Perched on top of a cliff where the valley meets the Ayung River, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve has debuted a new happy hour experience, Mandapa Arak Sandhikala.
Designed to pay homage to ancient Balinese traditions, Mandapa Arak Sandhikala, meaning “Mandapa Dusk,” brings guests together as a sekeha, or “group,” to enjoy the native Balinese liquor, arak (it’s in the anise drinks family; other popular anise drinks include absinthe, Sambuca, and aquavit).
Each of the five arak cocktails are infused with local herbs and fruit by one of Mandapa’s five mixologists: Anak Agung Bawa, Gusti Ngurah Putu Oka Wirangga, Nyoman Tri Sucipta, Kade Krisna, and Wayan Rizqi Abimanyu. The cocktails are named after the bartenders who created the libation.
The specialty drinks include:
- Bloody Bawa, made with tomato, sambal, lemon, and lemongrass-chili infusion: a spicy Balinese twist on the Bloody Mary.
- Tris Exotica, which uses rosella, ginger, salak, lemon, and salak-ginger infusion: a dry tropical martini with a “snake fruit” punch added.
- Peaceful Abhi – spinach, cucumber, mint, cucumber-citrus infusion: a “green detox in a glass with a bit of cheating.”
Magic of Krishna
However, we find the most appealing drinks to be the Wedang by Oka and Magic of Krishna.
Wedang by Oka
- 4 cl. Arak infused with Bali coffee and vanilla
- 1 cl. Frangelico
- 1 bsp chocolate Monin syrup
Method: Combine all ingredients, shake, and strain into glass
Garnish: Top with coconut foam and chocolate truffle
Magic of Krishna
- 4 cl. Arak infused with Earl Grey, vanilla, and grapefruit
- 2 cl. lemon juice
- 3 cl. tonic water
- 2 cl. sugar syrup
- dash of ginger flower, turmeric, salt
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker, roll, and train into a glass with ice
Mandapa Arak Sandhikala is offered from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. daily at the resort’s lounge, The Library.