Thursday, January 31, 2013
Long Bar at Raffles Hotel in Makati
When you have an alcohol tolerance of an infant and were invited to have a pre-dinner cocktail at the first ever famed Long Bar outside Singapore, you should not have any other option but to say yes and man up. Yes, life is short. So, even if you are headed to an expectedly wonderful buffet at Spectrum in Fairmont, you should suck the morrow out of life and dig in.
You see, the world famous Long Bar originated at Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The opening of this luxury hotel here in the Philippines opened a door for us to enjoy their famous Singapore Sling and other drinks without the need to stamp our passports. Great, right? It’s almost a sin to pass up.
While gone are the days when I could easily drown on alcoholic drinks like it’s nobody’s business ( I can only tolerate wines and nothing else these days, I know I am weird that way), the time spent at Long Bar was well worth it. I was able to sample their iconic Singapore Sling alongside other drinks that instantly became one of the reasons why I would want to go back at Raffles.
Yes, we were served with number of drinks which I took in moderation in the fear that my fellow foodies I was with that night would stare at me as one stares at a place where a rainbow has recently been. We were still headed to a buffet dinner at Spectrum so, instead of stuffing myself silly with second servings of enticing drinks, I munch on complementary nuts instead.
I was cracking open a nut when Spanky told us that we should throw the nutshells on the floor otherwise, we have to pay for our drinks double. Of course he was kidding on paying the drinks, but not on the throwing the shells on the floor. At Long Bar, they actually encourage people to throw the shells on the floor as a part of the so-called Long Bar tradition. This tradition rooted back in Singapore when customers of Long Bar were encouraged to do such act as a form of protest to Singaporean law of keeping all places neat and tidy. It was so rebellious I love it!
First drink I was served was the famous Singapore Sling (Php475). It’s a concoction of Tanqueray Gin, Cherry Heering, Cointreau, Fresh Lemon and Pineapple, Angostura Bitters topped with a whisper of Benedictine. Although the taste of the gin was very apparent, I find the fruity component of the deal really enjoyable.
Next I had the Makati Luxury Sling (Php850) which is a concoction of Tanqueray Ten, Cherry Blossom, Grand Marnier, Benedictine, Lime and Pineapple Juices, and Angostura Foam. Peppered with 24k gold leaf flakes on top, sipping this luxurious drink will make you feel like a million dollar baby.
I also got to try Guava Cosmopolitan (Php380) which I really love because it uses vodka (my usual choice of poison when called to drink) as its base mixed with fresh lime, local pink guava, and cranberry juice. A tad milder in flavor alcohol-wise so, it’s a perfect drink for those who aren’t up for hardcore drinking spree.
Pineda Mojito (Php380) on the other hand is a concoction of Havana Club 3 Anos Rum, Fresh Lime, Thai Basil and Mint, Mandarin Orange, topped with Soda Bubbles. It was by far the best tasting mojito I had for a long time. It was named after Arnel Pineda, famous Filipino singer who is now the lead vocalist of the international band, The Journey.
Long Bar also dishes out other signature cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks which I would definitely go back for one of these days. Rice meals and bar chows are also available for guests to enjoy. Its atmosphere exudes a true gentleman’s bar with cosmopolitan feel to it. It’s classy as expected since it is located at the ground floor of a luxury hotel, but definitely not snobbish. Bar tenders and attendants are all very friendly and accommodating so, do not hesitate to ask for their assistance and recommendations.
I am no longer a big alcohol drinker but Long Bar is definitely one of the places I would go back to to enjoy great cocktails, cozy ambiance, great service, and the rebellious act of throwing nutshells on the floor and not be bothered by it.
Ground Floor Raffles Hotel Makati
1 Raffles Drive
All-day 12:00pm – 2:00am Daily
Entertainment 8:00pm – 11:00pm Monday to Thursday / 7:00pm – 1:00am Friday and Saturday