Stirring up the past with cocktails

A mixologist shaking up a cocktail at Jann.

FINELY crafted cocktails transporting guests to yesteryear is bound to draw the curious from near and far.At Jann in Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown, mixologists not only rattle shakers and stirrers but also take on the role of storytellers into every cocktail they create.

On the newly launched menu are cocktails named to either represent a legend, a shop, a dying trade or a delicacy distinct to Chinatown.

Garnished with a long lemon peel strip, the Tailor cocktail pays homage to a century-old tailor shop in Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur.

Mixed with Beefeater Gin, Cinzano 1757 Dry, Cinzano 1757 Rosso, ginger tincture, Angostura Orange Bitters and cola syrup, this cocktail comprises ingredients typically needed to concoct a classic Cantonese home remedy when one is ill.

Jann head mixologist Darwin Ng said, “Here, each cocktail tells a story of Chinatown. This cocktail refers to a tailor shop that was once a famous establishment.

“The lemon peel garnish resembles a thread used to sew clothing for royalty, who were the shop’s customers back then.”

The new menu features 12 cocktails with some novel creations while others, from the previous menu, are given a fresh twist.

Ng said it took about half a year of trial and error to get the taste right.“Some cocktails such as Chok or Madras Punch are more challenging to make as they are inspired by porridge and curry laksa, respectively.

“We wanted the cocktails to represent famous food that is available in Chinatown,” he said.

Dear Jann, a cocktail that is named after one of the hotel owner’s daughters, is a signature feature here.

(Clockwise from top left) Sweet potato fries, popcorn shrimp and crispy baked chicken wings are some popular bar snacks.(Clockwise from top left) Sweet potato fries, popcorn shrimp and crispy baked chicken wings are some popular bar snacks.

The base for the cocktail’s first two editions was made of gin and vodka, but this time around, Dear Jann is a mix of Monkey Shoulder with Lillet Blanc and calamansi.

Aerated to make it bubbly, the drink also pairs well with preserved dried peel alleviating the drink’s taste.

It is definitely a drink to start with and I am told it is a favourite among guests.

The Dim Sum cocktail comes with a fun twist.

It is a tribute to Chinatown’s century-old pastry shop Bunn Choon.

“Dim sum for breakfast can be enjoyed here in Chinatown.

“We usually eat dim sum and savour it with tea, but for our cocktail, we have made it the other way round where we eat the tea and drink Dim Sum,” Ng said.

With a Martell VSOP Red Barrel as the base, the concoction of butter, milk, egg yolk, vanilla, croissant and salted egg gives the cocktail a custard-like texture.

The creamy drink is delightful with its jiggly Gok Bou (chrysanthemum and pu er tea) jelly offering a burst of earthy notes and floral fragrance.

I particularly like The Vitality, which is a rather strong drink and not for the faint-hearted.With Chivas 12 years making up its body, the inclusion of Angelica roots lend this cocktail its herbaceous appeal.

The Vitality is a spirit-forward cocktail.The Vitality is a spirit-forward cocktail.

It pairs perfectly with Gizano Dry, chrysanthemum and elderflower.

Adventurous drinkers can opt for Chok or Madras Punch.

Chok (which is Cantonese for porridge) is a mix of Absolut Blue Vodka, Martell VSOP Red Barrel, ginger, chicken stock, white pepper, sesame oil as well as spring onion and century quail egg for garnish.

Monkey Shoulder blended malt, coconut, curry laksa and calamansi are necessary ingredients for the Madras Punch.

It is inspired by the curry laksa found in Madras Lane.

The Hu Li Jing cocktail changes colour when lime juice is added.The Hu Li Jing cocktail changes colour when lime juice is added.

For something more fun, sample the blue-coloured Hu Li Jing cocktail consisting of Beefeater Gin, butterfly pea flower, honey, Creme de Violette and soda which takes on a different hue with a squeeze of lime juice.

The drink is inspired by the Chinese mythological Fox Spirit creature known for its ability to transform and create illusions.

Customers can also order bar snacks to go with their drinks.

Some hot favourites are Popcorn Shrimp which comes enveloped in a crispy batter as well as crispy baked chicken wings and sweet potato fries.

JANN, Level 7, Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03 20357333 or 012-507 3327) Business hours: 4pm to midnight.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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jann , cocktail , chinatown , stories


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