The Jelly List: Crazy Cocktails of QC’s Top Bars for #ThirstyThursday

Thanks to its vibrant food scene and the proliferation of bars, pubs, gastrolounges and watering-holes in it, Quezon City’s nightlife is hoppin’ and happenin,’ at par with those of BGC or Poblacion.

Here, you can expect bartenders to bring their A-game in mixing and concocting spirit blends that can refresh you, give you that satisfying buzz, or knock you out, whatever your trip may be.

So check out the craziest cocktails I’ve tasted among QC’s top bars:

HidN Agenda (Php 330) at HidN Lounge

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge’s signature drink consists of ten different spirits combined together in a large goblet and, with great aplomb, set aflame right before your eyes. This is definitely not for lightweights: with just a little sip, you can feel the drink warm its way down your throat.

HidN Lounge is located at 21 Scout Rallos Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City.

Read more about HidN Lounge.

Sangria Rosa (Php360) at Sabor Bar de Vinos

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sangria is an alcoholic drink that originated from Spain. Technically a variation of the fruit punch, it consists of red wine mixed with chopped fruits and sweetened with sugar water and fruit juice. Sabor Bar de Vinos’ Sangria de Rosa, in particular, is a mixture of rose wine, tequila, pureed guava, strawberry syrup, the juices of pineapple and lime, and as well as mint leaves.

Sabor Bar de Vinos is located at the Ground Floor of Novotel Manila Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.

Read more about Sabor Bar de Vinos.

Cigarettes After Sex (Php350) at INT.Bar

INT.Bar, Cubao Expo

This concoction does call to mind dark deeds in dark places, with its smoky aroma and decadent feel. Served with great fanfare, the drink unveiled amidst smoke once the dome cover is taken off, it’s made with Lapsang Souchong infusion, Laphroaig 10 year old Scotch whiskey, honey, egg whites and rosemary smoke.

INT.Bar is located at Cubao Expo, General Romulo Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City.

Read more about INT.Bar.

Purple Potion (Php320) at BOA Kitchen + Socials

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

One of the ever-changing drinks served at BOA, this blue gin changes to a purple hue when tonic water is added.

BOA Kitchen + Socials is located at Mezzanine Floor, 45 ABDC Building, Scout Rallos corner Scout Tuazon, Laging Handa, Quezon City.

Read more about BOA Kitchen + Socials.

Pedro’s Uprising (Php280) at Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Named after the leader of the 1807 Basi Revolt which came about when the Spanish colonial government banned the private manufacture of basi, the fermented sugar cane beverage, this drink that features basi, lemongrass, brandy and mint is a testament to the Filipino fighting spirit.

Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar is located at Second Floor, CKB Centre, Tomas Morato Avenue Corner Scout Rallos Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City.

Read more about Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar.

In Love with Cacao (Php295) at Wyld Kitchen x Bar

Wyld, Tomas Morato

A dessert cocktail that packs quite a punch, it is a mixture of cacao liqueur, coffee liqueur, amaretto, brandy and cinnamon powder. Whether you’re in it for the sweet or you’re after the buzz, you’ll get both in great supply.

Wyld Kitchen x Bar is located at Second Floor, The Grandia Place, 143 Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City.

Read more about Wyld Kitchen x Bar.

Ibong Adarna (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher) at Salamangka

Named after the mythical bird whose song has healing qualities, this drink is made with tequila, pineapple, calamansi and chili placed in a salt-rimmed glass. A sip of this drink is multi-layered: the citrus flavor from the calamansi, the spiciness from the chili, the saltiness from the rimmed glass and the fire of the tequila as it travels down your throat.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka is located at Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 3am.

Read more about Salamangka.

So if you find yourself prowling the streets of Quezon City for #ThirstyThursday, or any day of the week, drop by any of these bars and get a taste of their crazy signature drinks, the ones with the personality and spirit that will give you a rollickin’ good time.

Photo Credit: Header image by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash. All other photos are mine.

Savoring the moment at Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel Manila

Nestled amidst the hustle and bustle of Cubao is Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s newest restaurant concept – Sabor Bar de Vinos – a welcome haven for the urban denizens seeking some respite from the daily grind.

My fellow foodies and I were warmly welcomed by Novotel’s staff and its digital marketing manager Angela Silvestre, who told us more about Sabor, as well as made recommendations for our highly anticipated repast (all were good calls, by the way).

