Here's the thing, I never get to have myself acquainted with alcohol when I was still single, not even a trip to a bar nor disco. Not until I reached my thirties. But don't get me wrong, I still have that adventurous spirit hidden somewhere inside me and now I can't deny my amorous relationship with wines. Dare challenge me with a food and beverage that I haven't tried yet and I'll be up to that challenge.
So, when I got an invite form YMV about a Don Papa Rum event, I was instantly challenged. As long as I'm not expected to drink the whole bottle or a dozen of different concoctions then I'm okay.
The experience was way even better as it was my first time to come to a hidden bar. It was hilarious and bizarre at the same time, as Joy Mendiola (ocassionsofjoy.com) and I walked our way to RCBC Corporate Plaza from SM Aura Premier.
On the event's official invite, the venue was set at Bank Bar. Included in the invite was how to get there. "Enter through the 7 11 entrance, " as instructed. To make sure we asked the guard at the RCBC lobby and we were asked to enter the door inside 7 11. Oblivious, and Joy even asked "is this the venue, at 7 11?" We again asked another guard inside the aforementioned store and we were led to the unassuming exit door with a push bar.
We then went in and lo and behold, inside was dark and looked liked a storage room, then someone pulled up the curtain, so there is it. it was a secret bar after all. I won't give you more details on this so there's still some mystique to it.
Are you wondering now who Don Papa is?
Definitely not this handsome bartender! He's however the Don of Cocktails, Davide Boncimino, the overall champion of the cocktail competition aptly named ItsaDonDeal. The competition was Don Papa's first cocktail competition held at London, United Kingdom last July 11, 2015 and it was judged by Don Papa Rum's International Brand Ambassador Matthias Cadeac D'Arbaud and acclaimed drinks and trael writer, Dan Miles.
|Clockwise form the top: Don Papa Rum 10 on the Rocks, Las Filipinas, Fix in the Mind, and Symphony 10|
These are some of the cocktails he made for us to try that night. Davide's winning cocktail is called "Fix in the Mind," which is reminiscent of his childhood experiences during his visits to the Philippines. This 26 year-old half Italian-half Filipino bartender made use of home-made monkey nuts syrup blended with rice juice, coconut milk, lime and creme de banana, in his cocktail thus producing an exciting and intoxicating Don Papa serve.
You might be pondering again who, Don Papa is...
Well, Don Papa isn't a person, it's a brand of a rum, a product of Bleeding Heart Rum Company. It's a premium aged small batch rum that has been gaining a significant following since its launch in the Philippines in July 2012.
It's flagship spirit, the Don Papa 7 year old is aged in American oak barrels, giving it a light amber color. It is light and fruity on the nose, smooth and delicate in the mouth with a long textured finish, offering flavors of vanilla, honey and candied fruits.
The event was set to introduce BHRC's latest offering, the Don Papa 10 year old. A careful, artisanal process by dedicated master craftsmen steeped in the Filipino rum-making tradition. The rum is aged for ten, long years in re-charred American oak barrels, giving it a dark amber color with hints of oak and vanilla. It's higher cask strength gives Don Papa 10 a slightly higher AV of 43%.
Of course, nothing beats a good rum-tasting than having cocktails partnered with good grubs. I must commend the food served to us by Bank Bar.
These fried brown mantau is such delight. The outer shell is crunchy while the inside is left soft and velvety. It comes with a red spicy dip that's tomato based with a tangy aftertaste.
Forgive me for not taking note of the dishes I've tried, I guess I got a bit tipsy with the drinks I tried plus it was awfully dark so penning something would be ludicrous. This is actually their take on "chicharong bulaklak." Batttered and deep-fried small intestines of pork served with a light and sweet vinegar. I love their fries and burger sliders as well.
Now, going to bars can also be fun to foodies and mommies like us!