The Secret Mermaid

It makes me quite happy when I’m at The Secret Mermaid and seeing people browse over the spirits, talk about their preferences, and enjoy the cocktails. Who would have thought this tiny spot in Raffles Place would work?

TSM FacadeTSM glass and light 4

TSM MermaidTSM Space 1

Bottle Wall 1Light and sign

I suppose it’s a passion project. The Secret Mermaid is set up to be the tasting room for the craft spirits that we import from America and distribute via Liberty Spirits Asia.

Yangon

I’m back in Yangon, Myanmar. It’s my second trip here; the first time was ten years ago in December 2004. It’s exciting to be back and see what’s changed as well as what’s remained. Since opening their economy up it’s been a boomtown. Growth growth growth! Lots of folks from overseas coming here to explore opportunities. Let’s see what I can stumble upon.

I was walking around in a quest to find toothpaste and water; it was about 6 PM so like any other city it was full of people who had just left work. Rushing for a bus, walking home, or heading to dinner with friends and family. It’s a time of year when the sun sets early but the streetlights haven’t turned on yet, which made the city surprisingly dark. But there’s so many people around and kids playing in the side streets that it feels safe. Watching the crowd run for a bus made me think that there’s a hidden Olympic sprinter waiting to be discovered in one of these commuters. The buses don’t have a specific bus stop but they pull up in an area running the length of a city block. There’s no indicator of where the bus is going so a guy hangs out the edge of the bus and yells the route the bus plies. The bus stops for only a few seconds, and they’re packed with people. So in these few seconds the people who need to get on that bus are running to it from wherever they had been standing, and the folks on the bus are squeezing their way out. It’s quite a sight.

Yangon at night

Liberty Spirits Asia at Whisky Live

Many of you in Singapore have probably heard of or attended Beerfest. It’s a great time; hundreds of craft beers, live music, food, etc. It’s like Oktoberfest in the spring time… without all the German background.

Well… last year La Maison du Whisky organized the first Whisky Live in Singapore. It’s like Beerfest but instead of trying out all kinds of beer you hop from stall to stall sampling their whisky. It’s delicious, interesting, and gets people loose a lot faster (after all it’s whiskey…)

This year Liberty Spirits Asia will be participating and will be featuring Catoctin Creek’s Roundstone Rye, Lost Spirits’ Leviathan III, and Blue Ridge Distilling’s Defiant Whisky.

The folks over at Spirited/SG have written up a preview of Whisky Live and include a section on our American spirits. Have a read!

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Find out more information from the Whisky Live event page.

Abbey Road Crossing Cam

Amusing. They’ve set up a livecam at the famous Abbey Road crossing which the Beatles used on their album cover.

WATCHING STUPID TOURISTS ON THE NEW ABBEY ROAD CAM IS HILARIOUS

(The Thrillist’s headline, not mine).

I enjoy seeing famous sights in person but I’ve never been one to try to reenact a moment or have the need to capture a photograph proving I was there. Not that there’s anything wrong with it; I think I’m just lazy.

Guide to Gin

Speaking of gin and tonics, Ladyironchef (courtesy of Mandy Lynn) posted a Beginner’s Guide to Gin.

I’m part of the article, talking about the beauty of Greenhook Gin and how one may enjoy tasting gin. It can be pretty intense for a newbie!

Guide-to-Gin

Drop by The Secret Mermaid and go through a selection of gins via our tasting flights! Some really awesome stuff there… Greylock Gin, Pinckney’s American Gin, New Deal 33, New Deal 1, Half Moon Orchard Gin, TRU organic gin, and plenty more! It’s quite amazing the differences one can taste  between different gins.

A gin and tonic after a hard day’s work

I’ve touched on this before, my love for commuter bars. These days we’re overwhelmed with “destination” everything places. Destination restaurants, destination bars, destination destination destination. It’s always about the destination. Commuter bars are great as they’re about the transit. The passing from Point A to Point C but with a short hop at Point B.

On my last trip to New York I was thrilled to go to Tracks Raw Bar and Grill. They had been featured in a New York Times article, and I wanted to check them out, much to my New York friend’s dismay. We hauled ourselves over to Penn Station where we overindulged in whiskey poured by sight. Commuter bars are a temporary refuge, the “third place” that all these cafés are striving to be. An escape for the salaryman, able to loosen their tie, untuck their shirt, and mentally step away from the stresses of the office. Maybe they’re with a couple colleagues, or maybe they’re friends with the bar regulars. Or maybe they’re just alone at the end of the bar nursing a drink.

Tracks Raw Bar

Tracks Raw Bar

We started happy hour at The Secret Mermaid last week. It brings us a step closer to being a great Singapore commuter bar.

From the article:

For Michael Haskell, 37, of Garden City, N.Y., all it takes is a nod to Theresa FitzGerald, a longtime bartender; a second later, a gin and tonic is in his hand. “This is the only spot to go in Penn Station,” Mr. Haskell, a wealth manager for an investment bank, said the other day. “Actually, this is about as good as it gets in the basement of a train station.”

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

A year and a half ago or so I got Microsoft’s first attempt at a tablet + laptop device. It was their first version of the Surface Pro and overall I quite enjoyed it. I thought about upgrading to the Surface Pro 2 but figured it wasn’t substantially different than what I had so I should be a good boy save my pennies for another day. Then the Surface Pro 3 was announced and it was improved enough that I thought it would make for a worthwhile upgrade (and I can use the previous Surface Pro at one of my restaurants). Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 3 comes with a bigger screen, new type keyboard, improved hardware, changes to the pen input as well as a host of other new features.

I’ll write more thoughts on it as my usage increases, but for now Mashable has a well-written review on the device. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, I’d urge you to take a look at the Surface Pro 3.

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