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Sorry quarantini, the CBtini is the new cocktail that will get me through isolation

The quarantini is, perhaps, the one good thing to emerge from this global pandemic.

As the latest viral beverage trend flouncing around the Internet, the quarantini is every drinker’s new isolation preoccupation. At the time of writing, the beverage has amassed nearly 45,000 hashtags on Instagram and counting.

What started off as a play on the martini has turned into an “any way you want it” cocktail as supplies get leaner and dry vermouth inches closer to its expiry date (one month from the date of opening, FYI).

Vitamin C drinks, Ocean Spray, random dusty dredges from the very back of one’s liquor cabinet all have entered the quarantini fray — this is truly the period where “how low can you go” is a question that will rise you to the top.

quarantini
It does get low. (Photo credit: @GautamTrivedi_)

Because chasing trends is part of my job, I have taken it as my sole duty to come up with a quarantine cocktail that befits this circuit breaker in Singapore. I truly wanted to capture the sheer desperation for action, activity and entertainment we’re all facing now that home equals workplace equals hell.

Of course, as a boozed out ode to our city under lockdown, this new wave quarantini must have a little local flavour, something that screams “Singaporean”. I first thought of a kopi riff on an Espresso Martini (working title: Wake Me Up Inside), but a friend who vetted the ingredients asked, “are you making a Dalgona Coffee cocktail?”

And it clicked.

Is there anything more Singaporean than tail-chasing all things viral, especially when it comes to food and drink? Is there anything more entertaining than being hunkered down over a pile of coffee grounds and sugar, whipping them into foamy submission so you feel some accomplishment? I vowed to never cross the Dalgona coffee line, but at this point in isolation, my self-respect has gone out of the window with the birth of the CBtini.

Yes, the CBtini, where Dalgona coffee meets milk punch to have a whacked-out baby. Granted, the name barely has any of the panache that “quarantini” possesses, but I’m trying to be one with the times, Singapore.

So, if you need to lose more sanity and push cocktail hour to breakfast time — I mean, what is time anymore, even? — then I trust that I have your best interests at heart with this recipe.

The CBtini

quarantini
Yes, I went there. Presenting the CBtini.

For the milk punch, you need:
A lot of boredom
1 part rum (or cachaca)
1 part bourbon
1 tsp sugar
4 parts milk
Vanilla extract, optional
Ice

For the Dalgona Coffee topper, you need:
2 tbsp instant coffee
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp hot water
Desperation
Lots of arm strength, or a good electric mixer

How to make the CBtini:
1. Mix the instant coffee, sugar and hot water together, and start whisking. It will begin to thicken into a dense foam, after about four to six minutes of miserable effort.
2. Once you get the foam, set it aside.
3. Mix the spirits, sugar, extract, milk and ice together. Taste, and dilute with more milk if needed.
4. Pour the spirit into a glass of your choice, then top with the coffee foam.
5. Drink and make a TikTok video about it.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.