The cocktail scene in Southeast Asia is gaining traction across the board, and one of those rising stars is Manila. If you’re visiting the Filipino capital and looking for the best cocktails in town, these six bars across town will ensure a tipsy good time.
Previously known as ABV, the speakeasy bar hidden behind a secret wooden door, Proof is a newly-revamped and serving both classics and seasonal-inspired creations. Their talented team rarely disappoints, so if you’re looking for something off the menu, go for it. They’ve also started bringing in live jazz music on Monday nights from 9pm till late, and the hungry will find some greasy, delicious-looking burgers on the all-new grub menu.
Proof is located at 22 Jupiter St, Makati 1209. Check their website for updates on operating hours.
Opened in 2011 with an unassuming entrance – the only sign outside is in Braille – Blind Pig is one of the quieter spots for a quality tipple on this list. A speakeasy-style bar that takes you back to the 1920s, munch on their tasty bar bites – think flavoured popcorn and bacon rolls – as you sip on cocktails like the spirit forward Wry Grin, made withrye whiskey, Fernet Branca, lemon, and mint. Reservations are highly recommended.
Blind Pig is located at 227 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati, p.+63 2 478-6990. Opens daily 6pm-2am.
The Curator Coffee And Cocktails
Artisanal coffee by day, craft cocktails by night. The Curator was recently ranked as the best bar in The Philippines, with its third consecutive year on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. Awards aside, they do serve tasty cocktails that will leave you more than satisfied. Highlights include The Grape Escape, their take on a wine spritzer with cognac, citrus, and vermouth, and Vida, a robust drink of bourbon, Aperol, Suze, and chocolate bitters.
The Curator is located at 134 Legaspi Street, Makati CIty, Metro Manila, Philippines. Opens Mon-Sat 6.30pm-2am. Closed on Sundays.
For a more casual setting, Yes Please combines the dive bar concept with a healthy dose of neon lights, chill-house music, and late 20th century vibes. That said, it’s not your neighbourhood bar – cocktails here are exotic, bold, and not for the faint-hearted, whether it’s the brandy and tepache based Snapple Lady or the creamy best seller Devon Sawa (cachaca, soursop, lime, soda, and absinthe). With such one-of-a-kind cocktails and the occasional themed nights (Games of Thrones and Harry Potter, anyone?), you won’t ever get bored of Yes Please, ever.
Yes Please is located on 11th Ave Corner 38th St, Uptown Bonifacio, The Fort, Taguig 1634, p.+63 917 140 7777. Opens Mon-Sat 6pm-3am. Closed on Sundays.
Opened by the same team behind The Curator, OTO (meaning “sound” in Japanese) is a true blue music bar that’s perfect for the complete booze and beats experience. The space boasts top-quality speakers, amplifiers, and vinyl records for a non-pretentious and immersive music atmosphere. Of course, OTO goes the extra mile with proper insulation to match so there’s no echo. Cocktails-wise, you can expect favourite classics that are on par with the divine acoustics.
OTO is located on 5880 Enriquez Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati 1210, p.+63 2 728 2433. Opens Tue-Sun 10pm-2am. Closed on Mondays.
The Back Room
Hidden on the ground floor of Shangri-La at the Fort, The Back Room is one of the youngest additions to the list of speakeasy bars in town. But don’t underestimate them; they made their debut this year on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list at No. 50. Boasting more than 150 labels of gin and a gin laboratory where their own in-house distilled gin Bee’s Knees and other fun distillates are created, The Back Room serves cocktails that reflect the spirit of the Prohibition Era but are still exciting to the modern day tippler.
The Back Room is located at Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street, corner 5th Ave, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines. Opens Mon-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri-Sat 6pm-2am, closed on Sundays.
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