What’s a French Connection? Are we talking Gene Hackman here?

Which was what a rather surly bartender asked me recently. On my travails as an unrelenting hedonist in search of the ultimate watering hole in Singapore, I think this bartender takes the cake. The French Connection is excruciatingly simple to concoct, 1 part Amaretto Liqueur and 1 part Cognac.

I was tired. I had a long day. I asked the bartender for a French Connection, and he looked at me quizzically with a tinge of chagrin. The audacity of asking a trained bartender to mix up a two part drink! I suppose I shouldn’t have taken the tone which one adopts when speaking to an irreverent child, but I found the bar’s failure to stock Amaretto di Saronno rather galling.

The dearth of well-trained bartenders who possess discerning palates troubles me. It’s a void that bar owners in Singapore need to address instead of hiring fresh faced schoolboys with their “inimitable” memorization skills in droves. Yet, I don’t know if my impassioned missives will be an affront to the sensibilities of the faux classy nouveau rich or the hordes of yuppies who think sharp suits and snazzy ties grant them the right to demand deference from all lower life forms. Don’t get me wrong though, I do love a good old Manhattan or a Singapore Sling. Sometimes.

Singapore wants to be a world-class nightspot? Why are there sommeliers who force their most expensive wines upon me when I merely want to indulge my grease guzzling proclivities and savour my bangers and mash? And why isn’t there Amaretto di Saronno at bars for the well heeled? Ah, mysteries..

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