CLASSIC concoctions do not need reinvention, just impeccable preparation.
Such commitment towards making the perfect cocktail is what makes Farquhar’s Bar at Eastern and Oriental (E&O) Hotel in Penang a must-visit for any mixology aficionado.
The bar now sports a vintage look after the renovation of the hotel’s Heritage Wing. It has plush leather sofas, antique fittings and an oak and brass long bar.
“Classic cocktails are making a comeback. While nobody needs to reinvent these, one can elevate them by using the best spirits and ingredients.
“Great drinks shouldn’t have more than three to five components so each stands out and does not overwhelm the palate, ” said hotel manager Christoph K. Girsch.
This is true of the Aged Negroni made with handcrafted gin, Campari and sweet vermouth aged in oak barrels to develop more rounded flavours.
The Classic, Old Pal, Spagliato, Kingston and Rosita are equally tasty variants of the drink supposedly born in Florence in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni had a bartender strengthen his drink with gin.
Fans of the Sour have options like Boston, New York, Pisco, Tommy’s Margarita, Jack Rose, Pink Lady and Clover Club – much evolved from the simplistic rum-based mix the British Navy prescribed to sailors in the Caribbean back in the 1600s.
Effervescent Fizzes, popularised in New Orleans in the early 1900s, are refreshing tonics for the humid weather in Malaysia. Try the French, El Diablo, Tom Collins, Moscow Mule or Paloma.
Under Farquhar’s Favourites are classics like the Old Fashioned, Daiquiri and Gin Setengah named after one of the first local words the E&O founders learned.
Alternatively, have the Mint Julep, Espresso Martini, 21st Century or Bloody Maria which is a more refined version of the notorious hangover cure.
Pair these with bar snacks like the Peranakan Sliders with flavourful duck breast inside mantous or Fresh Shucked Oysters which are a timeless accompaniment for tipple.
The Beef Lollipops are addictive with their intense umami notes enhanced by saffron and garlic aioli.
There are also Gruyere Cheese Sandwich, Marinated Olives and Cheese as well as Potato and Caviar.
Farquhar’s Bar is now located where the 1885 fine dining restaurant was. Operating hours are from 2.30pm to midnight daily.
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