Classic cocktails with a Filipino twist. This is C-Lounge’s M.O. So let’s zero in on two of our faves. First is the Manggarita, which stands out not only for its dope name, but because it’s made with a chamomile-infused tequila and mixed with mango and pink guava nectar. Then they rim the glass with colored salt and top it off with a dried mango garnish. Mwah. Next up is the Sampaloc Mule, which is made with Sampaloc syrup, Limoncello-infused vodka, and ginger ale—adding very simple but effective kick to the traditional Moscow mule. C-Lounge does all their infusions in-house, which is why they have so many original spirits on the menu. There aren’t a lot of great options for an afternoon drink in the Philippines, but these guys are ahead of the crowd. And thankfully so, because their location up high in the Conrad Hotel offers great views of the iconic Manila Bay sunset. There isn’t a much better way to toast Philippine Independence Day than this.
What impressed us most when we stumbled upon C-Lounge is how much they were doing themselves. From their cocktail recipes, to their syrup and alcohol infusions – it’s all made in-house. They also have locally sourced fruit garnishes that they opted to dehydrated themselves, like dehydrated dragon fruit, orange, and ginger. Even with traditional and standard cocktails, they prefer to use their own ingredients, which enables them to create more of their own flavors and allows them to achieve their goal of adding a more Filipino touch to their recipes. By doing this more often, it can also be a good way to enhance their skills in curating drinks and can also train their palate to taste better. Most bars rely heavily on pre-packaged ingredients, which more often than not, gives the bartender less chances to experiment with different flavors. C-Lounge is arguably one of the best places to find locally inspired cocktails.