Barman Guide, your guide to bars and nightlife destinations!

Why drink more beer? It’s good for you!

drink beer

Well, just consider that when we touch the cold bottle from the fridge or over the bar counter, we listen to the carbon dioxide that is released while the beer’s foam develops, we see the amber color of the beer poured into our glass, we smell the aromatic substances that come from the snatch block and of course we taste the distinct bitter beer taste that is associated with the contained acids and wooden taste of tannins.

Enjoying a beer on a hot day watching our favorite sports games and cooking barbeque is one of the traditions beer has become famous worldwide for.

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Feeling blue ? Johnny Walker Blue Label that is…

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Handcrafted Lacquer Presentation Case

{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}nd for smoothness, few can beat Johnnie Walker Blue Label, an inspired blend of the world’s rarest and most expensive whiskies, which have been chosen at the peak of their perfection, some having been aged in oak for at least 50 years!

A few of the distilleries that produced these casks are no longer in existence, making these whiskies totally irreplaceable and totally unique from bottle to bottle.

So next time you find yourself at Changi Airport’s new Terminal 3, keep your eyes open for the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Handcrafted Lacquer Presentation Case.

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August 16, 2010

St. Francis

All of California considers itself a wine culture. Franciscans opened California’s first winery in 1783 at San Juan Capistrano [compared with France’s history of viticulture dating back to the Greek settlement at Marseille in the 6th century B.C.E.]. Despite their disdain for the French, the SoCal elite [and I need not point out that everyone in SoCal considers himself elite] espouses their worst purported quality – snobbery – especially when wine is at stake…


California’s wine rivalry with the French is exactly that of a nouveau riche industrialist with Old World nobility. The whole country may suffer from delusions of merit when it comes to the comparative worth of all things American, but in SoCal, it really is true that if new money can’t buy a thing, it has no value.


And SoCal purchases a helluva lot of wine from itself – it’s the nation’s largest wine consumer; 60,000 wine labels are registered in California. It also purchases Argentinean Malbecs, Chilean Cabernets, Spanish Riojas, and even a few German Reislings. But the only French wine a SoCalian would be caught dead drinking is a Sauternes – and that just for novelty, since dessert wines are definitely de trop [O the calories! Horrors!].


Try to find a Spanish jerez or orujo, a Kirsch, or an unassuming, hearty Chianti. You’ll be disappointed. You’ll be mocked. No deviations from the strict tastes of the fashionable are allowed. Gods forbid you prefer Scotch. Despite its significantly lower calorie count, even the most diet-conscious SoCalian, concerned as he is with his own image, regards it with a mixture of suspicion and contempt. A society wino who throws back a bottle of wine an hour will whisper of the person who nurses one excellent single-malt all night, "Alcoholic. "


For a few months, I lived with one of the worst SoCal snobs of them all. He was a social climber from the high desert who cared about nothing more than maintaining his [totally false] image as a gentleman of wealth and taste. As with most SoCalians, he was mortgaged to the hilt on a multi-million-dollar La Jolla property and an Oregon ranch, juggling debts that would make a Midwesterner jump off a bridge, and had based his ideas of taste on real estate staging handbooks.


I fled his dungeon-like estate once I realized he’d only been charming to me until he convinced me to move in, a move I later discovered was predicated on my replacing his housekeeper, pool boy, and gardener at no cost. The bastard even asked me to take over for his preggo secretary without pay! [Have I mentioned SoCal men are cheaper and meaner than six-fingered Scots with loan sharks to pay?].


This man – I’ll call him Chuck [because it’s my fondest dream to see him ground] – chose his friends using only one criterion: Could they advance and/or legitimize his social standing? If the answer was yes, he treated them like gods. If the answer was no, they ceased to exist, unless and until they had something he needed, like discounted construction work [Jeremiah the contractor] or free cigarettes with no chance of his La Jolla friends discovering his habit [Mike the Chaldean liquor store owner].


Chuck had a pair of friends with a fantastic wine closet. They were a seventy year-old former business mogul down on his luck ["we almost had to sell the Ferrari"] and his forty year-old former Miss Illinois wife, the Oberlins. The wine closet was a room roughly the size of my studio in Chicago [but with higher ceilings] and had huge wooden doors that had been salvaged from a church in Provence and imported via private carrier to SoCal. Their home had a music salon complete with grand piano, harp, and cello, none of which any of its residents knew or cared how to play.


