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How we’re having a boozy Chinese New Year in 2023

Johnnie Walker Blue Label CNY Edition

Above image: The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition

There’s never a need for an occasion to imbibe. But this coming Lunar New Year, the first one in a long while to be celebrated without pandemic restrictions, the desire to raise a toast with friends and family has never been stronger.

So if you’re gonna be drinking this Year of the Rabbit, why not do so with some appropriately-festive alcoholic beverages that are being made available just for this prosperous period. Here are some of the dandiest ones to hop to.

[Read more: Cocktails made using wagyu fat, mikan gin, at Japanese bar and grill Wa-En]


Kabuke’s Maximum Huat! Yu Sheng with a bottle of Katsuyama Year of the Rabbit Sake

This long-time stalwart of enjoying sake with food is doing everything right with their CNY specials, starting with their special-edition Year of the Rabbit Sake (S$148/bottle) made by revered brewery Katsuyama. The junmai daiginjo is garnished with edible gold flakes, giving that vaunted look of prosperity so desired during this time. Like many sakes of the grade, it boasts of alluring melon aromas, interspersed with peach and apricot. We especially enjoy its silkiness and long lingering finish.

The sake is available online or in-store at their Telok Ayer restaurant (also at their sister venue Tanoke on Purvis Street). And if you’re heading down, do check out their festive food menu as well. Their special Maximum Huat! Yu Sheng is a luxurious one that actually comes with fresh uni, Hokkaido scallops and salmon slices, while their communal dining bundle will have you bowling over with decadent portions of wagyu, foie gras, and other salivating treats. Did we also mention they have a Japanese Wagyu Bak Kwa for sale? Consider us sold.


The Penfolds takeover of 8 by Bottles & Bottles at Great World

The popular Aussie wine label is literally painting the town red with their uber eye-catching pop-up at Great World, once again taking over the 8 by Bottles & Bottles store located smack in the middle of the grand shopping mall. Only during this season, get to taste the special Penfolds bottles Bin 389 (aka Baby Grange; 125ml glass at S$15) and Bin 407 (125ml glass at S$16) before you buy at promotional prices. A lucky draw is happening in-store to give your luck a whirl too.

The Bin 389 is also being made available in magnum sizes together with a unique Year of the Rabbit gift box design and label. It’s meant to be a great gift for wine connoisseurs, what with the rabbit zodiac symbol on the box holding confetti in its ears signifying a time of celebration and communion. Beyond that, keep a lookout for the limited edition Barossa Valley Explorer pack that will soon retail in Singapore from February onwards, which features Penfolds’ highly iconic Bin 150 and Bin 138.  

[Read more: The Peddlers Gin Company launches Salted Plum Gin in Singapore]

Vin Geek

The Banfi Aska Bolgheri is great for those into Italian wines

For the ardent vino lovers out there, stocking up on wines has never been easier thanks to Vin Geek’s limited time Anti-Inflation Sale, that’s happening till end-Jan 2023. There are deals happening whether you’re shopping online or offline. On their webstore, find exclusive deals of up to 70% off their catalogue of over 330 wines, as well as a buy-4-get-2-free deal on bottles from producers the likes of Marchesi Antinori, Banfi, Vega Sicilia, Penfolds and Bruno Paillard. There’s free delivery too, for orders over S$250.

If you’re looking to taste before you buy, head on down to their store at Pacific Plaza in downtown Orchard Road and give their wine flights a go. Try 30ml pours of 5 different wines for either S$15 or S$29, the latter allowing more premium options, then head straight to the shelves and pick out your favourites to buy home. The cherry on top? The cost of the wine flight is waived if you spend S$250 or S$400 respectively in-store.


The can design is highly indicative of Feifei Ruan’s art style

The ubiquitous Danish beer brand is giving their pilsner cans a CNY twist, thanks to a collaboration with multi award winning illustrator Feifei Ruan. The New York-based Chinese visual storyteller took a contemporary approach for this artwork, creating a vibrant and lively melange of rabbits, swallows and koi fishes luxuriating in spring time. Taken together, the design symbolises a season of reunion.

Beyond the special can design, Carlsberg is also running a gamut of promos and activations around town at bars, restaurants and retail outlets islandwide. From lucky draw prizes where you can win a pair of return air tickets to Tokyo, Seoul or Bangkok, to a Carlsberg Spring Wonderland event where you’re encouraged to go bar hopping at places the likes of Coastes, Ice-Cold Beer and KPO, there’s plenty to look out for. Details are on their website.

Johnnie Walker

Behind the scenes with Angel Chen designing the artwork for the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition

When it comes to eye-catching box designs, one of the best ones this CNY has got to be the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year Limited Edition, done in collaboration with Next in Fashion’s rising star and Shanghai-based designer Angel Chen. It places the significances of the Year of the Rabbit front and centre, portraying this year’s zodiac animal as a sprightly creature that heralds mercy, elegance and beauty. 

Says Chen: “There’s a defiant energy to my illustrations which bring to life the vibrant spirit of the rabbit as it leaps across the design, symbolising how we need to keep moving forward, spreading goodness throughout the year to come.” She adds how she was inspired by Johnnie Walker Master Blender Emma Walker when creating the design, drawing parallels with whisky-making by noting how a masterpiece is created through the processes of blending and maturation.

[Read more: Macallan releases coffee-inspired whiskies in second edition of its Harmony Collection]

Dannon Har

About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.