5 Romantic Activities in Singapore

I love going on dates!  There’s truly no better way for a couple to bond than setting out on adventures and experiencing new things together.  And since February is the month of love, I’ve rounded up five of the most romantic activities in Singapore.  With a little advanced planning, your Valentine’s Day will be nothing short of extraordinary.

#1 Go Stargazing

If counting stars together is your idea of romance, take a ferry to Pulau Ubin island.  Pulau Ubin, is far enough from the gleaming city lights for the sublime beauty of the constellations to come to life.

TIP: Before planning this romantic escapade, do check weather conditions here to see if it’s favourable for stargazing. Avoid cloudy nights or thunderstorms.  And be sure to pack a picnic, as well as some insect repellent.

#2 Dine In Cable Car

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Clink glasses in a garden themed cable car cabin, suspended above the sea.  The four-course Floral Cabin Dining on Cloud 9 gives couples more privacy than most other dining venues.

TIP: If you’re thinking of popping the questions, the Floral Cabin Dining on Cloud 9 is also excellent for proposals.

#3 Watch The Sunset

Picture by Andrew Klepper @kleppera11

Picture by Andrew Klepper @kleppera11

The soft magical colours of dusk have always captured the imagination of lovers.  Watch the warm tropical sun sink into the South China Sea at Bob’s Bar or anywhere else around Capella Singapore, with free roaming peacocks as companions!

TIP: Experience Bob’s Bar’s exclusive single-blended rums.  Navegante means “navigator” in Spanish, and is inspired by the sea and voyages.  Try it as an Old Fashioned, or savour it neat with chocolate and preserved cherries.

#4 Relax At A Rooftop Bar

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Behold one of the most gorgeous city skylines in South East Asia from a swanky rooftop bar.  I’d recommend 1-Altitude for its unforgettable 360 degrees view of Singapore.

TIP: The best time to arrive is just before sunset, so you can enjoy panoramic views of dusk, and watch the city come to life under the soft cloak of night.

#5 Experience a Moonlit Cruise

Discover the ethereal beauty of the ocean in the magical glow of moonlight.  Reserve a private yacht and take your special someone out to sea.  Something Special is a Singapore Charter Boat Service that offers Full Moon Packages, as well as romantic set-ups at gorgeous and secluded beaches.

TIP: The best part about these overnight cruise packages is that all the logistics such as champagne, seafood, chocolate and music are taken care of for you.  All you’ll need to do is arrive with a present for your date.

For more unique ideas, speak to your personal assistants at Capella Singapore.

Talking Rum With A Master Distiller

Navegante

A new cocktail is making its debut at Bob’s Bar, and it’s fast becoming my all-time favourite.  Specially crafted by Foursquare Rum Distillery in Barbados for Capella Singapore, this single-blended rum is rich, round and mature.  Newly christened Navegante, which means “Navigator” in Spanish, this rum will inspire wanderlust and elicit your thirst for adventure.

Intrigued by this intoxicating spirit, I caught up with the man behind the magic.  Join Richard Seale, Master Distiller of Foursquare Rum Distillery, as he takes me behind the scenes of rum-making and shares some rare tasting tips.

Richard Seale, Master Distiller of Foursquare Rum Distillery

Richard Seale, Master Distiller of Foursquare Rum Distillery

What is the profile of the Navegante rum?

Richard: Beautifully balanced, soft and elegant, it has a velvety texture, complex flavours and a long finish with hints of caramel and honey.

How is the Navegante rum crafted? 

Richard: We begin with the fermentation of molasses for three days to make a molasses wine.  This wine of about 9% alcohol is then distilled both in a traditional ‘coffey’ still and a pot still.

The distilled spirits are blended in a proprietary ratio before being transferred to 200-litre ex-Bourbon American oaks casks.  After three years of tropical ageing, the rum is transferred to 350-litre ex-cognac French oak casks to be aged for another five years.

The rum is then reduced to drinking strength of 40% with pure Barbados water from underground coral stone aquifers.  No flavourings, sugar or colour is added during the entire process.  The gorgeous rum is then bottled with care and shipped to Capella Singapore.

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How is it best enjoyed?

Richard: I’d recommend enjoying it as a Rum Old Fashioned, with aromatic bitters and sugar, or simply over a large ice cube.  If you’re enjoying your rum neat, pre-chill your glass.  This will bring the temperature of the rum just a little lower for the perfect experience.

Any pairing tips to share?

Richard: Serve it with chocolates or preserved cherries.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest trend in the rum world today?

Richard: Authenticity.  Connoisseurs are discovering that the very best rums are worlds apart from the ‘industrial’ mass produced rums, thanks to their artisanal distillation in pot stills, transparent age statements and pure authentic flavour.