This newly opened wine bar boasts of warm and colorful Spanish-inspired interiors, a highly Instagrammable outdoor sitting area which also serves as a venue for live musical performances, an extensive wine collection and masterfully prepared tapas. All of these elements help the bar’s patrons to #SABORthemoment.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Its name Sabor translates to “flavor,” a philosophy made apparent with the elegant serving of its delectable sangria and tapas offerings.

Sangria is an alcoholic drink that originated from Spain. Technically a variation of the fruit punch, it consists of red wine mixed with chopped fruits and sweetened with sugar water and fruit juice.

Sabor has three signature sangria concoctions created by its expert mixologists. These drinks are priced at Php360 for a 250ml glass, Php900 for a 450ml half carafe and Php1,200 for a 750ml whole carafe.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

The Sangria de Rosa, for instance, is a mixture of rose wine, tequila, pureed guava, strawberry syrup, the juices of pineapple and lime, and as well as mint leaves.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

The Sangria Blanco, on the other hand, is made of Savignon blanc, vodka, the juices of lime, apple and lychee, and basil leaves.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Lastly, the Fortress Sangria combines red wine, brandy, grenadine, the juices of orange, lemon and lime, cinnamon and lemonade.

Lightweights like me, take heart! You do have the option to request the bar staff for virgin versions of your chosen drinks. That way, you can enjoy all the fruity flavors without the alcohol.  (Plus, better for you if you’re driving afterwards.  Remember, don’t drink and drive.)

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Feeling a little adventurous? Try mixing your own sangria from the mixing station beside the bar. Some of our group did and while the results of their efforts ranged from delish to disquieting (and oh, the names we came up with for those concoctions!), the experience of mixing your own drink (or watching someone else make the attempt) is not to be missed.

We enjoyed our drinks together with the tapas, small servings of tasty Spanish cuisine, expertly prepared by Sabor’s own chefs  Josh Mara  and Glenn Estrella which include:

Smoked Salmon Roulade (Php350) – A scrumptious roll of made of dill, cream cheese and sun-dried tomato with capaers – mandarin sauce wrapped in homemade smoked salmon.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Mushroom Croquette (Php350) – A mixture of finely chopped Porcini, Portobello and Button mushrooms, covered with a crunchy layer of breadcrumbs and accompanied by a blue cheese sauce.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Beetroot Arancini (Php350) – Crunchy crumb-crusted balls stuffed with marinated beetroot (hence the pink color of the filling) accompanied by goat cheese fondue.

Galician Empanada (Php350) – Galician style empanada stuffed with marinated chicken and herbs.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sauteed Chorizo in Red Wine (Php350) – Sliced Spanish chorizo sauteed in red wine, herbs and red onion, served rosemary focaccia.

Gambas al Ajillo (Php350) – Delectable shrimps served in a Spanish style sauce flavored with lemon, paprika, olive oil, white wine, parsley and chili flakes, then served with tomato focaccia.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Selection of Cheese (Php690) – An assortment of cheese accompanied by crackers, nuts, Taggiasca olives and radish. Here’s a tip: After tasting the cheese, a bit of the sangria jelly can help freshen the palate.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Bitter Ballen aka Dutch Meatballs (Php350) – A mixture of veal, chopped parsley and onion covered in bread crumbs and served with mustard.

Tiramisu the Classic Way (Php250) – Amaretto-flavored mascarpone cheese layered with coffee-soaked lady fingers and topped with cocoa powder, a fitting cap to the meal!

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor’s tapas are varied with complex flavors and well-presented with a continental flair but can still be appreciated by those with a decidedly Pinoy palate. For instance, some guests do request for rice to go with their flavorful chorizos or gambas dishes (to take full advantage of those flavorful sauces and drippings), and who’s to say that it’s wrong to enjoy your food that way?

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

The combination of the wine and food served turned our group from a bunch of relative strangers into a fun and boisterous crowd by the night’s end which just goes to show how good food, good drinks and good company make for a great time.

Sabor Bar de Vinos is located at the Ground Floor of Novotel Manila Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.  It is open from 5pm to 2am, Tuesdays to Saturdays.  For reservations and inquiries, call + 63 2 990 7888.

Disclosure: Together with other foodies and bloggers, I was invited to attend a food and wine-tasting at this wine bar. All the food and beverage items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.
Sabor Bar de Vinos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro: