The Poker Game, from Singapore’s Tippling Club is an enticing mix of Frankincense, hay, bourbon, tonquin, beeswax, and hyogo smoked acid
25ml Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon
25ml Sazerac Rye Whiskey
8ml Hay Syrup (1:1 sugar to water ratio) (Cook 30g Torched Hay with 1 liter sugar syrup at 56degrees for 1 hour, Strain with superbag)
1.25ml Hyogo smoked vinegar
5 dash tonka bean bitters (cook 1 grated tonka bean with a bottle of Peychaud’s bitters for 20mins at 56degrees)
Aged for a minimum of 48hrs in an organic beeswax lined bottle
Edible poker card, with a picture of a dog playing poker on a Tippling Club.
The ‘Old Saratoga Whisky’ is a reference to the original painting and is the whisky the dogs we’re drinking during their poker game.
Stir over ice to dilute, strain into smoked glass (smoked with a homemade incense of frankincense, cedarwood and marshmallow root)
About The Drink - Andrew Loudon, Head Bartender
Dogs Playing Poker, by Cassius Coolidge, refers collectively to an 1894 painting, a 1903 series of sixteen oil paintings commissioned by Brown & Bigelow to advertise cigars, and a 1910 painting.
All eighteen paintings in the overall series feature anthropomorphized dogs, but the eleven in which dogs are seated around a card table have become well known in the United States as examples of kitsch art in home decoration.
Depictions and re-enactments of the series have appeared in many films, television shows, theatre productions, and other popular culture art forms. Critic Annette Ferrara has described Dogs Playing Poker as “indelibly burned into … the American collective-schlock subconscious … through incessant reproduction on all manner of pop ephemera “.
The first painting, Coolidge’s 1894 Poker Game, sold for $658,000 at a 2015 auction.
The cocktail aims to recreate all the elements (smell, taste and aroma) you would associate with a game of poker. Whenever I play personally, I’m terrible, but I will always smoke a cigar and drink American whiskey.
The smoked vinegar lends structure to the cocktail but jokingly I always mention to guests that it’s there because of the sour taste of losing a game of poker leaves in my mouth.
About Tippling Club
The Poker Game cocktail was created at the Tippling Club in Singapore.
Established in 2008 it’s over a decade since this boundary-pushing gastro-cocktail destination opened originally in Dempsey Hill.
“Today we still push the boundaries and blur the lines of which we set to break through, whether it be in the award winning dining room or cocktail bar,” says head bartender Andrew Loudon.
Chef-Owner Ryan Clift’s brand of modern gastronomy is fun, playful and fresh. It imbues the drinker and dining guest with a sense of excitement, adventure and a touch of the theatrical.
Recognised for its innovative, ultra-progressive cuisine and cocktails, Tippling Club is a regular member of international awards categories, whether for it’s fine-dining experience or innovative cocktail creations.
For Tippling Club has now become that of an institution within the food and drinking scene within Singapore and South East Asia.
Tippling Club continues to pair its award-winning cuisine with world-class cocktails, pushing the extremes of ingredients and textures to create an ever-evolving dining and drinking experience.
For what is now part two of the ‘A Guide to Modern Drinking’ series, chef-owner Ryan Clift and head bartender Andrew Loudon take inspiration from modern art and celebrated artists, translating their works into the form of a cocktail menu and drinking experience.
Innovative and progressive, A Guide to Modern Drinking Volume II invites guests to enjoy the drinking experience, be it in cocktail or simply in fine spirit.
Q & A with Tipping Club Head Bartender Andrew Loudon
What goes into a good cocktail?
Balance, thought and dedication.
The ability to be self critical, knowing where, how and when to criticize the construct of the present cocktail in front of you is the most important attribute a bartender can have when creating cocktails.
What is your favourite thing about working in the bar industry?
Constantly meeting new people on a daily basis. The ability to have a creative outlet. The nitty gritty things of working behind a bar, the paperwork. The friends I have met around the world.
How did your bar have to adapt to COVID-19?
We bought bicycles and cycled around Singapore delivering food, bottled cocktails and wines to guests.
To avoid high usage fees from platforms such as deliveroo and grab. I personally cycled 2,500km around Singapore during lockdowns delivering orders to guests.
Apart from your bar, where you do like to drink and socialise?
In London – Satan’s Whiskers – The cream of the crop when it comes to classic cocktail bars.
In Singapore – Corduroy Palace is my favourite bar. New opening, incredible atmosphere and decor. Takes you out of Singapore and transports you into Manhattan.
Any advice for those looking to replicate your success in the bar industry?
Don’t ever expect to be spoon fed. The opportunity to succeed lies squarely on your own shoulders. Read, buy the books that are available. The breadth of knowledge out there now for aspiring bartenders is incredible.