Discover the Navegante exclusively at Bob’s Bar at Capella Singapore.

 

A Visit To The Rum Distillery

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Rum and the Caribbean go hand in hand. There isn’t any other drink that will recall the quintessential Caribbean island setting quite like it. St. Lucia has a rich history of rum production and boasts a wide variety of different types and flavors. When my Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant let me know I could visit a genuine rum distillery and see how the entire process works as well as sample every variety of rum created there, I couldn’t resist!

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The creation of rum is highly connected to the organized production of sugar. The fermentation of molasses, the by-product of sugar production, is the first step to rum creation.

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At first, it appeared to me as if the molasses was boiling. I learned, however, that what I was seeing was the fermentation process in which yeast is introduced into the molasses to begin creating alcohol.

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After fermentation comes the distillation process. I was fascinated to discover that in order to create rum, the fermented molasses is sealed in a vessel that heats the liquid so the alcohol evaporates. The evaporated alcohol is then re-condensed and collected, ultimately becoming the raw rum spirit!

We also learned that each of the stills, (the primary apparatus used in the distillation process), can vary widely from one to another. Each variant can have a profound effect on the outcome of the rum. The distillation process can also yield a number of by-products that are useful in other industries.

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The raw rum spirit is often aged in barrels or infused with herbs, fruits, spices or juices to produce a specific type of flavored rum. It is also diluted with water to the specific alcoholic potency desired for its type of rum.

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Even though I was aware that many different types of rum exist, I was surprised to realize just how many and impressed that one distillery could create varieties so vastly different from one another.

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Here at the St. Lucia Distillers Group in Roseau Valley, nearly 30 different types of rum are made! We were able to sample a good portion of those which was both delicious and fun. After everything we had learned, it was even more fascinating to note the differences in taste, texture, sweetness, color and alcohol content of each!

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My personal favorite was the Nutz’n Rum, a deliciously sweet peanut flavored rum cream.

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I definitely left the distillery with a newfound appreciation for this amazing product and the wide variety of cocktails that can be created with it!

Is it any wonder that I spent some time at The Rum Cave afterwards learning how to mix some of my favorite rum cocktails?  And, in case you missed it, here’s a rum cocktail you have to try at home:  Capella Marigot Bay’s The Rum Goddess!

Enjoy!

Super Summer Thirst Quenchers

Bob's Bar's Fresh-Pressed Mojito

Bob’s Bar’s Fresh-Pressed Mojito

Thanks to year-round summer in Singapore, ice cold drinks have become a hot weather survival essential.  Given that daytime temperatures average at 30ºC and nighttime temperatures rarely drop below 27ºC, there’s never a bad time for a chilled beverage.

When it comes to hosting, cold drinks are also the life of any party – you can always find a good crowd gathered around the cocktail bowl.  In fact, as far as Singaporeans are concerned, there’s no party without refreshing summer thirst quenchers!

Since making a good chilled beverage is an essential life-skill here, I’ve determined to learn from the best.  With that in mind, I’ve asked Bob’s Bar’s bartender Vincent Zheng, and The Knoll’s Pastry Chef Sam for their all-time crowd-pleasers.

Vincent prefers beach parties, and shares Bob’s Bar’s spin on the classic mojito.  Chef Sam, on the other hand, is known to host intimate dessert gatherings, and suggests an elegant cold-infused tea with tart apple notes. I simply couldn’t wait to have my first sip!

Recipe 1: Fresh-Pressed Mojito

Bartender’s notes: “I had my first mojito many years ago at a Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand.  Since then, mojitos have been my drink of choice for beach parties.  This Bob’s Bar recipe replaces soda water in classic mojitos with sugar cane juice. Since rum, the key alcohol in mojitos, is made of sugar cane, this recipe accentuates the rich flavour profile of rum.” – Vincent

Ingredients
Serves 1

45ml white rum
60ml fresh sugar cane juice
15ml fresh lime juice
15ml sugar syrup
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Crushed ice

Directions

Combine all ingredients and stir well. Serve in a tall glass

Tips

  • If you don’t have a blender to create crushed ice, you can replace it with ice cubes. However, if you are using ice cubes, be sure to gently crush the mint leaves with your fingers to bring out their fresh aroma.
  • For a large party, you can also make this in advance.  Prepare it in a cocktail bowl and refrigerate. Simply scale up your ingredients according to the number of guests you are expecting. However, be sure to leave the mint leaves out, and only add them before serving to prevent them from oxidising and turning brown.

