Friday, November 24, 2017

Mix It Up! A Mixology Class with Mari Kamata at The Peninsula Manila

One of Japan's top bartenders mixes it up in the first ever Mixology Class Series in The Peninsula Manila's Salon de Ning...

Experience the return of classic cocktails with a modern and inventive spin at The Peninsula Manila's Mix It Up Mixology Series at Salon de Ning with the first class led by Mari Kamata, The Peninsula Tokyo's Head Mixologist. Cocktail culture is alive and back at The Peninsula Manila...

The elegant Shanghai art-deco inspired interiors of Salon de Ning at The Peninsula Manila is the perfect stage for the first-ever Mix It Up Mixology Series, as guest mixologist Mari Kamata creates her signature cocktails with 10-year old Ardbeg Single Malt Whisky, Belvedere Pure Vodka, and Hennessy VSOP Cognac

Salon de Ning is a bar lounge with an upscale yet cool vibe (for more on Salon de Ning, see my post on my other travel blog, #PenMoments: Adding Coolness to Dad's Day at The Peninsula Manila's Pen Ultimate Father's Day). Before the class at the preview of the Mix It Up Mixology Class, guests were served The Peninsula Manila's Mocktail of Hope, a refreshing and festive blend of Welch grape juice and Coca-Cola garnished with a pineapple slice that's perfect for the coming holidays. Part of the proceeds raised from the sale of the specialty mocktail will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

A multi-awarded international mixologist, The Peninsula Tokyo's beverage manager Mari Kamata is a believer in the maxim that "drinking should involve all five senses."  It's a reflection of her personal style leading to the top spots in the 2009 Diageo World Class Cocktail Competition in London and 2013's Gin Connoisseur Program in France.

Other international awards followed, including a spot as a finalist at the 007 Belvedere Challenge 2015 in Sydney and the top prize in 2016's Seven Star Train Cocktail Recipe Competition in Japan. And for two days, you get a chance to experience cocktails with a refreshed perspective under the tutelage of multi-awarded mixologist Mari Kamata at The Peninsula Manila's Salon de Ning.

A master of the classics, Mari Kamata studied for years so she could match any customer demand. And seeing her meticulous attention to detail and creativity up close makes the first-ever Mix It Up Mixology Class a memorable experience in itself. 

For her first cocktail, Mari Kamata returns to her roots infusing green tea in a soothing cocktail with the Matcha Martini. It's a cocktail that represents Mari Kamata's personal style, combining the classic with an inventive fusion of Japanese notes for a unique cocktail experience.

The blend of Belvedere Pure Vodka, matcha powder, and Monin Poir syrup combine for an elegantly smooth cocktail that refreshes both the palate and soul with each sip. And consistent with Mari Kamata's creative approach, the Matcha Martini stimulates the senses from the first sip down to the velvety smooth finish.

The sharp and mildly bitter hints of the matcha are perfectly tempered by the deep notes of the Belvedere Pure Vodka for balanced flavors, perfectly finished by just a whisper of sweetness. This is my kind of tea.

The Peninsula Manila's Mix It up Mixology Class also includes interactive elements where participants can help create Mari Kamata's signature cocktails adding a whole lot of fun to the classes.

For her second cocktail, Mari Kamata draws inspiration from another cocktail classic combining Ardberg Single Malt Whisky with Earl Grey Tea and clove-infused Vermouth Rosso, Cherry Heering and fresh orange juice...  

...for the paper-wrapped cocktail, Blood and Sand. The bold notes of the smoky single malt whisky is the base of the cocktail, with the flavors from the infused Vermouth Rosso, orange juice and Cherry Heering adding distinct layers in a seamless blend. Like all her cocktails, from the ingredients and flavorful blends to the final presentation, each is a reflection of Mari Kamata's attention to detail capped by the intricate paper-wrapped glass. 

For Mari Kamata's third cocktail, the infusion of smoke adds to the complex character of the featured cocktail prepared in her usual meticulous style. Mari Kamata's movements behind the bar is like a choreographed performance, with precision and timing honed by years of experience. 

The Hennessy Negroni capped her Mix It Up Mixology Class, a smoky cocktail with the bold flavors of Hennessy VSOP, Campari, and Cinzano Vermouth Rosso served in a classic rock glass.

The deep amber-hued cocktail has a fruity aroma, with smoky notes adding depth capped by citrusy hints for yet another soothing cocktail. It's the kind of cocktail that will make you stay longer at the bar, with its bold flavors lingering long after the first sip. Classic cocktails prepared by a multi-awarded mixologist, and the first-ever Mix It Up Mixology Class series is off to a great start at The Peninsula Manila.

Guests at the preview of The Peninsula Manila's first-ever Mix It Up Mixology Class were also served the Cocktail of Hope, a comforting blend of Bailey's, milk, mint liqueur and elder flower syrup. Rich and creamy garnished with a white chocolate spiral and ginger bread crumble, it's a festive cocktail that's guaranteed to give you a jumpstart on the coming holidays. Just like the Mocktail of Hope served earlier, part of the proceeds from the sale of the seasonal cocktail will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The cocktail culture is alive and well, and there's nothing quite like experiencing it up close with one of the world's best mixologists at the elegant Salon de Ning. The Mix It Up Mixology Class with Mari Kamata will be held on November 24 and 25, 2017, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Salon de Ning for P 2,000 nett per person including five cocktails with canapes. Only fifteen slots are available, so sign up now (participants of the mixology class must be 21 years and above). For inquiries and further information on the Mix It Up Mixology Class, you can call +632 887-2888 extension 6694 (Restaurant Reservations), email or visit the website Cheers!

Salon de Ning is located at The Peninsula Manila corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, 1226 Makati City, Metro Manila or call +632 887-2888 for inquiries or reservations.

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  1. A detailed look on the scene. Excited for more sessions at The Peninsula Manila.

    1. Hey Gio, that's one cool session and a successful start to The Peninsula Manila's Mix It Up Mixology Series!


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