Oberlin, truly a gentleman and a scholar, wore the very worst wig I have ever seen, including Austin Powers’ chest wig. He must have been completely bald underneath, because that ragged gray mop covered every inch, hung down to his collar, and framed his face in the most unappealing manner possible, making him look a little like a shaggy opossum.


The Oberlins had a pair of friends they regularly included in our evenings together, the Pitts. The Pitts consisted of a nervous, anorexic wife who often fell asleep during dinner, and her swarthy, overbearing husband who told stories of running heroin in the 80’s and always tried to get me alone in a dark corner ["Hey Red, whatcha doin’ with Chuck anyway? Try yourself a real man"]. They were both in their fifties. The money had been her family’s, and was dwindling faster than the Colorado River in July.


Mrs. Pitts had opened a swank La Jolla restaurant with her brother five years before, and when it failed – utterly and quickly – the entire high-end wine stock had been transported in an unrefrigerated truck to a storage locker, where all 5,000 bottles still reside, the subject of a never-ending inter-sibling lawsuit. The Pitts spoke longingly of this wine, without fail, every time we got together. The Oberlins, upon hearing once more of the El Dorado-like storage locker, urged the Pitts to break in and steal as much of the prize stuff as they could carry. It was a running joke. Until it actually happened.


Pitt beamed, his eyes gleaming, at our next unbearably tedious outdoor dinner party poolside at the Oberlins’. He heaved a large wooden crate onto the dinner table, rattling the carefully informal place settings. "Turn off the patio heaters. This is important wine," he bellowed. Chuck and Oberlin rubbed their hands together with criminal glee while Mrs. Oberlin and I regarded each other with studied nonchalance and Mrs. Pitt stared at something only she could see, which was apparently zigging and zagging through the air over the border of potted dwarf orange trees surrounding us. The Pitts knew nothing about wine.


Under cover of night, they had used a locksmith’s saw to get into the storage locker which held the disputed stock. They had grabbed bottles indiscriminately. I can see them – he drunk, she on old-school amphetamines, dancing in their stunted Bacchanal before running off like rats into the shadows. We opened every bottle that night. None of it was of any value, and some of it had "turned," rendering it undrinkable even by the most tasteless of people [in other words, not even Chuck could get it down].


The last bottle was taken from the crate. Oberlin trembled. "Gimme that bottle," he barked, showing off the social graces he’d earned with his G. E. D. "My fucking God," he said. "This is a 1964 Chateau Latour. "And so it was. A stunner of a bottle from the legendary vineyard America first discovered in 1787 through its then-ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson [who, by the way, liked the French].


A classic red from one of the most highly regarded French winemakers of all time. Treasure. Even to a Californian. Oberlin did the honors. He eased the cork from the deep green neck of the 40-plus year-old bottle. The table was quiet except for the snoring of Louis Vuitton the Papillion [his actual name], who had chosen a seat on my lap.


Oberlin poured each of us a glass of the blood-red vintage with as much solemnity as a priest preparing for Communion. We all brought our glasses to our noses to test the bouquet of this once-in-a-lifetime wine. We all inhaled deeply, swirling the balloon goblets. We all cried out some version of "Sweet Mary, Mother of Jehovah, did unwashed ferrets mate inside that bottle?" The stench was unholy. The 1964 Latour had turned.


Chuck and Pitt drank it anyway, because their cheapskate natures couldn’t let it go to waste. They spent the next two days with migraines, kneeling over designer porcelain toilet bowls set into travertine floors, puking their SoCal guts out. Score two for the French.

Jen-Marie Merriman is a renegade Midwesterner living in SoCal who writes fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. She despises children and is saving for a tubal ligation [donations accepted]. She can be reached at her email: [email protected], with PayPal and missives, and her work is also online at

Valt Purity Vodka

July 12, 2010

Enjoy Valt Cosmopolitans in true New York style!

Valt Purity Vodka


But why make your Cosmo with any old vodka, wwhen you can give it the posh edge by using Valt vodka from Scotland. Yes Scotland. Valt vodka is a single malt Scottish vodka which was actually conceived by two Scotsmen who were drinking in a bar in New York City. Reminiscing about their homeland, they came up with an idea to create a vodka using only Scottish barley and Scottish mountain waterm waters from the famous River Spey.

This recipe created a truly exceptional taste of barley sugar and cream on the nose with a warm melting butter finish; a perfect base for the sensual Cosmopolitan. Made with the main ingredient vodka, the cocktail also uses Cointreau or Triple Sec, cranberry juice, and either fresh-squeezed or sweetened lime juice.

