The posh neighborhood of BGC in Metro Manila is full of seemingly normal back doors with special treats secreted behind them. Take The Back Room for instance, which made it as the 50th entry on Asia’s 50 best bars. They take the speakeasy theme to its full conclusion, recreating the American Prohibition era of the 1920s when underground spots were prolific and necessary. You may want to keep this secret gem all to yourself, but don’t be selfish. It’s perfect for intimate nights with close friends or that special someone you’re aiming to impress. Their cocktails are all well curated and original, crafted by bartending champions from competitions like the World’s Most Experimental Bartender. And they offer a broad collection of gins from around the world, including their own homemade gin called the Bee’s Knees, which of course was ‘20s slang. (Word of mouth tip: it’s hidden below the Shangri-La at the Fort.)
The Ransom Note is one of signature cocktails you can find in The Backroom. Extra friendly bartenders run the show here. Ask what cocktail they recommend best for people who want their drink with a lot of texture and this creamy, nutty drink is top of the list. A tequila driven cocktail which incorporates straightforward ingredients: pistachios, agave, lemon, and hazelnut.
The beverage itself is a sweet and comforting drink that pairs nicely with its partner, a little cone filled with pili nuts clipped on the glass as its garnish. There’s an overall lingering note of pistachio with a touch of zest that coats your tongue with each sip. Sweetness is balanced and not overwhelming which serves as an overarching tone for your palate to distinguish the different notes that are present in the drink. Notes like a nuttiness coming from the hazelnut and pistachio or sourness coming from the lemon and tequila. When visiting Backroom, it is almost a must to have this as our first drink because it’s such a scrumptious treat.
A citrusy concoction called “It’s Worth A Squeeze,” is mainly comprised of sake and citrus fruits. It’s bright, light, and the type of refreshing that makes you want to kick back and take a quick nap. Although we didn’t actually do that, the drink did help shake all the stress away and every sip made us a little more confident to face another week.
While some bars in Manila close up shop on Sundays, those that stay open usually have something going for them. It allows for varied experiences throughout the week, creating different atmospheres for different types of people. If you’re the type who avoids crowds and would much rather sit and drink in peace, this is your spot. Just come on a Sunday night, pick your poison, and enjoy the music.
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