Try This: Batala Bar’s Cocktails Made with Local Liquor and Herbs from Their GardenSeptember 17, 2017
Batala Bar was started by Philippine Artisan Trade this year, a group that focuses on supporting fair trade and environmentally-friendly local production. Founder Bryan McClelland tells us that with his partners Mia Guerrero and Hans Co wanted to create a space that could function as a gallery to showcase Filipino products, but the idea eventually grew to include a bar that would be able to allow people who visit the space to enjoy a cocktail or drink as they check out the gallery space.
Because of their local and sustainable thrust, all of the drinks at Batala Bar use local liquors as a base, and they also offer a selection of local craft beers both on tap and in bottles. Part and parcel of that same thrust, Batala Bar worked with Urban Greens to install a hydroponic garden system to produce fresh herbs used in their cocktails. Oh, and they named it Batala (an alternative spelling to Bathala, the creator of the universe according to Filipino mythology) because of their dedication to local spirits—get it?
Here’s what we think you should drink during your visit:
The bambanog is a shot of bamboo-infused lambanog (or coconut liquor), which gives it a grassy and fresh taste. Priced at PHP 63 (after the Philippine country code), you can hardly complain at the price, and the bamboo infusion definitely helps the hard coconut liquor go down with somewhat ease (It’s still lambanog, after all). And if you’re at Batala Bar at 8:30PM (another clever number game they play, as 830 is the address of the venue), you get a free shot on the house.
Signature Cocktails with Filipino Flavors
For those who want something sweet, go with the Old Manila. It has a dark rum base with caramel notes, and is tempered by a bubbly ginger beer. If you want something cleaner tasting, go for their MOMOL (which stands for Mojito Mojito Lang!), offering a local twist on a familiar drink with a perkier and sharper flavor than its international counterpart. Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, go for the Luntian (our personal drink of choice). Flavored with malunggay powder that has a surprising matcha-like taste to it, the Luntian has a savoriness to it that we dig in cocktails which often tend to lean on the sweet side.
A sustainable bar specializing in local beer and liquor that supports local enterprises.