The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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Zachary De Git’s A Change Of Hue

Zachary de Git represented Singapore at the World Class Bartender of the Year final, 2013

Zachary de Git is head bartender at Tippling club, a project of chef Ryan Clift. He enjoys the challenge of creating drinks to pair with Ryan’s dishes: ‘I am constantly trying to match unique taste profiles and textures.’ All bespoke bar ingredients – infusions, tinctures, bitters – are prepared in this bar and come lab fresh everyday; the mise en place takes six hours and operates in much the same way as the kitchen.’

We use things like rotary evaporators and sonic preps to disrupts cells and create different flavours,’ he explains, ‘and I like to keep things fresh, as there may be components that keep developing.’ Despite the precision in preparation, Tippling Club is a relaxed and friendly venue, so successful that it’s about to move into a new home in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore’s Chinatown, into three adjoining and renovated chop houses.

The Bartender

Zac, 24, is an Australian who has been based in Singapore for three years, moving to the city state after stints at Der Raum and Black Pearl in Melbourne. ‘I believe it’s important to make drinks that complement the mood and emotions of a customer,’ says Zac, ‘sometimes they just need a bit of help finding the flavours that best suit their palate.’ Whether you call it modernist mixology or molecular gastronomy, Zac is keen on using technology in his preparation of cocktails: ‘so long as it serves a purpose or adds character’, and believes that a knowledge of the classics must come first.

The Drink

A Change of Hue is a champagne cocktail which showcases the citrus flavour and floral characteristics of Ketel One and, as the name suggests, changes colour: ‘customers love a bit of theatrics in the process of ordering drinks’.

The colour change relies on the pH sensitivity of the extract of the blue Clitoria flowers, which Zac picks in a neighbour’s garden (they grow back every night), in the homemade syrup.

The syrup is made from a tea reduction - you can use Butterfly Pea Tea in substitute if you don’t have tropical climes or such obliging neighbours. The grapefruit infusion is also homemade daily.

Typically, the idea came in collaboration with the chef, who uses the flower (a mainstay of local Peranakan cuisine for colouring rice) in his recipes.

The Technique

Ketel One vodka • 30ml
Grapefruit-infused Lillet Blanc • 15ml
Fresh lemon juice • 10ml
Champagne • 40ml
Homemade Clitoria-flower syrup • 20ml
Fee Brothers Grapefruit bitters • Dash to taste
Contains 20 grams of alcohol per serve

Stir together all the ingredients minus the syrup. Pour over the chilled syrup in front of the guest.

A Change of Hue is light liquid entertainment which awakens the palate with prominent flavours without being overpowering – it encapsulates the magic of molecular mixology in a relaxed aperitif.

The creative engineering at Tippling Club seems to match part of Singapore’s own character as a melting pot and something created by man from scratch. The concept of food and cocktail pairing is also another exciting facet of the venue.

Images by Victoria W Cheng and Matthew Lee

Zachary’s Insider’s Guide to Singapore

Place to stay
Swissôtel The Stamford

Place to eat
Osteria Mozza

Place to relax
Jimmy Monkey

Place to lounge
28 HongKong Street

Place to dance

Place to shop
Tiong Bahru

Place to visit
Peranakan Museum

Place to see
Jurong Bird Park