Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Samba's Bartender Series: Tiki Maestro Daniele Dalla Pola

Samba is one of my favorite places to hang out and unwind whenever I’m in Manila. Its chill ambiance and superb food makes it a great place for a night cap. And just when I thought it was already perfect, I was proven otherwise.

Hello again, Samba.
I usually visit Samba during night time as I visit the place with R who has to beat EDSA traffic. So it was refreshing for me to drop by in the afternoon where I could fully enjoy the beauty of Shangri-La at the Fort’s pool. And I was in for a treat when I was spoiled by Tiki Maestro, Daniele Dalla Pola. 
The world-famous tropical mixologist took over Samba’s bar last February 14 to 16 in time to make Valentine’s more special. 
During my visit, I got to try several of his signature concoctions with the assistance of Samba’s in-house mixologist, Poch. 
We started off with some sweet Senorita Daiquiri which I felt was too good to be an alcoholic drink. 
The blend of senorita bananas and Bacardi rum was so refreshing and delicious that I finished mine in three big gulps. 
I was worried though that this might be one of those beverages that would make you drink a lot and regret later. 
But with two glasses down, I was still fine. So let's proceed with the other drinks!
Next up was Sumatra Kula, yet another refreshing mix of fresh lime, grapefruit, orange juice and honey spiked with light rum and topped with mint sprig. 
I find it to be more potent than the first drink but still light enough to be enjoyed by those who can’t take too much liquor
Daniele also whipped up Don Tu which is a cocktail inspired by the founder of Don the Beachcomber. Its vibrant color and sweet fruity flavors spiked with rum  screams Tiki and its flavor would remind you of the classic Zombie cocktail
We continued with Ray’s Mistake which was a mix of passion fruit syrup, honey, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, falernum syrup, soda water, dashes of angostura bitters and London Dry Gin. It was a refreshing and slight citrusy drink with a kick that most of us enjoyed. 
Oh, and if you’re wondering why it was called Ray’s mistake, it was because this drink was an accidental discovery. Back in 1968, a mixologist named Ray Buhen was making the usual Tiki drink but accidentally used gin instead of rum. But it turned out to be a hit so they retained the drink and called it Ray’s Mistake. 
Shots of Bacardi 8 Years were also served which was very smooth and easy to drink. 
Big Bamboo was another stellar drink Daniele served to us and it sure was having a sip of Tahiti with its sweet yet citrusy combination of lime, orange, grapefruit, passion fruit, Dark Jamaican rum, Gold Cuban rum and Angostura bitters. 
Daniele was also all out in helping us come up with the best photos! 
Check him out on the background blowing fake smoke for that smokey effect!
And just when we thought Daniele is the most awesome mixologist we've ever met, he treated us to yet another show as he created his version of Sexy Colada and this other fun drink called Kama Aina that was served on a massive tiki bowl which he set on fire! (Too bad my camera failed me and went to sleep just when he did his best tricks.) 

But what stood out more than his delightful drinks is his unbelievable showmanship and passion for Tiki. Daniele was like a walking encyclopedia when it comes to Tiki culture and we brought home not just an experience to remember but also knowledge that made us appreciate this vibrant way of life. He is definitely doing a great job in keeping the Tiki culture alive and kicking! 
Though the Tiki Maestro has gone back to his Nu Lounge Bar in Bologna, Italy, fret not as Samba's Bartender Series is surely just begun for the year.
And make sure to grab these delectable Samba dishes to pair your drinks with. 
I fell head over heels in love with the battered soft shelled crabs! 
Samba is located at 8th Floor, Shangri-La at the Fort, 5th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Samba - Shangri-La at the Fort Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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