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Glenburgie 1996

July 9, 2010

Glenburgie 1996

Glenburgie 1996

So said Sir Winston Churchill, but he probably would have thought differently if he had partaken of this youthful, slightly raw, ultra clean and fresh single malt. Relatively inexpensive, this 14-year-old spirit is a joy to drink.

On both the nose and the palate, the whisky conjures up fields of barley shimmering in the sun and all manner of mainland summer imagery. A great "starter" whisky as it gives your taste buds a good slap to get them warmed up as you settle in for an evening of sniffing, sipping, swishing and swallowing.

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Tullibardine 1488

June 14, 2010

Tullibardine 1488

Tullibardine 1488

{xtypo_dropcap}W{/xtypo_dropcap}ith the same pure spring water and malted barley used in the distillation process, it is conditioned in newly disgorged whisky casks for up to twelve weeks before it is bottled at 7% alcohol.

This majestic, premium ale has a rich malt whisky color and clean. fresh whisky finish and is best drunk chilled, chasing a dram of light single malt scotch whisky down the gullet.  

Did you know that during the first few days of the production process whisky and beer are practically identical? While beer is fermented and whisky is distilled, both beverages share the same basic ingredients, namely malted grain, yeast and water.

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June 1, 2010

G-String Gomorrah

One hour south of Chicago, just this side of the Indiana line, there’s a patchwork burg that looks by day like any midland patch you see from any railroad right-of-way: the same small frame houses, quietly curtained, where 20,000 squares bless their state of grace and gratefully tuck themselves in by ten. Where Daddy gets up at five a.m., bangs pots about the kitchen a while, and leaves with a black lunch bucket under his arm to be on time at the roundhouse by six.

Where crossing bells dong the whole forenoon, warning Daddy to get his work done and get back between walls again, lest some creature of the cat’s twilight creep over the state line and snatch him into Indiana.

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what would don draper do

January 10, 2010

What would Draper do?

What would Don Draper do flowchart what would don draper do what would draper do

what is beer?

January 10, 2010

What is Beer?

what is beer?

December 1, 2009

Baleric Beats In Benesov


Every now and again a guest DJ comes to town but invariably you find the venue too big or too small, or somehow just lacking in a genuine feelgood atmosphere. The indigenous scene is more intense and serious – perhaps humourless is the word – than a typical Ibiza-style experience.


This is not to be overly critical of Prague clubbing, which is its own unique entity, but simply to say that the Pete Slong, Judge Jules scene is not really practiced out here yet, perhaps explaining the problems mentioned above when it is attempted.

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October 3, 2009

JBAR (M HOTEL) Singapore

September 4, 2009

RITZ CARLTON – Singapore

The Podium Lounge by B-Yond @ Ritz-Carlton (Pool), Fri 25 - Sun 27 Sept.


August 30, 2009


Underworld, live in Singapore

Thursday Sept 24th, 2009, Suntec Singapore, 9pm to 6am, First Time ever on Singapore: Underworld (Live), With special guests North & South, Effen, Dj Icon, More to be announced soon…


Friday Sept 25th, 2009, National Museum of Singapore, 8pm to 6am, VIP Lounge: Samantha Ronson, (with special guests), The Concourse: Hybrid, Darren Emerson, Freaks (Justin Harris), (with special guests)


Saturday Sept 26th, 2009, National Museum of Singapore, 8pm to 6am, VIP Lounge: Samantha Ronson (with special guests), The Concourse: BoxHead, DJ Icon, The Loading Bay: Bloc Party (DJ set), New Order (DJ set) More to be announced..


Sunday Sept 27th, 2009, National Museum of Singapore, 8pm to 6am, VIP Lounge: Samantha Ronson, (with special guests), The Concourse: Johnny Vicious, more to be announced, The Loading Bay: To be announced!

August 28, 2009

SUPPERCLUB – Singapore

supperclub singapore

August 28, 2009

FLEDA – Brno (Czech Rep.)

Heavy Mental, Fleda, Brno


29/09/2009 Brno (Czech Republic), Fleda

Live: Wouter Jaspers (nl), Eric Arn (usa/a), Michal Mariánek (cz) Djs: Mslvc vs. Fuzzy Osbourne DJ set (cz)

August 25, 2009

SASAZU – Prague

De Luxe Night at Sasazu Prague

August 24, 2009

ALLEY BAR – Singapore

booze fighter alley bar


August 24, 2009

STEREOLAB – Singapore

stereolab singapore stereolab singapore stereolab singapore


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