Options x The RuMa: CNY cocktails you can make at home

Refreshing ways to welcome the Year of the Rat.

Options-inspired Chinese New Year cocktails – BOW (left) and The Kia Peng – you can make at home (Photo: Sam Fong/The Edge)

Festive refreshments. How many rounds of beer, packet chrysanthemum tea and other too-familiar libations can we consume before palate fatigue sets in?

With that in mind, we asked The RuMa Hotel and Residences’ famous SEVEN Lobby Bar & Lounge to create two exclusive cocktails for us that not only match the tastes of the holidays but also capture the spirit of Options as a luxury lifestyle publication.

Sprung from the imagination of F&B manager Wani Sharif, who honed her craft at Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar and the Gastrodome Group prior to her role at The RuMa, the drinks will serve as great pick-me-ups, especially if you’re feeling a bit pickled after a long week of CNY hosting and house-visiting.



30ml bourbon (Woodford Reserve or any classic bourbon)
60ml freshly squeezed orange juice
60ml freshly squeezed watermelon juice
15ml concentrated gula Melaka syrup

1) Pour all ingredients in a tall glass and fill it with ice.
2) Stir thoroughly.
3) Garnish with orange peel and Pandan leaves for a dash of colour.

Tasting notes:
Like a merciful comma in a crowded sentence, BOW offers a breather among the variety of drinks you’ll be serving your guests. Melding two stubborn ingredients – juice and sugar – it nails a sweet spot between innovation and simplicity without being overly cloying. A swig of bourbon tempers the funk of the orange and watermelon mixture – all lulled by the fragrant undertone of the gula Melaka. Hints of coffee, caramel as well as spice notes abound, and you’ll feel a sharp, clean sweetness that lingers at the back of your throat.

Can a cocktail have energy? Absolutely. This is an energetic drink that keeps imploring you to take another sip, just like the engaging stories we put forth every week that snap your senses awake.



30ml triple sec (can be replaced with Cointreau or orange-based liqueur)
100ml dry white wine (preferably classic-style New Zealand sauvignon blanc)
45ml crème de cassis

1) Mix the ingredients in a wine glass.
2) Add ice cubes before stirring the concoction thoroughly.
3) Garnish with sliced torch ginger, a lemongrass stick or quartered oranges.

Tasting notes: If your relatives come bearing fruits or (more) mandarin oranges, don’t turn them away. They make excellent sangria, be it red or white. Although the relation to red wine is obvious (because sangre means blood in Spanish), a mellow white wine or sparkling wine works just as fine.

Sangria is often maligned as a fruit salad but a punch, this is not. Aptly named after the road the hotel is located at, The Kia Peng is a handy way to dispose of stale wine without being diluted by all the chopped fruits. It’s a cinch to make, and the depth of flavour resonates in your mouth long after you’ve downed the first jug.

To celebrate a publication that’s Malaysian through-and-through, Wani has added local twists such as torch ginger (which lends a pop of colour) and lemongrass stick (for a refreshing scent) as embellishments for this crowd pleaser. In this pitcher-perfect concoction, disparate elements come together to create a wonderful harmony – a trait that everyone, no matter their profession and background, can certainly appreciate.


Videography: Emily Yap
Text & concept: Kong Wai Yeng


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