Renowned for masterfully crafted classic cocktails, Barong Bar at Fairmont Jakarta launches its barrel-aged cocktail collection where a combination of curated drinks are served using in-house barrel aging methods.
Officially available since November, the barrel-aged cocktail collection are created by Barong’s cocktail expert in collaboration with world-famous mixologist, Michael Callahan. The collaboration kicked off the Barong Bar Series, where the bar will work with various connoisseurs to create their own custom barrels for guests in Jakarta to enjoy.
With 30 years experience, Callahan has helped perfect Barong’s cocktail recipes to produce most vibrant and whimsical drinks through an in-house barrel-aging system.
Commonly known as “barrel aging,” this method is employed 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. Barong Bar uses two types of wooden barrel – American Oak and French Oak – where each has its own characteristics. Fine spirits are used in the aging process to create the finest aged cocktails.
“We have produced 30 barrels cocktails from 200 bottle of spirits to create the most flavourful barrel aged-cocktails. It’s huge investment that Fairmont put on this cocktails collection. Most of the bars prefer to sell the alcohol directly because this method make us lose more alcohol from maturation process and require an experiment. Fairmont is a five star hotel and they want give their guest the greatest experience in enjoying liquor and spirits, ensured by the high quality drinks,” Callahan said.
Besides more traditional offerings like barrel-aged spirits like gin or cognac, clients can also enjoy cocktails that have been aged inside a barrel, thereby allowing several possibilities to enjoy a dynamic experience.
“The barrel-aged cocktails is maturated 6 months minimum, It’s been a while since I started with other bartender and mixologist and got a chance to see how they also fuse the barrel-aged cocktails with local ingredients. It’s still rare in Asia, not many people want to do it. But here, finally we could present it to the guest in Jakarta,’ Callahan noted.
In an intimate, classy atmosphere, the line-up of barrels of distinctive and flavour-filled drinks is served to the guest, completed with its exquisite notes, 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. 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).
Here, guests can also have their own bespoke barrel, where the bar will fill a barrel with their favourite spirits and age it for several months, depending on guest preference. Barong Bar allows a custom full-barrel sourcing programme where guests can purchase single barrels of high quality spirits for private bottling, or to be stored at the bar for convenience.