Memorable craft cocktails at Rocket Room Manila
Rocket Room in Manila is a chic, relaxed café by day and an upbeat cocktail bar/lounge by night. Weekends attract the hip party crowd with a DJ doling out retro and futuristic tunes. Opened in in conjunction with Stella Bistro (located just next door) in May 2012, it wasn’t long before Rocket Room drew a reputation for serving up memorable cocktails crafted with house-made infusions. Operations Director Cyril Addison tells us more:
Cocktails with house-made infusions seem to be a big part of your bar programme…
They came about because we wanted to create the perfect marriage between food and beverage. Stella, our sister establishment, is known for its earthy, locally sourced and organic dishes. We wanted the drinks and cocktail recipes at Rocket Room to reflect the same concept by infusing liquors with cocktail ingredients that are easily sourced in the Philippines; fruits such as pineapple, mango and lychee, and even chili.
Have you created any cocktail firsts?
Yes, our aquavit. We made our own version of the Scandinavian spirit with local herbs and spices.
Any infusion tips, considerations and cocktail recipes to share?
1) Do not over-infuse and 2) Know your fruits. As a general rule, experiment with the following factors:
At Rocket Room, infusions are carried out outdoors, not in the bar. The climate in Manila is warm which makes it perfect for faster infusions. A week-long infusion would work better in colder climates.
No longer than four days. Beyond that, the infusion doesn’t necessarily go bad but you could end up with unwanted flavours from seeds, the bitterness of the peel and even mould flavours. If you under-infuse, chances are the harsh taste of the base spirit would be the dominant flavour.
Ripeness and other elements
Consider the age and condition of your cocktail ingredients/foreign flavour. For example, ripe mango infuses faster than green mango.
What is the Rocket Room experience?
The overall concept for our bar is mid-century modern but it feels like a fun mix of old and new, from the interiors to our food and mixed drinks. All our popular cocktails are made with fresh infusions, which make them unique to Rocket Room.
Which are your most popular cocktails?
Our most popular cocktails are probably Rocket Fuel, our classic margarita with Liquid Fire (jalapeno-infused vodka); The Girl with Violet Eyes, our berry mojito with house-infused apple rum, honey and mint; and the American in Ipanema, our version of the Caipirinha with Cachaca, orange and muscovado.
What keeps your bar and mixology team inspired?
We promote thought and creativity, and constantly teach the team new flavours. They learn how to put flavours together and tangibly contribute to Rocket Room’s brand of mixed drinks, which is something they can’t learn anywhere else.
Ground Floor Level, Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig City1634. Metro Manila. Philippines
By Martin Archer - Long term Asian resident and serial entrepreneur- founder and publisher of www.asia-bars.com -the authoritative on-line guide to Asia's finest bars and restaurants