Chances are you've gone through college with a memory or two about awful shots of some cheap version of tequila. Well, this new cocktail bar in Makati is ready to re-introduce the spirit and this time around, you'll discover there are delicious things in store for you.
Añejo is a new craft cocktail spot just a few steps away the busy bar-filled street of Don Pedro in Poblacion. In here it never gets as rambunctious as one may assume tequila-forward bars could be. It's more low-key and conversation-friendly, and it's shaping up to be a place where you can appreciate the beverage pretty much like wine.
The Poblacion space came first, partners Panjee Hernandez and Michael Raquiza share. When they were offered the space, the concept came naturally for them: tequila. "I'm pretty sure like almost all group of friends have this one friend that buys the bottle — that's us," Panjee shares, laughing. But back then, it was just about the cheapest bottles, until they've grown older and have more spending money, and later on discovering the nuances of the spirit, such as learning about Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo — agings of tequila akin to whiskey. And so Añejo is born: a place where people can discover tequila together, to re-introduce the spirit and let people appreciate it in a different light.
The most intruguing of drinks at Añejo is the Mayahuel. Named after the goddess of agave, this cocktail leaves a literal zing on your mouth, thanks fto a special bud that crowns the drink. It is recommended to first have a small sip of the drink (a refreshing, citrusy one), and then experience the bud itself, by nibbling on it, swishing it around your mouth to let its 'magic' take effect. It leaves a tingling sensation on the tongue that is heightened once you follow it with a sip of the cocktail.
"The whole vision of this bar is to change the perception of tequila and to elevate the experience of tequila," Panjee adds. "We know that probably everyone has had the same experience with tequila in the past, so we really want to be out there and say, hey, that's not the only thing tequila can offer. It can also be a sophisticated drink, a good-to-drink drink."
The owners understand that with good drinks, good food should follow; this is why soon, its space at the second level will transform into a pizza joint to feed the hungry. Freshly baked pizza paired with a fresh take on tequila? Now that's another reason to head back to Poblacion real soon.
Visit Añejo Crafted Cocktails at the Ground Floor of Mattheus Building, 5382 Gen. Luna St., Poblacion, Makati. The bar is currently on soft operations and is open Tuesday to Thursday, and Sunday from 6pm to 2am, and Friday to Saturday from 6pm til late. Follow @anejo.mnl for updates.