This "secret bar" in Rockwell has the perfect location
Try the Te Negroni with the fantastic tapas.
2/F Rambla, Joya Building, Joya Drive, Rockwell, Makati City
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Monday to Friday), and from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Saturday to Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) Though you might be a frequent visitor of Rambla, the gastropub that serves creative renditions of tapas and other Spanish fare in Makati, you may not have been to their not-so-secret bar on the second floor, La Coctelera. You’re not alone—but we’re guessing it won’t be long now before people start flocking to this hidden gem.
“People don’t really know that we have a bar [upstairs],” says Michael Tubiera, who serves as head mixologist of the La Lola group and currently also heads the bartender team of La Coctelera. “It’s quite hidden, so we decided to just name it and make it our own.”
Hence, “La Coctelera” or cocktail bar in Spanish. The space is as bright and inviting as Rambla downstairs, but transforms into a gentleman’s lounge when the sun sets. Dim lighting, plush couches, and art pieces hanging on the walls add to the dramatic effect, but of course the real star of the show is the full bar, equipped with all the best liquor you could possibly think of.
Bloody Maria Fresca
“Our cocktails are Spanish-inspired,” shares Michael, “to match Rambla.” This Spanish influence is most pronounced in their version of a classic Bloody Mary: Bloody Maria Fresca (P350). Not only does this drink come to the table not as bloody as its name suggests, it also ditches the usual Tabasco for a mix of tomato juice and basil to make it more sour than spicy. A spray of liquefied Parmesan cheese on top adds novelty to this cocktail.
The Jerez Cobbler (P395) has an intense fruity flavor thanks its mix of strawberry jam and cucumber juice. Bits of strawberry also add texture to every sip. This drink does contain rum though, so while you might be tempted to have more than one sip, be wary of the messy consequences liquor can bring!
The Keltic Club (P525) might remind you of candy but it’s sweet without crossing over to saccharine territory, with just a hint of sourness to balance things out. After all, as head mixologist for Rambla John Silva puts it as he mixed up this drink: “Sweet doesn’t have to be cloying.”
Sparkling Fancy Sangria
Of course, no Spanish watering hole is complete without sangria—La Coctelera’s version is the Sparkling Fancy Sangria (P895) made with sparkling Lambrusco wine for that extra fizz.
Sicilian Limonata "Almond and Lemon"
Non-alcohol drinkers or designated drivers don’t have to miss out on the fun because La Coctelera also offers virgin drinks. The Sicilian Limonata “Almond and Lemon” (P350) is La Coctelera’s version of lemonade, with a nice bubbly kick from lime soda.
Pulpo Hummus and Sweet Paprika
Spherical Olives Marinated in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Because La Coctelera is technically a part of Rambla, their menu of cocktails pairs well with the restaurant’s tapas. The Salmon Brie & Truffle Oil Air Baguettes (P550/four pieces) are tiny bombs of delicious richness from the truffle while the mildly-seasoned octopus is the perfect partner of the smoky paprika-spiced hummus in the Pulpo Hummus and Sweet Paprika (P325). The Spherical Olives Marinated in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (P45/piece) has that strong saltiness that pairs well with the slightly bitter flavor of the Te Negroni (P575), with tea-infused gin.
With their good variety of cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks, La Coctelera has something that’ll please everyone. For the more discerning drinker, Michael shares that they’re also open to creating bespoke drinks. “If someone asked for a signature cocktail from us, we can play around here with our ingredients and [with] what the guests prefer,” he says. “And if I find it perfect for the menu, I can also show it to our [Research and Development] team.” Who knows, maybe your special drink might become their next bestseller. It’s just one more reason to keep coming back to this not-so-hidden gem.
Photos by Ian Santos