It’s been eight years since the first speak-easy cocktail bar concept opened up in Manila. Hidden in Legazpi Village is a bar called Blind Pig. Unlike many speak-easy bars, this one actually does have a sign, but it’s written in Braille. Go up to the door and knock.
The bar is dimly lit, and in the dark, you may miss some of the finer details of the space. Walls and ceilings are paneled with metal paneling. Lamps have hidden notecards inside of them. All of which tell a story that’ such longer than. Just eight years. You feel like the founders built a location that was “what they always wanted.” And perhaps that’s why. Little has changed here over time. It was already what they wanted it to be: a secluded and quiet spot in an office district where to sit for hours sipping straightforward, fine cocktails with friends. Sounds good to us.
Ordering off of the menu, we had “The Vision.” Gin, Cointreau, black sesame syrup, celery bitters, egg white, and a little bit of citric acid from a freshly squeezed lemon. From the menu description, it would appear that the recipe actually called for calamansi. But as the bartender explained, they always serve their ingredients fresh at Blind Pig. That means that a freshly squeezed lemon is a better option than batch-squeezed calamansi that was prepped before the start of the evening’s service.
The drink itself was delightfully complex. Balanced and creamy, with acidly hits peeping out from under the black sesame flavors and aromatics. It was also surprisingly strong. A drink that can give you an almost immediate buzz, especially if you’re visiting the bar before having dinner.
All in all, Blind Pig fits into that “oldie-but-goodie” category. Which is perfect. It’s for old-souls. It’s non-sensational. But really? It’s pretty darn sensational.a