Barong Bar at Fairmont Jakarta is renowned for its masterfully crafted classic cocktails. They have now raised the bar in their cocktail game with the recent launching of their bespoke barrel-aged cocktails for the city’s drinking scene.
Collaborating with world-famous mixologist as its mentor, Michael Callahan, Barong Bar has perfected its cocktail recipes and is currently aging its own vibrant and whimsical libations through their own in-house barrel-aging system. In 29 November 2018, they will introduce the first line-up of barrels of distinctive and flavor-filled drinks to its guests.
Properly aged spirits are believed as the best ones, especially when the spirits in question has been aged the traditional way in wooden barrels. The key to the aging process is the type of the woods used for the barrel itself. Barong Bar uses two types of wooden barrel – American Oak and French Oak – where each has its own characteristics. American Oak gives more of the carbon charred spiciness while the French Oak brings some fruity notes with a nutty flavor with a hint of light chocolate. The barrels – 30 five-liter French Oak barrels and two ten-litter French Oak ones – are tucked behind the bar counter.
Commonly known as “barrel aging,” this method is employed by the bar to offer bespoke cocktails. Barong Bar focuses on the maturation of the spirits and cocktails using various types of oak barrels – similar like what a master distiller does in a Scotch or Cognac houses. Fine spirits are used in the aging process to create the finest aged cocktails.
Besides more traditional offerings like barrel-aged spirits like gin or cognac, clients can also enjoy cocktails that have been aged inside a barrel. From barrel-aged spirits to aged cocktails, Barong Bar allows several possibilities to provide a dynamic practice. The cocktail menu is divided into three categories: Apéritif, House Signature and Digestif.
An Apéritif is a cocktail specifically served before dinner, with the idea of stimulating or arousing the appetite. The soft bitter notes can be combined with a gentle effervescence or a hint of citrus to balance out the flavors. This section of the menu will offer the “lighter” style drinks selection such as Gin and Tonic or Gin Sour (using barrel-aged Gin).
The House Signature is a series of cocktails that are subject to change seasonally. The nature of barrel-aged spirits is that no two barrels will ever be alike; similarly no two menus will be exactly the same. As a result, the barrel-aged spirits will bring new flavors to each cocktail creation – ensuring an innovative drinking experience for both hotel guests and local drinkers alike. The menu contains “medium bodied” style of drinks, such as barrel-aged Negroni (where the gin, Campari and sweet vermouth have been allowed to mellow together in a single cask to let the deep woodiness and richness from the barrel aging heightens the appeal of this Italian tipple).
A Digestif is a type of alcohol served after a filling meal that is utilized for its digestive aid. The menu selection is contrast in flavors from sweet to bitter, such as barrel-aged Hanky Panky (a mix of Gin, Fernet Branca and Sweet Vermouth), or Mai Tai (a classic, rum-heavy cocktail that is a little tart with a hint of sweet and a lot of punch, using aged rums and Curacao to impart a sense of balance and aid in complexity).
Guests can also have their own bespoke barrel, where the bar will fill a barrel with their favorite spirits and age it for several months, depending on guest preference. Barong Bar allows a custom full-barrel sourcing program where guests can purchase single barrels of high quality spirits for private bottling, or to be stored at the bar for their convenience.
The collaboration with Michael Callahan is also the kick-off of Barong Bar Series, where the bar will work with various connoisseurs to create their own custom barrels for guests in Jakarta to enjoy.