I Added A Shot Of Cognac to My Every Waking Moment

If I were a Truly Influential Influencer™, this is the part where I tell you about how much I ‘love’ my bottle of NCF cognac. And how well it pairs with my salted-yolk pasta.

On a beach in Bali.

With the last rays of dappled daylight gently caressing my small but shapely boobs. #lovelife #sponsoredpost

Unfortunately, I’m not. My manboobs are large but formless, and the most sophisticated gastronomical pairing I understand is cai png with curry.

However, if the influencer industry has taught me anything, it’s that total ignorance of the subject matter should never stop you from pursuing your dreams. And my dreams of becoming a model-slash-food-blogger, however misguided, have been given new life thanks to a mission from the folks who make NCF: to find food choices that pair well with their cognac.

So naturally, we ordered a GRC’s worth of food and drowned everything in a biblical deluge of NCF.

Kopi + NCF

Given that this was the first nail on my cross, I expected pain. Great pain. I expected the toxic-sounding combo of Kopi + Cognac to taste like Polyjuice potion, and thus prepared a plastic bag for the soon-to-be regurgitated contents of my stomach.

Pleasant surprise: Kopi C with a shot of NCF is pretty fucking delicious. I’ve always found Kopi to be a little too sweet but the cognac nicely tempers the saccharine sweetness of too much evaporated milk. You can even smell the cognac’s uh … cognac-y aromas, floating above the dark roast.

Rating: 11/10. Perfect for Monday mornings.

Fish Soup + NCF

This one really confused me because I thought fish soup calls for a splash of cooking wine.

Hence, another shot of cognac can’t hurt.

Well, it just goes to show that I know nothing about either cooking or alcohol. The entire fish soup tasted like rancid pond scum after I spiked it. No flavour remains except a lingering taste of salty alcohol burn.

Rating:  1/10. Aquaman weeps.

Sugarcane Juice + NCF

Sugarcane juice is pretty much a club mixer, so my heart was filled with high hopes as the auntie pushed stalk after stalk into the crusher. After all, ‘freshly squeezed cane juice with a dash of cognac’ sounds like something that belongs on the menu of a beachside bistro, next to the grilled calamari and oysters on the half shell.

If only the end result tasted like something … anything. Adding NCF seems to have just diluted my drink.

I think it was the straw that ruined it. Cognac thrives upon its rich aroma, but you can’t smell shit whilst sucking on a plastic tube. Too bad I only realise this as I’m typing, long after the drink has been finished.

Rating: ???? I fucked it up.

Tau Huay + NCF

I have no idea why this works, but it does.

Cognac seems to impart an additional layer of flavour to my beancurd’s syrupy sweetness. It also blends incredibly well because soyabean is the blank canvas of dessert foods. A carte blanche for more strident notes of chocolate or in this case, cognac.

More importantly, there’s something very satisfying about stirring alcohol into a silky smooth bowl of tau huay. You will feel empowered by this simple act of low-effort culinary alchemy.

Rating: 7/10. Surprisingly good.

Ice Kachang + NCF

I harboured such impossibly romantic expectations for this ambitious crossover that I invited everyone to taste it with me. In theory, this looked like a marriage made in heaven, a pairing destined to become an instant classic. Like strawberries with cream, or Beyonce with Jay-Z.

In reality, it was more like Desmond Quek plus SMRT.

In my excitement, I’ve forgotten how shaved ice works. The NCF immediately sank to the bottom, melting a big hole in my ice kachang whilst adding zero flavour to the outer slopes.

So unless you want to eat a normal ice kachang followed by a 90 per cent proof slushie, best give this a miss until someone invents an ice kachang with more structural integrity.

Rating: 2/10. Tastes fine but cannot recommend due to unresolved engineering issues.

Hokkien Mee + NCF

Surprisingly edible if the Hokkien mee is wet enough. But why would you do this to yourself?

Please seek professional help.

Rating: 3/10. Defies logic.

Ice Milo + NCF

After the sugarcane epiphany, I took care to remove the straw before sipping.

Idea: This would allow me to breathe more deeply NCF’s intoxicating fragrance.

Reality: This still tastes like watered down Milo Peng that has been left out in the sun.

My theory is that NCF is a little too light to survive the extensive icing of a kopitiam drink. Although coldness subdues strong flavours and makes drinks more chuggable at 3 AM in the club, it doesn’t quite work in a kopitiam, where you’re using the world’s most powerful mixer: condensed milk.

Rating: 4/10. Unless you’re just drinking to get drunk. In that case, 12/10.

Laksa + NCF

Adding cognac to laksa sounds like a university hazing ritual or a scene from Game of Thrones, but the end result is surprisingly non-lethal.

Maybe it’s Stockholm syndrome, or maybe I’m just drunk by now, but NCF goes rather well with the gravy. The drink dances hand in hand with anything creamy and laksa is pungent enough to cover any weird flavours that emerge as a byproduct of this unholy union.

The problem is the noodles. Alcohol-drenched noodles are terrible. Biting into a mouthful of NCF-infused noodles without the benefit of spicy gravy is an experience that truly builds character.

Rating: 5/10 without noodles. 1/10 with.

Bak Kut Teh + NCF

Of all the savoury dishes that I’ve ruined in the course of this experiment, Bak kut teh is the probably best of the worst. Still not very good, but conceivably something that sane people might consume as a dubious cure for erectile dysfunction.

Herbal flavours usually compliment alcohol brilliantly and NCF is no exception. Stir it in properly and you’ll have something that tastes like a very invigorating chinese tonic, like something your grandmother would brew in the week before PSLE because she has no faith  in your chemically un-enhanced intellect.

Rating: 6/10. Not half bad, if only it cured my fertility problems.

Cheng Tng + NCF (hot)

If it weren’t ‘off-brand’, I would post that meme of Gordon Ramsay saying: ‘Delicious. Finally some good fucking food.’

No joke. Cognac with cheng tng is good shit. Taste-wise, it’s not unlike a superior Asian version of hot mulled wine, twice as heartwarming but minus that sticky aftertaste. It’s perfect for those rainy afternoons when your body requires a warm beverage while your existential angst demands blood alcohol.

I seriously hope that Cognac Tng becomes a de rigueur cocktail for all Singaporean bars and clubs. Screw the Singapore Sling and other pseudo-orientalist libations invented for the benefit of tourists with delusional ‘tropical’ fantasies.

The only cocktail you’ll ever need is waiting for you at the kopitiam dessert stall. Available for $2 max.

Sponsored by Martell NCF. Presented by the most awkward guy in Singapore.

Bankrolled by pups in over-sized hoodies. Follow @Martellsg NCF for more.

Photography by Me, myself and I.

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