Tuesday, December 17, 2019

#CompoundCollectiveXLongBar: Master Mixologist Roman Foltan Takes Over Long Bar at Raffles Makati

One of Makati's celebrated bars hosts a world-renowned master mixologist for one very special evening...

Master mixologist Roman Foltan takes over Long Bar at Raffles Makati for a one-night exclusive dubbed #CompoundCollectiveXLongBar with four new and exciting cocktails and an updated spin on a classic. It's time for a tipple...at Long Bar.

The Compound Collective is an internationally acclaimed beverage specialist group led by master mixologists Roman Foltan and Michael Callahan sharing their dynamic creativity in handcrafted cocktails all over the world. And there's just no better stage than Long Bar at Raffles Makati.

Roman Foltan championed the legendary team at Artesian in the Langham Hotel as the number one bar on the World's 50 Best Bars back in 2017. That evening, guests at Long Bar witnessed some world-class magic behind the bar with Roman Foltan's takeover.  

And our evening began with a nostalgic taste of a true Long Bar classic. Ngiam Tong Boon is credited with creating the original cocktail back in 1915, and the Singapore Sling has since been part of the iconic institution's storied history. Back then, only gentlemen can be seen enjoying a tipple of gin or whisky at Long Bar. Ladies were often discouraged from consuming alcohol in public dictated by early 20th century norms. In a flash of inspiration, Ngiam Tong Boon realized an opportunity with a refreshing pink colored cocktail made with fruit juices spiked with an alcoholic punch for the ladies of the era.

Since then, the Singapore Sling has been part of the Long Bar tradition and a mandatory layer in the Raffles Hotel experience (for more on Long Bar and the Singapore Sling, see my previous posts, Raffles Hotels Celebrate One Hundred Years of the Singapore Sling with the Raffles 1915 Gin three years back, Singapore Slings, Gold Flakes and peanuts at the Long Bar from 2013, Another Round at Raffles Makati's Long Bar, and Good Times, Rain or Shine, at Long Bar... from 2017).  

Just how do you improve on a tried and tested classic? The sweet and tart blend of pineapple juice, lime juice, gin, cherry brandy and Cointreau and other liqueurs has stood the test of time witnessing two world wars and the age of millennials. But master mixologist Roman Foltan delicately peels away the rich weave of flavors of the iconic cocktail, adjusting levels while maintaining the character of the celebrated blend that's been synonymous with the Raffles Hotel experience.

The result? Richer, more vibrant notes with a soothing depth and subdued hints of sweetness. The characteristic and, at times flavor forward sweetness no longer overwhelms the palate. Instead, one can indulge in a richly-layered weave of vibrant notes with each sip. Sipsmith Raffles Gin, Benedictine, Cherry Heering, Ferrand Dry Curacao, homemade grenadine, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lime juice and Angostura Bitters...meet the Classic Singapore Sling (P 390) reinvented by master mixologist Roman Foltan. The changes may be subtle, but I do like the much tempered sweetness of the Classic Singapore Sling.

Roman Foltan then concocted his other specialty cocktails prepared exclusively for Long Bar infused with local ingredients, including the elegant Sophia (P 390) with Plantation 3 Star, Lillet Blanc, kamote syrup, fresh lime juice capped by the effervescence of sparkling wine for that stylish Long Bar vibe. 

The Cassava Nova (P 390) takes its cue from the familiar whiskey sour blended with Maker's Mark, cassava sweet Vermouth, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and topped with a frothy head of pasteurized egg white. It's one cocktail I can have all day at Long Bar.

The soothing Tamarind Man (P 390) with Tito's Vodka, yellow Chartreuse, tamarind syrup, fresh lime juice, mint leaves, ginger beer and Angostura Bitters delivers complex yet perfectly balanced notes with the distinct hints of sour tamarind perfectly finished by the deep, mild sweetness of the vodka. The ginger beer and hints of mint compliments the vodka base of the cocktail for another refreshing cocktail at Long Bar.

The aptly named ...Or Highwater (P 390) with Ocho Reposado, Ancho Reyes, maple syrup, Hellfire bitters, coriander tincture and Lillet Blanc is one cocktail for any celebration or reason. Come to think of it, you don't need a reason or an excuse for some much needed libation at Long Bar. Each cocktail offers balanced and uniquely refreshing notes highlighting the varied and wide range of flavors one can enjoy at Long Bar to fit any mood, reason or celebration. 

There's always time for one more round at Long Bar, make mine another Cassava Nova. And my all-time favorite, the Panutsa Old-Fashioned. The Long Bar has seen and heard some amazing stories through the years, and it's time for you to add new ones with their handcrafted cocktails...see you at Long Bar.

Long Bar is located at the lobby level of Raffles Makati or call Raffles Makati Reservations at 7795 1840 or email dining.makati@raffles.com.

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