Recipe 2: Apple-Infused Iced Green Tea

Chef’s notes: At least once a year, I’d throw a dessert party for my closest friends, and this subtle tea makes an excellent pairing with my creations.  Unlike hot tea, cold brewing draws out fewer tannic compounds for a lighter-bodied tea with less bitterness.  This is elevated with sweet and tart apple puree – apple puree from jarred baby food works just fine.  You can skip the sugar or artificial fruit syrups! – Chef Sam

Ingredients
Serves 6

4 teaspoons of premium green tea leaves
6 cups of water
4 bottles of baby food apple puree

Directions

  1. Freeze the baby food apple puree in ice cube trays overnight.
  2. Combine tea leaves with water in a large pitcher.
  3. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
  4. Strain tea to remove tea leaves.
  5. Add frozen apple puree cubes and serve.

 

2If you love cocktails and spirits, swing by Capella Singapore’s Bob’s Bar to savour our fresh-pressed cocktails, and curated vintage and artisan collection.

And have a chat with our enthusiastic bartenders such as Vincent. They’d be happy to share recommendations and mixology tips!

 

 

 

 

All About Rum at Bob’s Bar

I recently learned that Bob’s Bar at Capella Singapore features some of the region’s most rare and unique rums. Wanting to learn more about Bob’s Bar’s exclusive collection of rums, I sat down with Bob’s Bar’s lead bartender Brendon Khoo who shared more about rum.

Brendon Khoo at work creating a delicious cocktail

Brendon Khoo at work creating a delicious cocktail

Can you tell me how rum is produced?

Rum is a spirit that is made from molasses, the by-product of making sugar from sugarcane.

Can you share with me about one of the more exclusive rums that we offer?

One of the rarest rums we offer is the Diplomatico Single Vintage 2000. In the year 2000, the weather conditions were just perfect in Venezuela (high temperatures during the day, cool at night, high humidity and lower than average rainfall) that created the best and sweetest sugarcane harvest in the country’s history. It was during this season that Diplomatico created this single vintage rum which is a limited edition. The harvest was so good that the rum was created from fresh sugarcane “honey” and molasses together and pot-stilled in very old copper pot stills, which produce a rum with distinctive character. After which the rum was aged as a mixture of single malt and bourbon casks, before being finished in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks. There are not many bottles of this rum available in South East Asia but Bob’s Bar has it!

That’s amazing. What are some of the cocktails you serve that feature rum?

As a Cuban bar we try to serve cocktails that are predominantly rum-based such as Daiquiris and Mojitos which are created using white rum and Rum Old Fashioned made using dark rum.

I would love to learn more about rums. How can I do so?

We recently launched an exciting rum-tasting experience called Cuban Fever where you will be able to try three unique rums – a classic, a distilled and a premium reserve rum.

Taking place daily from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the team and I will share the stories and tasting notes for each rum – allowing you to fully appreciate and enjoy each rum for all its glory.

Cuban Fever at Bob's Bar - experience three different rums

Cuban Fever at Bob’s Bar – experience three different rums

If you would like to make a reservation at Bob’s Bar you can contact them at +65 6591 5047 / bobsbar.singapore@capellahotels.com or book online at here.

The Forgotten Casks At The Rum Distillery in Roseau

I have always wondered how a small island like Saint Lucia could produce coveted rums the world over but, after taking a tour of the Rum Distillery in Roseau, it all became clear.  Inspired by the brand new Capella St Lucia Rum Cave, I was curious to learn more about the production process.  After spending nearly two hours inhaling the lovely sugar scent and hearing the stories of how all the rums were produced, I fell even more in love with this delicious spirit.  One of the most intriguing moments from the tour was learning about the forgotten casks.

Copy of main-rumsOn May 2nd, 2007, the Rum Distillery in Roseau was struck by a major fire, which destroyed the entire administration and blending facilities.  As they evacuated the buildings, staffers did their best to salvage some of the rum barrels.  The Cellar Master, Mr. Cyril Mangal, was forced to find space for ageing casks in the most unusual places.  After hiding as many as he could, Mangal quickly escaped the building before the fire’s flames could consume him.

Over seven years later and still in the process of cleaning up the debris of the fire, one of the mixologists stumbled upon a few rum barrels that no one had previously noticed.  It seems, with all of the madness that followed the fire, Mr Mangal had forgotten about the stash!  Upon tasting the rum in these barrels, the Master mixologist discovered a wonderfully concocted complex rum.  He immediately decided to offer this rum as a limited release because of its powerful components.  This new rum, which stemmed from the base Chairman’s Reserve Rum was now branded as The Forgotten Casks.

rsz_chairmans-reserve-the-forgotten-casks-limited-edition-rum-40vol-07l_b2 As a result of this intriguing story, many rum connoisseurs have delighted in the tastes of the Chairman’s Reserve Rum and have placed a very high value on its Forgotten Casks.

When you visit this lovely island, be sure to ask your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant for an exclusive Rum Tasting Experience at the Capella St Lucia Rum Cave where you too may have a chance to try some of The Forgotten Casks.