Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Aged Cocktail Tasting with Giancarlo Mancino: You Can Never Go Wrong at Rambla

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Rambla recently hosted an aged cocktail tasting for select members of the press. Luckily, Wazzup Pilipinas was one of those few and we were in for a night of fun, cocktails, and learning. They flew in world renowned Italian bartender Giancarlo Mancino, the creator of Mancino Vermouth.

Upon arriving, we were served the Early Grey Gin Tonic which is actually tanqueray gin infused with early grey loose tea, fever tree, lemongrass, and tonic water. I loved that the tea and the lemongrass really popped out, putting me under the illusion that I was drinking something non alcoholic. I also loved the presentation because it was quite feminine and not daunting at all as most gin and tonic seem to appear.

After some chit chat and photoshoot, we were finally led upstairs where we were made to experience what an aged cocktail truly is about. To start off, we had the Aged Negroni. This was made with 1 bottle of classic gin, London # 1. Added to the mix were 2 bottles of Mancino Vermouth and 1 bottle of Campari. Now with the ageing process, a few important things to remember is that when you set the drink in its barrel, you are not supposed to move it around for at least a month.

Giancarlo Mancino doing his magic

Aged Negroni
Earl Grey Gin Tonic
There should be no drastic change in temperature and very minimal movements as it can affect the taste of the cocktail inside. Rambla uses a 12 oak barrel from America. The Aged Negroni was a bit strong for my taste and it was very musky. It’s something that I can imagine a dashing debonair would drink while trying to scope the bar for his pick of the night. It had a James Bond feel to it if I dare to say so.

Tequila Old-Fashioned
The second drink that was served to us was the Tequila Old Fashioned. This time around, the mix is that of bourbon or rye and mixed peychauds bitters from New Orleans which comes from one of the oldest bitters producers. For those who are wondering what bitters is, it is similar to anais.

This drink is served with a twist because you will put a lime ring with sugar on top, pour Absinthe, and then light it up. When the sugar cube on top is on fire, this is the time that you serve it to the drinker. Ta-da! This drink is sweet but it definitely comes with a kick. 

with the Rum Manhattan
The Rum Manhattan is made of Angustura, Mancino Vermouth, Matusalem rum from Venezuela, and served with cherry that has been marinated in rum for over a month. This normally comes with rye but Giancarlo decided to use rum instead to make it different.

I made the mistake of eating the cherry in one go and oh my ... it was an experience. The rum inside the cherry spread like wildfire and all I could say the entire time was, “oh my! Oh my! Oh my!” It was so strong, so in your face that it consumes you. The rum just consumes you and it spreads all over, not just in your mouth, in your stomach, but in your entire body. You can really feel the effect of it.

Aged London No.1
Stamped date on the paper bag

Since the Rum Manhattan was very potent, it came as a welcome respite that the 4th drink was the Aged London No. 1. This drink was served in a paper bag which got me curious. Apparently, the paper bag they used served another purpose aside from being decor. On the paper bag is stamped a date which tells you when the drink was aged. For this one, it was November 2013; pretty long time to age something.

Aged London No. 1 is made from Agustura and bitters combined. I loved that this was very light and didn’t even feel like a cocktail which tells me that most likely, after drinking an entire glass, you’d be pretty much ready to party the night away.

The last drink of the night is more known as Harvey Wallbanger but for this concoction, Giancarlo Mancino gave it a different feel and called it the Heavy Wallbanger. Made with Gallianno paste, vodka, and orange liquor, it is left to sit an aged for a time. Before being served though, it is combined with orange juice which is what gives it a twist because the orange juice is normally combined when being aged.

This was my favorite drink of the night as it almost tasted like juice. It was also very pretty and feminine. It could actually pass as a ladies drink and a virgin at that too.

Giancarlo Mancino with the Mancino Vermouth

This is me with Giancarlo Mancino

This is me with Uri Singla

Dani Singla, Uri Singla, and Giancarlo Mancino

Overall, I would have to say that my aged cocktail experience was simply a delight and the owners, Uri Singla and Dani Singla were a big part of it. They ensured that we were always comfortable and most importantly, never without a drink in our hands.

Please visit their aging cabinet and enjoy one of these concoctions for only Php495. Paired with their delicious food, great ambiance, gorgeous crowd, and lively music, you can never go wrong when you spend a night at Rambla.

About the Contributor:

Kathy Kenny Ngo is an 8 year blogger who occasionally does events hosting and photography. She is also a Resource Speaker on writing and a Social Media Manager. You can reach her through her blog where she writes about love, life, and anything that catches her fancy.

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