Once upon a time, there was a group of people who sailed from one point of the globe to the other.
In a wooden ship.
Drinking copious amounts of rum.
Defeating the Spanish Armada… Or was it the French?
As far as I remember Vincent Landais and Simon Côté of the latest bar to open up in Poblacion, Buccaneers telling me.
We were having too much fun the night before it opened, so quite honestly, I couldn’t tell if this was exactly how the story went.
What I remember is the fun ambiance, the old school 90s hip-hop music (I think my conservative folks would balk at the fact that I could rap along to Snoop Dogg’s Gin And Juice in a pub), and the fantastic cocktails made by one of the best expat bartenders in town, Ulysse Jonneaud (who I’ve featured in a previous article).
Why a rum bar though? I’ve written about rum in an article for ancx.ph, where we’ve explored rum being a new trend… Which is about time in Manila. After all, rum is associated with tropical islands; something the Philippines has 7,100++ of (give or take the tide, or the Miss Universe contestant). Most rum comes from these places because they often have an abundance of sugar cane (the agricultural product rum is derived from).
Then, we’ve got being stranded in a tropical island with a pirate looking like Johnny Depp in the Pirates of Caribbean film series; we’ve got Buccaneers (a historical name for a pirate) as the perfect backdrop to enjoy rum.
Here are some of the drinks people should try out:
La Sayona – Named after the goddess of rum, this refreshing cocktail is made with Diplomatico Mantuano Rum and amontillado.
La Batanga – With extra points for presentation in a tiki ceramic cup, this concoction made with Plantation 3* Rum and San Juan lambanog ended up being my favourite for the evening.
Lugarhou – In the folklore of Trinidad and Tobago (another region that produces splendid rum), the “Lagahoo” or “Lugarhou” is a shape-shifting monster akin to the werewolf. Made with house pineapple rum, cinnamon, maraschino, and cardamom bitters, it made me think of Christmas on a beach (Christmas baking spice + tropical fruits + rum).
Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça shots – A great alternative to tequila shots, cachaça is distilled from sugarcane juice (as opposed to rum, which typically requires the conversion of sugarcane to molasses before fermentation and distillation). Normally, cachaça is used as a base for the Brazilian cocktail caipirinha. We discovered, however, that it is equally awesome as shots… Preferably, from a ceramic woman’s breasts, as seen below:
A well-curated library of rum – There are so many rum choices on the menu, and from what I’ve learned, proper rum will always have characteristics indicating its geographical origin. So whether it’s rum with tropical fruit flavors, subtle notes, or even velvet textures, there should be one suited to everybody’s tastes.
People keen to have a good time while exploring Manila’s hottest spirit trend could visit Buccaneers, located on the corner of Don Pedro and Kalayaan streets, Poblacion, Makati.
PS: I have it on good authority that, for the right amount of alcohol, Ulysse will show off his tattoo. 😉