Customized. Bespoke. Call it what you want. If you have a special cocktail concoction in mind, give it a shot. And you can have exactly that at the Long Bar...
Long Bar's award-winning mixologists help you create that special cocktail, simply take a seat and mix and match your perfect signature drink. Start with your favorite liquor as your base, and get creative with your favorite flavors and garnishes. The Long Bar's innovative Cocktail Collab lets you create that unique and special cocktail, and if it's good, it might even be featured in the Long Bar's menu.
Behind the bar, Orman and Jenny (L), Long Bar's creative dynamic duo, are ready to transform your cocktail concept to reality. You can observe Orman and Jenny up close at the bar and draw some inspiration or better yet, have a chat with them to spark off your own creative juices in creating that distinct cocktail.
I start my Cocktail Collab experience at Long Bar with an old favorite. My never-fail, go-to cocktail at the Long Bar, the Panutsa Old-Fashioned, a classic bourbon-based Old-Fashioned infused and sweetened with the distinct local notes of panutsa, a sweet syrup made with unrefined brown sugar. Smoky, with bold upfront notes and a subtle layer of sweetness from the panutsa and the citrus hint from the orange peel combine for a velvety smooth cocktail. Works for me all the time. Only at Long Bar. A few more soothing sips gets you in the groove in no time, and it's time to create your own cocktail at Long Bar...
The whole creative process begins with the Long Bar's Cocktail Collab Cocktail Card, where you specify the ingredients and blend of spirits, the procedure and method (shake, build, stir, strain, blend, muddle, layer or flame), your style of glass (on-the-rocks, highball, or straight-up), capped by your garnish of choice (like olives, cherries, mint leaves, or fresh fruits). And leave all the wizardry and executional details to Orman, Long Bar's award-winning mixologist. At only P 450++ per cocktail, your selection includes Vodka, Gin, Tequila, Whisky, Rum, Brandy, Wine, Cognac,and Champagne (extra liquor extra price, premium liquor is sold at more expensive prices depending on the brand). And the fun includes naming your own cocktail.
Orman Bag-ao is the Long Bar's resident mixologist, and your guide to a special cocktail journey of discovery. Armed with a wealth of competition experience (for more on Long Bar's Orman Bag-ao, see my previous posts on the recently concluded Diageo World Class 2015 Bartending Competition here and Orman's journey to the final round here with his cocktail creation, "The Man," a creative bitter, sweet, sour, and bold blend perfectly describing his journey as a mixologist), Orman begins with your favorite liquor, and injects his own personal and inventive style for that perfect bespoke cocktail. For my first round at Long Bar's Cocktail Collab, I find inspiration down south of the border, with distinct Mexican notes for a refreshing elixir worthy of the ancient Aztec gods. A dark, golden amber-hued, oak-aged tequila, Patron Anejo, is my preferred base with its layers of smoky, caramel and vanilla notes. Inject some bittersweet notes of xocolatle, the Aztec food of the gods, with the chocolate tempering the bold notes of the tequila, and my initial concept takes shape as Orman runs through a series of options and starts preparing my cocktail...
In minutes, Orman presents my cocktail, a distinct blend of Patron Tequila Anejo, chocolate syrup, coconut nectar, and orange bitters, garnished with a cherry. Orman adds a personal and customized touch with an orange peel delicately carved to form the initial for my name, very cool.
The initial sip delivers a creamy layer of sweet and mildy bitter notes of chocolate, followed by a hint of coconut nectar, the tart and citrusy orange bitters, and finally, the bold, upfront and smoky flavor of the smooth Patron Tequila Anejo. The smooth and refreshing yet potent cocktail kicked-off my Cocktail Collab experience on a high note as each distinct layer of flavor blend seamlessly with every sip for balanced flavors. The elixir of the Aztec gods rise again, on ice. And if you're craving for a shot, just ask for Montezuma's Rise from Orman at the Long Bar.
In between sips, enjoy some of Long Bar's signature bar chow, like the popular Pork Rinds (P 225, L), crispy crackling dusted with tamarind powder and seasonings; and the Chili King Prawns & Grilled Garlic (P 380, R), plump prawns with a fresh snap releasing a mild briny sweetness with every bite, rounded out by garlic notes.
At Long Bar's Cocktail Collab, you have access to an extensive selection of premium spirits, with a lot of the real good stuff including this heavily peated single malt whisky, the Port Charlotte from Bruichladdich, lighting up another cocktail concept. Enjoy it neat first, then formulate a creative cocktail.
Mention Bruichladdich and I remember the line of Mike Pomeroy in the film Morning Glory. With a bottle of forty-year old Bruichladdich, Mike Pomeroy grumbles "...I only drink this when I'm practically suicidal" (more on my first experience with Bruichladdich on my previous post here). Drawing inspiration from the quote and the film, here's a cocktail with Bruichladdich that might even bring a smile to Mike Pomeroy, my own version of Morning Glory, with Bruichladdich, elderflower, and Frangelico garnished with a cinnamon stick. The sunny floral and fragrant notes of the elderflower and the nutty hazelnut and herb-infused Frangelico liqueur combine perfectly to temper the aggressive smoky profile of Bruichladdich for a soothing yet perky blend, it's Morning Glory in a cocktail glass. And if you need a drink to pick up your day and make it right, ask Orman for the Morning Glory.
That evening, friends created their own set of unique libations, like the delicately layered American Pie (L), an homage to the classic song with Rye Whiskey, Maker's Mark, Apple juice, and Cherry Heering; and the bloody Et Tu Brutu (R), with Italian Aperol aperitif, Finlandia Vodka, fresh tomato juice and Bloody Mary mix garnished with chili.
Another friend created his own liberating cocktail with a whisky and Amaretto blend for a classic and refreshing whisky sour-inspired cocktail, garnished with an orange peel. At Long Bar's Cocktail Collab, the cocktail possibilities are infinite and endless, and creating your own cocktail is an experience in itself. And Orman loves a challenge. I wanted something overwhelmingly smoky and brash, unapologetic and defiantly arrogant yet classy with a graceful finesse, pure unadulterated power trip in a glass. Contrasting handles that may be too tricky, but that's no problem with Orman. Orman smiled and relished the challenge, snapped his fingers and began creating my final cocktail...
And here it is...The Last Don, a potent trifecta of single malt, blended whisky and cognac, served with a premium cigar on a wooden humidor, the perfect drink for a last round at the Long Bar's Cocktail Collab with Orman Bag-ao.
It's the kind of drink you savor as you plan to take over the world in between gentle sips. Named in honor of a good friend, The Last Don is the ultimate cocktail, demanding you treat it well, or it will get you when you least expect it. It's a man's drink, the kind of libation for someone at the top of his game, or someone on the way there. And you can too, just whisper the The Last Don to Orman. The Cocktail Collab at Long Bar takes the bar experience to a whole new level, adding an element of fun in creating and naming your very own cocktail. Ready to go on a Cocktail Collab at Long Bar? Simply take a seat by the bar, and indulge Orman Bag-ao with your cocktail ideas...
Long Bar is located at the lobby level of Raffles Makati, 1 Raffles Drive, Makati Avenue, Makati or call 555-9777 for inquiries and reservations.
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