori and Pineapple Juice
Few ingredients. Straightforward drink. Nonetheless, an excellent Melon Martini requires honest skill in balancing the strong sweets from the muskmelon-flavoured Midori liqueur and pineapple juice with just enough Vodka to attain the optimum mildness and ultimately, trusting enough to hideaway the intoxicating constituent of spirits. And we all agree Thina has done it to perfection.
“Fruity” Lychee Martini
Stoli Premium Vodka, Bols Lychee and Lychee Juice
Chocolate “Passion” Martini
Stoli Premium Vodka, Cacao White, Bailey’s and Low Fat Fresh Milk
Unmistakably Bailey’s with fruity exchanges much upon one’s palate, probably deriving from the Cacao White. Alike an ice cold Chocolate milk, excepting this dessert-like beverage bestows such nice warm feeling down the oesophagus prior to the happiness kicking in! The perfect dessert drink for all chocolate lovers. And when the bartender is in the mood, you'll get some latte art too!
“Latvia” Lemon Drop
Stoli Premium Vodka, Cointreau, Galliano and Lime Juice
Remember ol’ skol’ hard lemon candies sold in Mama Shops during the 80s? This cocktail is the adult equivalent of that childhood favourite in alcoholic form. Freshly revitalising. Citrusy sweet. Easily confused with lemonade, if not careful. Served with brown sugar on the rim.
“Stoli” Spring Break
Stoli Premium Vodka infused with Honey and Cinnamon, Drumbuie and Lime Juice
What’s life without imagination? This was one of Thina's experiments where he would infuse honey and a cinnamon stick into the bottle of Stoli Premium vodka. Sip on this Scottish inspired golden-blend and you can imagine being transported to a poolside with well-bodied individuals and crispy sunshine! A uniquely Thina mix that is soaked in Drambuie, thus bringing out the flavours of Honey. Rather organic. Not for the faint hearted though.
Coco Loco “Friday”
Stoli Premium Vodka, Malibu Rum and Coconut Water
A generous amount of Vodka (we emphasise: generous), and more Malibu Rum plus a dash of Coconut Juice. A cocktail akin to rejuvenation and extremely hydrating. Plus there's a little cherry you can chew off after.
Stoli Premium Vodka infused in Chrysanthemum, Drambuie and Lime Juice
Now imagine just “Stoli” Spring Break, take away the Honey, and replace with Chrysanthemum. Your Grandmother would encourage this version of alcoholic Liang Teh. Only wish they would sell bottles of these in Chinese Medical Halls!
Can't visualise mixing chrysanthemum with vodka? Well here's a visual:
Bonus: The Singapore Sling
Although the Singapore Sling and Coffee Martini are not part of the introductory cocktail march on Elite Fridays, the Thirsty Merlions have had the privilege again to sample both the aforesaid, and we must say that the former is not the syrupy version that you may find aboard the Singapore Airlines, or The Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, and may be, just may be, the Thina version is much better? We were heartily impressed - good blend of all the fruity tastes with subtle hints of gin and cointreau, but an overall refreshing aftertaste with enough buzz.
And last but not least... the delectable bar bites
In addition to the drink part, was the eating part, which we enjoyed immensely too:
Lamb Skewers with Mint Gel
This chunks of marinated Lamb is like having the Venti-sized of Satay Kambing! The meat is tender and soft, and sweet and herby. Very Persian. Perhaps these animals drank beer like their Wagyu counterparts? So enriching to the palate. Perfectly satisfying. Remember to share; and have it while it's warm.
Chilli Prawns with Garlic Bread
We are no connoisseurs of seafood, but surely the prawns being springy, means fresh? With the tomato-chilli gravy masking these shrimps, and a bite of the crispy garlic bread, the marriage of tastes and textures are delightful and charming. There's actually a slight resemblance in taste to chilli crab sauce.
They actually skinned and cut their own potatoes! The fries are not deeply fried, or truffled, and the taste of these roots is evident. No after truffle-burp that disgusts oneself. Must be using good oil!
The Exchange are on a mission. They wanna help people start their weekends right. A wide range of finely concocted cocktails, gorgeous DJs spinning, and bar bites that will keep you thinking and craving their after taste when the Monday Blues strike. Oh, and a charismatic and talented bar manager in Thina. We'll definitely be hitting the Launch Party... come join us! Hot club tracks spun by the hottest female DJs; as well as house pour spirits, selected bottled beers & Premium Stoli Vodka Martinis in their Doubles Bar (Your 2nd Drink is Free) all night!
And if one night a week is too little time spent at The Exchange, they have a hugely popular Ladies Night too!
The Exchange is located at the award-winning Asia Square Tower One, 8 Marina View #01-05, Singapore 018960. The nearest MRT is Downtown, part of Downtown line (duh!). The bar opens 8.30pm to 10pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, 8.30pm to 2am on Wednesdays and Fridays, and 8.30pm to midnight on Thursdays. Reservations can be made via telephone at +65 6636 1200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Elite Fridays at The Exchange will commence on 28 August 2015, and continue every Friday thereafter.
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